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A Dog Bite In Los Angeles: What Every Dog Bite Victim Needs To Know

August 30, 2021 
by LA Injury Group

Dog Bite Injury Attorney in Los Angeles: Each year, homeowners' insurance companies spend about $700 million to settle claims involving animal attacks. This number has risen substantially during the last several years. Following sources, the injuries sustained in these instances are often horrific. The issues, on the other hand, are very complicated. Insurance industry lawyers are well-versed on all of the loopholes in Los Angeles' dog bite statute. They will not hesitate to use them to minimize or deny compensation to victims of dog bites.

Therefore, if you want to get just compensation for your severe dog bite injuries, you need an aggressive Los Angeles dog bite injury lawyer from LA Injury Group. Insurance companies are not alarmed by unskilled or ineffective attorneys. A competent dog bite injury attorney in Los Angeles understands gathering evidence and presenting it in court. Many dog bite victims are forced to foot the bill for medical treatment and other expenditures without such assistance. That is not acceptable.

dog bite injury attorney in Los Angeles

The Injuries Caused By Dog Bite In Los Angeles

Perhaps no other kind of personal injury lawsuit, not even a severe automobile accident, involves the physical and mental trauma caused by dog bites.

In most cases, dog bite victims need reconstructive surgery to repair the superficial physical wounds inflicted by the dog. Even then, lifelong scarring, deformity, and loss of function are almost always a part of the outcome. Internal traumas such as brain injuries, fractured bones, and internal hemorrhaging are also a result of these assaults.

Similarly, dog bite injuries are associated with a high incidence of infection. Occasionally, a dog bite injury attorney must separate infection-related damages from the dog bite case.

Many dog bite victims, particularly children, must deal with symptoms like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. These symptoms, which include hypervigilance, melancholy, flashbacks or nightmares, and unexpected emotional outbursts, make functioning at home, school, work, or anywhere else tricky or impossible.

Establishing Liability

To receive compensation for these severe injuries, dog bite victims/plaintiffs must prove liability, or legal responsibility, by a significant amount of the evidence or by a greater probability than not. Numerous legal theories are contemplated, including the following:

  • Strict Liability: California has enacted a limited strict liability statute. Owners are immediately responsible for bite injuries, regardless of whether they were aware the animal was harmful. There are several disadvantages. The first knockdown often results in more severe damage than the bite. Second, some jurors see strict responsibility rules as financial sanctions against dog owners.
  • Scienter (Knowledge): Owners are responsible for a bite and non-bite damages if they know the animal's propensity for viciousness. Pre-bite behavior like aggressive barking and prior assaults on humans are indicators of viciousness. While scienter is often a very successful hypothesis, its application is restricted.
  • Ordinary Negligence: In essence, negligence is a failure to exercise ordinary care. "Ordinary care" in this context often refers to carefully monitoring dogs and keeping them away from youngsters, senior citizens, and other vulnerable people.
  • Los Angeles and other surrounding cities have stringent leash, fence, and other animal restraint regulations. Owners who breach these regulations and cause harm may be held responsible for damages. This idea often strikes a chord with jurors, including those who own dogs.

Current owners cannot be held responsible for dog bites caused by previous owners, even if the animal was only kept for a few minutes.

Occasionally, other parties are financially liable for damages. For instance, landlords that let renters have dangerous dogs may be responsible for bite injuries. Employers may also have some responsibility. Typically, the respondent superior rule applies in instances such as when a teacher permits children to play near an unfamiliar dog.

The Evidence Needed To Support Strong Dog Bite Claims

Do not be fooled by California's strict liability theory; obtaining compensation for losses caused by a dog bite is far from straightforward. Along with establishing adequate proof of the criteria mentioned earlier, you'll need to establish the number of your losses to seek the highest payment possible.

Among the evidence that may assist you in establishing liability are the following:

  •  Surveillance video from eyewitness testimony.
  • According to the incident report,
  • Adoption records
  • Veterinarian dossiers
  • Contracts for pet care and
  • Expert testimony from canine behaviorists.

In terms of establishing damages, you'll almost certainly need the following:

  • Photos of any apparent wounds (together with any resulting scars or deformities);
  • Medical documentation
  • Statements from your physicians
  • Reports from specialists who are knowledgeable about the kind of injury you suffered;
  • Hospital invoices
  •  Statements of health insurance
  • Pay stubs that reflect any missed shifts.
  • Receipts and invoices for any expenditures incurred as a result of the injury.
  • Bills for replacement services that are reasonably required, such as cleaning and food preparation;
  • Journal entries describing the challenges you encounter throughout your rehabilitation; psychological assessments; and
  • Statements from friends, family, and coworkers.

Possible Countermeasures

Provocation is often accessible in all dog bite lawsuits, even those involving strict liability. However, the term "provocation" has a very narrow definition.

Individuals cannot inadvertently provoke dogs. In this setting, sudden movements and loud sounds are not considered legally offensive. Indeed, the provocation must be deliberate. The insurance company must establish that the dog bite victim caused unbearable animal suffering.

Assumption of the risk is often used to defend against negligence lawsuits. This defense is available if the victim knowingly accepts a known risk.

Contrary to common belief, a "Beware of Dog" sign does not create this defense immediately. The insurance company must still establish that the dog bite victim saw the notice, read it, and understood its meaning.

LA Injury Group: Meet With A Dog Bite Injury Attorney In Los Angeles To Discuss Your Case

Dog bites often result in severe injuries. At the Los Angeles Injury Group, we understand how traumatic animal bites can be. If you are bitten by someone's dog or your loved one, we can assist you in gathering the evidence necessary to hold the owner or handler responsible.

Our caring team has the resources of a large firm, yet we remain dedicated to delivering the individualized care and attention associated with a small, local office. Contact the LA Injury Group at (818) 240-1800 or through our online contact form at lainjurygroup.com for a free dog bite consultation with an experienced dog bite injury attorney in Los Angeles.

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