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Holding Negligent Pet Owners Responsible

More households in the United States have dogs than any other pet. This is especially true here in California. California has a unique and strict set of laws as it pertains to pets, and in particular, dogs. This section of the state’s Civil Code (3342) states that if someone is bitten — no matter if they are on public property or lawfully on private property — then the dog owner is responsible. There are few exceptions to this statute. Police dogs are generally immune from this type of rule, and exceptions are commonly made when the injured party did something to provoke the dog, or otherwise cause the bite. If you were bitten by a dog, don’t hesitate to take action by first calling the Encino dog bite attorneys at Binder Law Group.

Contact us today for a free consultation online or by phone at (818) 659-8588 if you’re suffering from your bites or other injuries caused by a dog.

What To Do After Your Attack

Dog bites can be potentially dangerous and should be handled with swift care. First and foremost, it is important to understand the severity of your injury and to seek medical care right away – especially if you cannot confirm the shot record of the canine who bit you. Contact 911 to receive the immediate care that you require. If you are able to get yourself out of harm’s way and do not require an ambulance to transport you to care, contact your local law enforcement agency, Animal Control, or Humane Society to report the dog bite and have an incident report taken for your records.

Use the technology available to you to create a record of the dog bite. Your cell phone can become an incredible tool, allowing you to take pictures of the animal – if it is still at the scene – the location the dog attack took place, and the name, address, and phone number of the dog’s owners. If you are able to ascertain the name, breed, and age of the dog who bit you, take that information down as well.

Create Evidence Of Your Dog Bite Case

There are steps to take to gather evidence for your dog bite case, they include:

  • Take Photos: of your dog bite injuries right away, as well as follow up pictures after you have received care to create evidence as to how the injury has affected you through imagery. If it is possible to take a picture of the dog’s owner, you certainly should.
  • Record Excuses: Dog owners are very protective of their pets and will often make excuses for the attack by stating that they escaped from the yard. If this is the case, ask the owner to show you where the dog escaped from and record the exit by taking pictures.
  • Get as Much Information as Possible: including any and all pictures, while you are still at the scene of the attack. When the incident is recorded in real-time, our Encino dog bite attorneys can use that information as evidence going forward.
  • Medical Care: Lastly, even if the dog has had all of its shots, seek medical care right away and inform the physician that you have been bitten by a dog. This will help you recover fully by getting the medical attention you need right away.
What Dog Breeds Are Considered Aggressive?

While certain situations can stimulate dogs to react aggressively such as maternal defensiveness, territorial defense, and other normal coping responses, certain breeds such as pit bulls show more aggressive behavior than other dogs. Pit bulls are typically larger and stronger and are more likely to disable, severely injure, or kill people when they attack.

A research study found that while pit bulls make up only 6% of the dog population, this breed was responsible for 68% of all dog attacks and 52% of dog-related deaths since 1982.

Other dog breeds that have been involved in severe dog attacks are:

  • Rottweilers
  • Mastiffs
  • Dobermans
  • Huskies
  • German shepherds

Regardless of a dog’s breed, all dog owners have the responsibility to maintain their dogs in such a manner that does not cause harm or injury to people when in a public place or to visitors at home. Children, either due to their small size or unfamiliarity with dogs, are particularly prone to aggressive dog attacks which result in severe injuries and disfigurement.

In California, a dog owner is legally responsible for injuries that their dog inflicts on another person, regardless of the dog’s breed or the dog’s history of aggressive behavior. If an aggressive dog attacked you while on public property or while you were lawfully on private property, you are entitled to compensation. The law does not require you to establish evidence of the dog previously biting another person or of the dog’s vicious behavior; although proof of an aggressive dog’s vicious tendencies may provide the basis for an award for punitive damages or other types of damages.

Compensation In A Dog Bite Claim

Small dogs or minor nips rarely cause serious injuries, but severe attacks by larger dogs or bites which become infected can lead to horrific injuries. The cost of emergency medical care balloons quickly, and that does not take into consideration ongoing care, rehabilitation, and things such as plastic surgery to limit scarring and disfigurement.

Dog bite victims are often unable to return to work immediately and instead are fighting to recover from their dog bite injuries. Still, medical bills must be paid, and lost wages covered. This means they are trying to fight for compensation from an insurance company when they should be focusing on their health. They’re probably not going to be able to do that effectively on their own, and therefore, they should get an Encino dog bite attorney.

Compensation in a dog-bite claim may a wide variety of financial losses and other damages, including:

  • Past, present, and future medical bills
  • Past, present, and future loss of earnings, including salary, wages, and commissions
  • Other related economic losses
  • General damages, often known as pain and suffering
Examples Of Past Cases

In many dog-bite cases, the injured party and the dog owner are friends, or at the very least neighbors or acquaintances. Luckily, though, Binder Law Group can often help maintain a positive relationship between the two parties while also securing the victim the compensation they need to cover their damages.

Recently the Encino personal injury law firm represented a client who was attacked while attending a Super Bowl party at his best friend’s house. For whatever reason, seemingly out of nowhere, the friend’s dog attacked the client, biting him on the face. The attack victim was not upset with his friend, but still needed the money to pay for medical care and surgery to reduce scarring. By taking on the dog owner’s insurer while also ensuring Binder Law Group did not create an adversarial environment between the two friends, our Encino dog bite law firm was able to secure our client a fair and substantial settlement to pay all his medical bills and ongoing costs to repair the damage, and he also maintained a friendship both men value.

In another dog bite case, a client lost full use of her hand after being bitten by another lawyer’s dog. Binder Law Group had to fight against this other lawyer, who participated in his own defense. Throughout that case, our legal team was very adversarial with this lawyer, and we were certain he hated us. Ultimately, we won that case for a very substantial settlement. Later, when this lawyer was the victim of a dog bite himself, he called on our team to represent him in his claim.

Call our Encino dog bite attorneys today for help at (818) 659-8588.


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