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Dog Bite Lawyers
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Having a dog is a serious responsibility, but not everybody is up to that. Many pet owners walk their dogs without their leash, exposing other pedestrians to a possible attack.
If you or a loved one were bitten by a dog, you might require the services of a specialized dog bite lawyer. Personal injury law firms in Los Angeles, like Farahi Law Firm, have attorneys who specialize in this kind of dog attack cases.
The most recent statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest that an estimated 4.7 million dog bites occurred in the United States every year, and approximately 799,700 persons required medical care.
People at Risk
According to the CDC, in 2001, an estimated 368,245 persons were treated for dog bite-related injuries on ERs. The injury rate was the highest among children aged 5 to 9 years:
- 0 – 4 years 13.3%
- 5 – 9 years 15.2%
- 10 – 4 years 13.4%
- 15 – 19 years 7.6%
- 20 – 24 years 7.1%
- 25 – 34 years 12.3%
- 35 – 44 years 2.7%
- 45 – 54 years 8.9%
- 55 – 64 years 4.4%
- >65 years 5.2%
Causes of a Dog Attack or a Dog Bite
Many factors can increase the chances of you or your children being victims of a dog attack. Caregivers of all types, and especially parents of young children, must keep in mind all of the factors that can lead to aggressive and harmful behavior in dogs. For example:
- Male dogs are more likely to exhibit aggressive tendencies. They account for a higher percentage of bites and attacks on children and adults.
- Dominant, poorly trained, poorly socialized and fearful female dogs will, and often do, bite children and their caregivers.
- Non-neutered or un-spayed dogs typically demonstrate higher levels of aggressive behavior.
- Leaving two or more dogs in a yard without supervision increases the chance of dangerous dog behavior.
- High numbers of dogs are associated with pack behavior, which equals a much higher risk for attacks, bites, or maulings.
- The number of dog bites goes up during the summer months due to the higher volume of people outside and the presence of a more significant number of dogs.
- The single, most common cause of deadly dog bites and seriously harmful canine attacks is lack of training, supervision, or care of the animal.
Common Dog-Bite Injuries
Every dog attack is unique; some of the possible injuries are:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Avulsion (ear and part of a cheek)
- Loss of vision
- Fracture and broken bones
- Nerve damage and lasting paralysis
- Deep scarring
- Rabies, MRSA, hepatitis, and Pasteurella
- Lingering emotional and psychological trauma
At least 1 in 5 dog bite victims will require professional medical care, and approximately 27,000 of those will need reconstructive surgery to recover fully.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) affirms that the average cost of a dog bite-related hospital stay is $18,200, about 50% higher than the average injury-related hospital stay, therefore if you or a loved one has been attacked by a dog, you must seek counsel from an experienced dog bite lawyer to protect your rights.
Farahi Law Firm, APC, has years of experience in handling claims involving animal attacks and bites. Our skilled lawyers in Los Angeles aid victims around the state to file personal injury lawsuits in cases of dog bites and dog attacks.
Who is Responsible for Dog-Bite Injuries
The dog owner is liable for any losses caused by a dog bite, even if the dog has never bitten anybody before. As long as the dog bite happened at a public place or a private area legitimately, you don’t have to prove negligence on the dog owner’s part to claim compensation for your damages.
California’s dog bite law, section 3342 of the Civil Code, specifies that the owner of any dog is liable for damages if:
- the harm was done by a dog bite, and
- the person bitten was either in a public location or lawfully in a private area.
The law provides an exemption for persons suffering an injury from dog bites while a dog is performing Police and military service. To apply the dog bite law in California the damage must have been caused by a dog bite, not by any other action on a dog’s part.
The dog owners often carry insurance plans that will cover your damages in the event of a dog bite. Based on the circumstances of your case, the following parties may pay for the damages:
- Dog owner insurance
- Homeowner’s or renter’s insurances
- Personal umbrella liability policies
- Auto liability insurance
A dog bite lawyer can be vital in dealing with the defendant’s insurer and reaching a settlement. Often, insurance companies offer small compensation bits. You will need the assistance of an expert dog bite lawyer to obtain the best compensation possible. Los Angeles dog bite Lawyers at Farahi Law Firm pick the right arguments and evidence to get you fair compensation.
Damages you can Recover in Dog Bite Injury Claims
People across California who have been bitten by a dog have the right to seek compensation for their injuries. Compensatory damages in such cases may include:
- Past, present and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Rehabilitation costs
- Physical or vocational therapy,
- Psychological counseling,
- Lost earning capacity,
- And pain and suffering.
Also, families of people killed by a dog attack or bite will be entitled to claim damages by filing wrongful death claims.
If you are a delivery man, postman, or another mail carrier, and you were bitten by a dog, you also can claim workers’ compensation. Under this benefit, employees who are injured on the job can claim medical as well as wage replacement benefits. They can alternately and additionally claim against the dog owner (if it is not owned by the employer).
Either way, do not talk to the insurance company before you speak to an attorney. At Farahi Law Firm, we are available 24/7 for a free consultation. Our experienced Los Angeles dog bite lawyers will guide you through the entire process.
Steps to Protect your Rights after a Dog Bite Injury
Knowing what to do after a dog bite will ensure you receive the right care and compensation you deserve. It’s best to work with an accomplished dog bite lawyer to improve the odds of a good personal injury case. Following a dog attack or dog bite injury, here are some steps for you to take:
- Call 911 or the Police and make a prompt report of the incident.
- Seek medical attention right away.
- Note down the name, address, phone number, and, if possible, obtain insurance information from the dog owner.
- Note down the name, address, and telephone number of any potential witnesses.
- Take photographs of your wound, bruises, etc. before they are treated, to record more precisely the harm caused.
- Write down the events and circumstances of the dog-bite with as much detail as you can remember.
- Keep track of your expenses, such as hospital bills, missed earnings, and travel costs.
- Report the incident to the Los Angeles Animal Control Unit. It will help deter potential dog attacks or bite incidents, and their investigation of the event can support your case.
- Contact a dog-bite lawyer immediately after the accident
How Can Having a Lawyer Help your Dog Bite Claim?
Many people think that filing a case for a dog bite is trivial, and you might not get anything out of it. However, people often endure severe pain and medical treatment for a dog bite, and fighting for your rights is justified.
Though around 4.7 million people in America suffer a dog bite every year, only 15,000-16,000 victims are paid by insurance companies. Since most of them work on a contingency basis, they get paid only if you get paid. Hiring a lawyer improves your chance.
Dog Bite Statute Of Limitations in Los Angeles
Each state has a legal time limit called “statute of limitations” that places a deadline to file personal injury lawsuits in the court. The statute of limitations on personal injury claims is two years in the state of California. A claim for dog bite injuries is viewed as a personal injury lawsuit, which means the victim has two years from the date of the incident to file the case. In case the claim surpasses the two years deadline, the court might rule it out without a trial.
If you or a loved one were injured because of a dog bite or dog attack in Los Angeles, you must speak with a dog bite attorney as soon as possible. Los Angeles dog bite lawyers at Farahi Law Firm, APC will make sure of providing you the compensation you deserve.
Contact us today at (310) 601-4925 and schedule a free consultation. We offer a no-fee guarantee, which means you don’t pay us a dime unless we win.