Dog Bite Lawyers in Los Angeles
A dog bite lawyer should be hired if someone has been bitten by a dog. In Los Angeles and everywhere else in California, we have strict liability when it comes to dog bite cases. This means the owner of the dog is liable for your damages, regardless of their degree of fault.
A dog attack can be a traumatic experience. We know of people who used to love dogs but are now petrified of dogs due to a dog attack. If you or a loved one has been bit by a dog, seeking legal help is a must.
Free Consultations Our law firm offers free consultations to all victims of dog bites. If you have been involved in any kind of accident in which you got hurt, you can call or email us for a free consultation. An actual licensed attorney, and not a legal assistant, will speak with you to discuss your rights under the law.
Zero Fee Guarantee Our law firm does not charge any upfront fees. We work on contingency. This means when you hire us, we will fight your case without charging you a penny. After we get you money either through a settlement or court verdict, we will take a percentage as our compensation for our services. If we do not get you money, then you will owe us nothing. Any medical help that you received through our office will also work the same way. We will refer you to medical professionals who will help you without charging you anything. If we get you money, they will get paid. If we do not get you money, then the medical offices will not expect payment. Our guarantee is simple: We will get you money, or you do not have to pay for our services. That's how confident we are in our skills as personal injury attorneys.
Steps to Take After a Dog Bite. There are various steps that you can take to proect yourself:
- Seek Medical Help - A wound caused by a dog bite can pose a serious danger to the dog bite victim. The wound can get infected, and cause major problems. In addition, if the dog had rabies, the victim can contract the disease. This disease is highly dangerous and very often fatal. Therefore, your first step is to seek immediate medical help. You can report to a private physician or the nearest medical emergency facility. If you find unable to walk or drive, call an ambulance to transfer you to the emergency room so you can receive the necessary medical treatments to minimize the damage.
- Identify the Dog Owner - You will need to identify the dog owner because they are responsible to pay for your damages. One concern that many plaintiffs have is that the dog owner has no money. Another concern is that the dog owner is a friend and nobody wants to sue their friend. That should not be a problem because in many cases, the dog owner's home insurance company can be sued to pay for your damages. Once you have identified the dog owner, write down their name, address, and phone number. Also, write down any insurance information they carry.
- Make a Report - You will need to report the dog attack to your local animal control or sheriff's department. Be prepared to identify the owner. If the dog was stray, be prepared to describe its appearance and where the accident happened. This report serves two purposes: It causes animal control to open an investigation to make sure the animal does not pose a danger to the public, and it serves as evidence in your dog bite lawsuit.
- Take Photos of Your Injuries - Take photos of your injuries as soon as possible after the accident. You want photos of any wounds or lacerations that you have sustained. Also, take pictures of any torn or bloody clothes, the dog, and the location of the attack. The more photos you have, the better. These photos will be used as evidence in your case.
- Contact a California Dog Bite Lawyer - California dog bite law is complicated. If you attempt to file a lawsuit on your own, there is a high chance you will ruin your case. Hiring an attorney has several advantages. An attorney has been through the system and knows what it takes to win your case. Not only can they do a better job at proving your case, they can also maximize the amount that you will receive. As you may know, insurance companies are known to pressure victims of accidents to get them to settle for cheap. The number one goal of an insurance company is to maximize their profits, and to do that, they will do whatever it takes to eliminate any pending lawsuits against them. Do not let the insurance companies take advantage of you. If you do not understand the value of your case, you might fall for tactics by insurance adjusters that are designed to trick you and get you to settle for a really low amount. Please contact an attorney who specializes in dog bite cases. Our law firm offers free consultations. You can speak to a dog bite attorney right away by calling or emailing us.
Steps to Avoid After a Dog Bite
- Do not contact the defendant or their insurance company to attempt to settle.
- If the dog owner or their insurance company tries to contact you, do not speak with them regarding the accident. Anything you say can be used against you to weaken your case. Tell them you have hired an attorney. Let your attorney handle this.
- Do not demand payment from the other party.
- Do not admit fault. Remember, you do not know whose fault the incident was until a full investigation has been completed.
- Do not sign any release forms.
