Santa Rosa Dog Bite Lawyer
Dogs are our friends and part of our families. As the saying goes, “dogs are man’s best friends.” Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Dogs, especially certain breeds, can unexpectedly act out and attack. This frightening and oftentimes painful experience can result in infection, serious disfigurement, extreme scarring, and even death. If you or a loved one were recently injured from a dog bite accident, you may have a claim against the dog owner or the person who had control of the dog. The Santa Rosa dog bite lawyer at the Law Office of Kasra Parsad can help you recover financially.
How Common Are Dog Bites?
Dog bite accidents are a common occurrence in our country. Every day in the United States, nearly 1,000 people require emergency treatment for serious dog bite injuries. In fact, 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year, and more than 800,000 require medical attention for dog bites. Along with these staggering figures, homeowners insurers paid out $882 million in liability claims related to dog bites and other dog-related injuries in 2021. During a 16-year period from 2005 to 2020, 568 Americans were killed by dogs, and pit bulls (380) and rottweilers (51) contributed to an overwhelming 76% (431) of these deaths. While dogs are man’s best friend, dog bite accidents impose a health risk to individuals and our communities.
There is Strict Liability In California Dog Bite Cases
Whether you can hold a pet owner legally liable for your dog bite injuries depend on the laws of your state. For example, some states use strict liability when it comes to dog bites. This means the owner of a dog is liable for physical injuries and property damages regardless of whether the owner was negligent or even had reason to suspect their dog could bite another person. On the other hand, other states use what is known as the “one-bite rule,” which makes dog owners liable for a dog bite injury only if their dog had a history of violence and the owner was negligent in preventing a later bite.
California law uses a strict liability dog bite statute, so a dog owner can be liable even without proof of negligence. According to California Civil Code section 3342, the owner of a dog is liable for damages suffered by a victim who was bitten by their dog while lawfully on private property or in a public place, regardless of the former violence of the dog or whether the owner knew of the dog’s propensity for violence.
What Do You Have To Prove For a Dog Bite Claim?
Under California Civil Code section 3342, to prevail on your dog bite claim, it must be shown that:
(1) The defendant owned the dog;
(2) The dog bit the victim in a public place or while the victim was lawfully on private property;
(3) The victim was bitten by the dog, resulting in injury
It should be noted that California’s dog bite statute does not apply to dog bite injuries while a dog is performing police or military work. Additionally, some defenses to California’s dog bite statute can be if the victim was trespassing or assumed the risk.
Who Can Be Liable For Damages After A Dog Bite?
In most California dog bite cases, the defendant will be the owner of the dog. There are however certain exceptions. “Owner” under California law can include people who have custody or possession of the dog. So, if someone other than the owner was exercising custody, control, or care over the dog, like a dog walker or family member, at the time of the attack, that party may be liable for injuries, deaths, or property damage caused by the dog. Depending on the unique circumstances of your case, the following individuals can be held liable for damages:
- The dog owner
- The landlord
- The dog’s caretaker
- Property owners
Common Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bite injuries can be gruesome. Usual long-term injuries include serious disfigurement and scarring, loss of limbs, infections, or even death. Additionally, dog bite victims can also suffer prolonged emotional and mental damage after being attacked by a dog. Our Santa Rosa dog bite lawyer helps clients with all types of personal injuries arising from dog bite accident claims, including:
- Broken bones
- Permanent scarring
- Injured muscles
- Injured ligaments
- Deep Lacerations
- Puncture wounds
- Nerve damage
- Eye injuries
- Facial injuries
Dog Bite Accident Damages
Dog bite accident cases all differ. Numerous factors will determine the success of your claim and ultimately the amount of compensation you will recover. The Santa Rosa dog bite lawyers at the Law Office of Kasra Parsad will examine your medical records, accident-related expenses, and other evidence you have to determine the types of damages you may be able to recover. The following are some damages you may be able to recover after your dog bite accident:
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitation costs
- Future/Past medical expenses
- Lost income
- Diminished earning capacity
Our Santa Rosa dog bite lawyer also helps clients obtain compensation for nonphysical injuries. In California, plaintiffs are allowed to seek compensation for their emotional, mental, and psychological suffering in addition to their physical pain and economic losses. The Law Office of Kasra Parsad can help you obtain a just amount for your pain and suffering, emotional damages, grief, and distress after an auto accident.
What To Do If You Were Attacked By a Dog
After a dog bite accident in Santa Rosa, it may be hard to think clearly. There are important steps you can take immediately following your dog bite attack to help build a strong claim. These tips can affect the outcome of your claim, so it is important to follow these tips to avoid any disputes about liability or damages. After being attacked by a dog, take the following steps:
- Try your best to remain calm and get to a safe place.
- Call Sonoma County animal control to report the dog bite, then seek a copy of the report.
- If you were attacked in a location with cameras, seek a copy of the security footage if it exists.
- Do not make any statements accepting fault of any kind whatsoever.
- Get medical care for your injuries immediately.
- Make sure to tell the doctor about every part of your body that feels pain. Do not minimize or leave out any of your injuries.
- If given, follow your doctor’s treatment instructions, and do not miss any future doctor appointments.
- If possible, make contact with the dog owner and get their contact information.
- Take photographs of the scene of the accident, including the dog, property damage, and your injuries.
- Collect contact information from any eyewitness who may have seen the dog attack.
- Safely secure the clothes and shoes you were wearing during the attack.
- Document the attack while it is fresh in your head. Afterward, keep a journal documenting your pain and injuries and your recovery process.
- Before speaking with a lawyer, do not speak to an insurance adjuster or accept any sort of offer from the insurance company.
- Get off social media. In the alternative, make your posts private.
- Contact the Law Office of Kasra Parsad to discuss your claim.
How Long Do You Have To Bring a Claim?
California law provides that plaintiffs have two years from the day they were bitten to file a claim from injuries. If a dog bite accident involved a fatal death, two years is also the limit for filing a wrongful death claim. As soon as possible after a dog attack, you should reach out to our Santa Rosa dog bite lawyer.
How Can a Santa Rosa Dog Bite Lawyer Help?
The last thing you want to deal with after a serious dog bite is fighting the insurance company over fair compensation for your harm. It can be tempting to accept the first offer the insurance company throws your way when your injuries are throbbing, bills are piling up, and you’re missing work and not making an income. The insurance company is looking to protect their company’s profits. They accomplish this goal by offering you a lowball offer that will not fully compensate you for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs. Whatever the insurance company may tell you, they likely are not on your side when you file a claim against them.
As soon as possible, you’ll want to contact our Santa Rosa personal injury attorney to assess your options. You should never accept the insurance company’s first offer, let alone speak to the insurance adjuster, without consulting with a slip and fall accident attorney. Let our qualified attorneys help you recover the fair and full compensation you deserve while you focus on your recovery.
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