Long Beach Dog Bite Attorney

Dog Bite Injury Lawyer in Long Beach 

Assigning Liability in a Dog Bite AccidentDog bite accidents occur more often than we think. These incidents can cause severe injuries to victims, thus requiring treatment or even rehabilitation. Under California law, dog bite victims can sue for damages incurred due to a dog bite, especially if the injury occurred due to no fault of their own.

After a dog bite, you may face large medical bills and cannot work during recovery. This might significantly dent your finances, especially if you are the sole breadwinner. However, the Long Beach personal injury lawyers at Setareh Law are here to help. We will do everything we can to get you the compensation you deserve and protect your legal rights.

What Are Common Injuries Caused By Dog Bites?

In California, dog owners are required to use a leash in public to ensure the safety of other dogs and people. However, a leash does not guarantee the canine won’t attack someone. When a dog feels threatened, overexcited, or anxious, they can become aggressive. Dog bites can occur in varying situations, such as:

  • When dog owners lose control of their dogs in public spaces
  • When the dog attacks someone visiting a property, such as family members, friends, or delivery and utility persons
  • When the dog escapes the property and attacks a passerby

Dog bites can be severe, especially from large dogs with powerful jaws, such as Rottweilers and German Shepherds. Dog bite injuries can worsen as the victim tries to escape the attack. Some common injuries that can occur from a dog bite include:

If a dog has a history of aggressive behavior, the law requires that it be kept inside a fence or indoors.

What Are California’s Dog Bite Laws?

In dog bite accidents, California upholds strict liability. The dog owner is liable for medical and emotional damages suffered by the victim. Prior knowledge of the dog’s vicious nature by the dog owner does not affect liability, as they will still be held liable even if their dog has never harmed anyone before. However, some situations can free the dog owner from liability. They include if: 

  • The dog bite victim was illegally on the dog owner’s property when the incident occurred
  • The dog was doing its work or defending itself as a police or military canine
  • The dog bite victim was or has in the past tormented, abused, or teased the dog
  • The dog bite victim was committing a crime on the property

A dog owner will be responsible for damages if:

  • The dog bite victim was at the property legally
  • The dog bite victim did not provoke the dog. In California, this does not apply to children under five years old.

Dog walkers, friends, or family members are not liable for injuries caused by dog bites unless they proactively cause the dog to bite someone.

Will the Dog Owner’s Homeowners’ Insurance Pay?

In California, many standard homeowners’ insurance will pay for injuries caused by the policyholder’s dog. Homeowner policies cover the policyholder’s property, which, by legal definition, includes dogs. This means that the property owner’s insurance should cover the damages of a dog bite, whether the incident occurred at the person’s property or not. Renters’ insurance may also cover a dog bite injury.

However, without either the homeowners’ or renters’ insurance, the dog owner may have to pay the damages out of pocket. Depending on the circumstances, the victim or the court may work with the dog owner to create a payment plan if they are unable to pay the compensation as a lump sum.

What Is a Bystander Claim?

Common victims of dog bites are often children and the elderly. If the victim’s family members witness the attack, they can suffer emotional distress and lasting trauma. The law allows that family member to file a bystander claim. To be eligible for a bystander claim, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You are closely related to the dog bite victim, by blood or marriage
  • When the attack happened, you were closeby and aware
  • You suffered significant emotional distress as a result of witnessing the attack

Talk to an experienced Long Beach dog bite lawyer about pursuing a bystander claim. Our injury attorneys will advise you on the steps to take and guide you through the process.

Can I Claim Compensation for a Dog Bite?

In many situations, dog bites require surgery, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and other treatments which health insurance may not be sufficient to cover. The compensation for dog bite injuries does not differ from other personal injury claims. Dog bite victims can recover damages for the following losses:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost income
  • Loss of companionship in case of wrongful death
  • Pain and suffering

The amount you recover will depend on the nature of your injuries, medical issues that arise from the injuries, time away from work during recovery, and emotional distress. The statute of limitations allows dog bite victims two years from the date of the dog bite. Failure to file a claim within this period can cause the judge to dismiss your case without hearing it.

Get Help From An Experienced Long Beach Dog Bite Lawyer

Seeking an experienced Long Beach dog bite lawyer will improve your chances of getting justice. In some cases of severe dog bite injuries, criminal charges can be pursued. In such cases, the dog bite lawyers at Setareh Law can help you get compensation for your claim.

Your lawyer will advise the best course of action after reviewing the details of your case. We will handle all legal matters and talk to the at-fault party’s insurance while you focus on your recovery. We will do everything we can to protect your interests throughout the claim process and get you the best possible compensation. Contact us today at (310) 659-1826 for a  free consultation with a dedicated dog bite lawyer with more than a decade of experience. Our lawyers also speak Spanish.

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