Damages in a Dog Bite Lawsuit An experienced attorney can recover for all your damages. In a dog bite case, these include:
- Current medical bills, meaning any bills that you have incurred that are of a medical nature. For example, if you went to the hospital and the hospital charged you some money, we can recover for these. If you paid for the services of a private physician, or for medications, we can recover for these.
- Future medical bills, meaning any medical care that you are expected to receive in the future. A dog bite can cause severe injuries, requiring years of medical treatment and plastic surgery to make you whole again. Any future medical bills can be calculated by an expert and added to your damages.
- Loss of income. If you missed work and lost income, a competent attorney can recover these.
- Reduced earning capacity. If you are not able to work as much as you used to because of the dog bite, then any amount that your income has been reduced can be recovered.
- Pain and suffering. Victims of dog bites often experience a great deal of pain and suffering. Not only are dog bite wounds painful, but any scarring that occurs can continue to be embarrassing and humiliating years after an accident. An expert can put a number to this pain and suffering and we add these to your damages which are to be collected from the defendant.
- Punitive damages. If the conduct of the dog owner was particularly outrageous, plaintiff may collect double or triple damages, or punitive damages.
Although it is difficult to put a dollar amount to the pain and suffering that someone experiences as a result of a dog bite, and although juries vary tremendously on this issue, an experienced dog bite attorney can help convince a jury of the maximum allowed under the law. There are various factors that can help show this. For instance, if the victim did not provoke the dog, then the dollar amount assigned to the pain and suffering is likely to be higher than if the victim was harassing the dog at the time of the accident. A dog bite lawyer who has done this type of work many times can help the jury see that you deserve the maximum compensation allowed under the law.
Who Can You Sue? There are multiple potential defendants in a dog bite lawsuit. The most obvious one is the dog owner. Under California law, a dog owner is strictly liable if their dog bites someone. If the dog owner has a home owner or renter insurance policy, the insurance company can also be sued. In some cases, if the dog owner was renting, their landlord can also be held liable, if they knew about the dangerous dog and failed to remove it from the premises.
Defenses to a Dog Bite Lawsuit
As experienced attorneys, we believe it is important to be aware of any defenses that the opposing party may raise in an attempt to limit their liability, so that we can find ways to overcome such defenses. Here are some possible defenses:
- You provoked the dog. This is a common defense, and it can be valid in some cases. For instance, if someone gets too aggressive towards a dog and the dog bites, that could be used to show that the incident was partly the victim's fault too.
- Assumption of the risk. If the dog bite victim knew the dog bites, and he proceeded to touch it, then he assumed the risk that the dog will bite. This defense can work if it is shown that the dog bite victim appreciated the risk and yet decided to proceed in the face of such risk.
- You were trespassing. The strict liability rule in California applies only those who were legally allowed to be where they were at the time of the accident. In other words, only those who were in a public place or private place with permission will qualify. Although trespassers cannot sue under strict liability, they may still be able to sue under other legal theories, like negligence.
Why Choose Us?
- We are experienced dog bite lawyers who have been practicing in this area for a long time.
- We have the necessary resources to fight any case, no matter how complex. We have a network of investigators, expert witnesses, doctors, and other professionals who can help us receive the maximum amount for your damages.
- We are available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
- When you contact us, you can speak with an actual attorney regarding your case.
- We offer free consultations and charge zero upfront fees.
- We have built relationships with a network of medical professionals who can support you medically as well, without any upfront fees. If you go to our doctors, physical therapists, or other medical professionals, they will not charge you any upfront fees. You can get the medical help that you need while we work on your case.
Contact Our Law Firm
An experienced dog bite lawyer can help get you justice. To get your free consultation, please call or email us. Remember, the consultation is free, and we do not charge any upfront fees. We get paid only if you do. If we take your case and we do not get you money, then you will owe us nothing. In addition, if we send you to any medical facilities to get medical help, the medical facilities also work on contingency. They will not receive any upfront fees and they only get paid when you do.
You can call us right now to speak with a licensed attorney (and not a paralegal or legal assistant) regarding your case. We will ask you a few questions and let you know if we are interested in taking your case.