Benefits of Hiring a Dog Bite Attorney
What Should You Do After a Dog Attack?
Since dog bites happen every day you need to be prepared in case it happens to you. If you or a loved one was injured by a dog this is what you should do:
- Get medical treatment as soon as possible: The first thing you need to do if a loved one is injured by a dog or other animal is to seek proper medical attention. Some injuries may appear to be minor at first but you should always get them checked out by a doctor at the emergency room. Don’t delay on medical treatment as it may have a long-lasting impact.
- Get information on the dog that bit you: If you can identify the dog that bit you, this will help you with your personal injury claim. If you know the homeowners where the incident occurred this is also helpful. Since the owner is the responsible person under California law it’s essential that you identify who they were and get their contact information.
- Report the incident: It’s important that you report the attack to the police or animal control agency in the area. This is the first step you can take in preventing similar attacks by the same dog in the future. It also provides a record of the incident and they can determine if this was part of the dog’s pattern.
- Take pictures and collect evidence: Collecting evidence after a dog attack starts with getting good records. In addition to the homeowner’s names and contact information, you need to document your injuries. Take pictures of your injuries and record the impact the injuries have on your day to day life.
- Do not sign anything with an insurance company without talking to a lawyer first: Insurance companies may seem quick to help and write a check after a dog attack incident, but there could be more damage. If you sign something or indicate that you’re not injured you could hurt your case. It’s essential that you talk with a California Personal injury lawyer right away before talking to an insurance company.
Key Benefits Of Hiring A Dog Bite Lawyer To Handle Your Case
Being the victim of a vicious dog attack can leave emotional and physical scars that can stay with you for a very long time. If a dog bite has left you permanently disfigured and psychologically affected for life, you deserve compensation for your ordeal. Animals are wild by nature and even the most trained and docile dogs can and do go on the attack. Sometimes dogs are bred by their owners to be vicious. In either case, their teeth and claws are considered dangerous weapons. This is why those owners need to be held accountable for the aggression displayed by their pets.
Whether you were victimized yourself or witnessed your child or other loved one endure a traumatizing attack, it’s important you consult with a dog bite lawyer in Los Angeles right away to increase your chances of securing fair compensation. Our experienced lawyers work with dog bite lawsuits every day and will do whatever we can to hold the dog owner responsible.
Every day in this country, about 1,000 people seek care in emergency rooms for serious dog bite injuries. Each year, 9,500 people are hospitalized for those injuries and 900 die, according to DogsBite.org. If you or a loved one have been impacted by a dog bite, we can help you. Let’s explore the key benefits of hiring a dog bite lawyer in Los Angeles to handle your case.
Expert Negotiation Skills
Most people fear negotiations due to the conflict, tenacity and diligence it takes to do it right. But a dog bite lawyer handles these types of cases for a living and has extensive experience dealing with insurance companies. While you may likely be confused over whether the settlement offered by your insurance company is fair, your attorney knows it isn’t and can fight for more. Just because you received an offer from the insurance company doesn’t mean you should accept it. An experienced attorney can review the offer and counter with the amount you truly deserve. Often times, this process can go back and forth several times until the right amount is agreed on. If you don’t have the time, patience, follow through or resources to push repeatedly for what you deserve, you’re best off hiring a dog bite lawyer in Los Angeles to do this for you. Another bonus: because of our track record of perseverance, insurance companies fear us. This puts us in a good negotiating position right out of the gate.
Vast Legal Knowledge
Likewise, the general public doesn’t have a firm grasp of the intricacies of California law. Those laws are extremely complex, and it’s our full-time job to know them inside and out. You likely have your own job you’re trying to keep up with, especially in light of your recent injuries. You’re also dealing with a lot on your plate as you try to recover from your attack or nurse your loved one back to health. An experienced attorney understands how to interpret the laws and use that knowledge to help you make a fair recovery.
With the prevalence of online legal sites these days, everyone thinks they know how to successfully negotiate their own case. However, the truth is, online resources can be helpful but they can’t replace personal, professional experience. Dog bite lawyers handle these types of cases every single day. Chances are, they’ve seen a similar case to yours this week alone. They can use those case studies and examples to educate you on the process, show you what to expect and get the full compensation you deserve.
Proving Related Complications
A dog bite itself may not seem serious at first, even if it hurts. But over time, a bite may result in more serious medical complications that can be simultaneously painful and expensive. In these cases, it is best to contact a lawyer who can work with you to prove that said complications are indeed the result of the initial bite. Proving this on your own can be near impossible, often simply devolving into a case of “he said, she said” in court. On the other hand, an attorney can build a convincing case with the help of medical professionals testifying on your behalf, leaving no doubt that the dog bite is to blame for resulting medical issues.
Another major aspect of dog bite cases is that of liability, which is more complicated and nuanced than it may seem at first glance. However, a knowledgeable attorney is capable of working with you to ensure that the liable party is charged appropriately. For example, a lawyer may discover during the collection of evidence that the dog’s owner actually had knowledge of the dog attacking others in the past and was negligent in not taking the necessary, subsequent precautions. This is just one instance in which an attorney can define a case in your favor.
Defending False Charges
It may be that the dog’s owner seeks to pin liability on you, claiming perhaps that you were on their property illegally, or that you provoked the dog in a way that caused it to attack in self-defense. Without the aid of an attorney, it may be unlikely that you can argue against these charges successfully in court. Conversely, an attorney that is familiar with charges commonly brought against victims of a dog bite can work effectively to have these charges dismissed and your claim reviewed fairly.
Knowledge of Dog Bite Laws
Every state in the country, including California, has dog bite laws covering various types of claims. California’s dog bite law, section 3342 of the Civil Code, states that the owner of any dog is liable for damages if:
- A dog bite caused the injuries
- The person bitten was in a public place or lawfully in a private place.
A lawyer can help you begin a claim against the pet owner for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and injuries that resulted in disfigurement, fractures, or cosmetic surgery. An experienced lawyer understands how to interpret dog bite laws and will be up-to-date on the relevant legislation.
Access to Valuable Resources
When you hire a dog bite lawyer, there’s a team of people who contribute to your case. There may be a lead attorney, a paralegal who does the research, and investigators who collect the evidence. To handle such complex matters, it usually takes a team of skilled and experienced individuals who’ve been doing this for years. This is why hiring a lawyer will ensure you don’t have to go through any stage of the process alone.
Types of Compensation You May Be Entitled To
Although the law in California is geared towards actual bites you may be eligible for compensation for other animal-related injuries as well. You will need to speak with an attorney to get a good idea of if you have a case or not. In California, GJEL seeks to recover the maximum amount possible to take care of our clients.
This doesn’t just include medical bills. In a typical personal injury case we will look at a variety of factors and you may be able to get compensated for:
- Medical bills resulting from the injury (past and future)
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of earnings from missing work due to the injury
- Reduction of lifetime earnings due to the inability to do your job properly
- Changes to your lifestyle from the injury
- Lifetime care and medical expenses if necessary