The most recent data available shows that approximately 63.4 million households in the United States have a dog. This means that there are plenty of pooches running around, bringing joy to families throughout the U.S. However, dogs can also inflict significant injuries when they bite a person. Unfortunately, dog bite incidents are not uncommon in California. At Callahan & Blaine, we are here to help if you need an Irvine dog bite lawyer. Our attorneys have extensive experience handling complex injury cases like this, and we have the resources necessary to fully investigate the claim and help our clients secure the compensation they need.
In theory, the process of a dog bite victim securing compensation from a dog owner should be straightforward. However, the reality is that insurance carriers, in these cases, usually put up a fight against paying out a settlement. An Irvine injury lawyer experienced in dog bite claim can use their resources to fully investigate the claim and stand up to aggressive insurance carriers. A dog bite attorney can:
States around the country handle dog bite incidents in a variety of ways. In some areas, a dog owner will only be held liable if it can be proven that the dog has bitten somebody before or has a propensity for aggression. However, California operates under a “strict liability” dog bite law. This means that a dog’s owner will be held liable for any damages the victim sustains so long as the person bitten was in a public place or lawfully in a private place when the incident occurred and did not provoke the dog.
However, we do want to point out that California’s dog bite law only covers injuries that the victim sustains due to the bite. Any other injuries caused by a dog will not be covered under this law. For example, if a dog bumps into somebody and knocks them over, and the person sustains a broken wrist, this injury will not be covered under the strict liability dog bite law. If you have further questions regarding the dog bite laws in California, speak with an Irvine dog bite lawyer at Callahan & Blaine.
In general, a dog’s owner will be the person held liable for these injuries. In some cases, another person may hold liability if they temporarily had control over the dog (i.e. a dog sitter watching somebody’s dog while a person is on vacation). However, the dog owner will likely be held vicariously liable and be responsible for covering the expenses of the injury victim.
The number one thing that any dog bite injury victim needs to do is seek medical care immediately after the incident occurs. Seeking immediate medical care accomplishes two goals. First, this ensures the well-being of the dog bite injury victim and helps get them the care they need. Delaying medical care can be detrimental, particularly if an infection sets in.
Second, seeking medical care establishes a direct link between the dog bite and the injuries. If an injury victim delays medical care, this could be taken as a sign by insurance carriers that there was no serious injury to begin with.
An important step for a victim to take after a dog bite injury is to report the incident to the police or animal control. This may seem like a harsh step, but the reality is that an official report should be on record to help ensure that the victim receives the care they need. Additionally, if a dog truly is dangerous, animal control or law enforcement can start the process of determining whether or not the dog should be allowed to be returned to the owner.
The California personal injury statute of limitations is two years from the date an injury occurs. This means that if it becomes necessary for a dog bite injury victim to hire an Irvine dog bite attorney and file a personal injury lawsuit against a dog owner, they must do so within two years from the date the injury occurred. Failing to do this will result in the victim being unable to recover the compensation they need.
There is no set amount of money awarded to dog bite injury victims in these cases. Rather, the total amount of compensation will vary depending on a variety of factors related to each particular case. This includes the following:
In general, our dog bite attorneys in Irvine find that more severe injuries usually result in higher compensation amounts paid to the injury victim. However, it is important to have an attorney and look at any potential settlement offered by an insurance carrier to determine whether or not the offer is fair.
If you or somebody you love has been bitten and injured by a dog in or around the Irvine area, turn to the team at Callahan & Blaine for help as soon as possible. Our dog bite attorneys have the resources necessary to fully investigate these claims, determine liability, and negotiate with aggressive insurance carriers in order to recover the compensation our clients need. We will not stop pushing forward with your case until you receive the money you need to make a full recovery. When you need a dog bite lawyer, you can contact us online for a free consultation or by calling our law firm at (714) 241-4444.