California enforces a strict liability rule pertaining to dog attacks, meaning a dog’s owner is fully liable for any injuries and other damages their pet inflicts on another person. However, there are conditions to this rule. First, the victim must not have intentionally provoked the dog into attacking in any way, such as presenting a threat to the dog or its owner or harming either in any way. Second, the victim must have been lawfully present wherever the attack occurred. Finally, a dog owner is not liable for injuries their pet causes to an intruder or trespasser.
Dog owners facing civil suits will often attempt to assert comparative fault against the plaintiffs in their cases, claiming those plaintiffs somehow contributed to causing the attacks in question. Your attorney will help you determine the best way to establish the truth of the matter. This may require security camera footage that captured the attack, statements from eyewitnesses who saw the attack occur, and physical evidence.
A Huntington Beach dog bite lawyer is the best resource to consult concerning the potential value of your case. Dog attacks can cause painful and damaging injuries, sometimes posing long-term or permanent complications. In addition, a good attorney will know how to verify their client’s claimable economic damages, such as:
- Medical expenses. A dog attack can involve painful bites, injuries from claws, and secondary injuries from the victim hitting the ground, such as traumatic brain injuries. Therefore, the defendant is liable for both immediate and long-term damages resulting from the dog attack.
- Lost income. The victim of a dog attack may not be able to work for some time following the incident. The defendant is liable for income lost during this time. If the injury resulted in permanent harm and the victim cannot return to work, the defendant is responsible for their lost future earning capacity.
- Property damage. If a dog attack resulted in any damage to the plaintiff’s property, they could include these losses as economic damages in their case.
Your Huntington Beach dog bite lawyer can help you calculate the full amount of economic damages you can include in your claim, and they can use this figure as a baseline to determine pain and suffering compensation.
California state law allows the plaintiff of a personal injury case to seek compensation for physical pain and psychological distress resulting from their experience. Their attorney may multiply their claimed economic damages by up to five times or even more to reflect the plaintiff’s condition after the dog attack. If the plaintiff is expected to recover completely within a relatively short time, the attorney may instead seek a per diem arrangement that awards pain and suffering compensation each day until the plaintiff fully recovers.
Q: How Much Is a Dog Bite Lawsuit Worth in California?
A: The total potential value of your claim hinges on the total of your economic losses and the severity of your condition. Claims involving permanent damages tend to yield greater case awards than claims involving primarily recoverable injuries. A Huntington Beach dog bite lawyer can help you maximize recovery from your economic losses and secure fair compensation for your pain and suffering.
Q: How Long Will My Case Take to Resolve?
A: Most personal injury claims filed in California end in settlement. If the defendant in your complaint accepts liability and agrees to settlement negotiations, you could potentially settle your case within a few weeks of filing. However, litigation can take much longer to resolve if the case goes to court, often requiring several months of proceedings.
Q: Is It Worth Hiring a Lawyer for a Dog Bite Claim?
A: Hiring experienced legal counsel to help you with your claim significantly increases your chances of success. You are also more likely to maximize your recovery as the law allows. Even when you account for the cost of legal fees, hiring legal counsel will substantially improve the quality of your experience with your civil case.
Q: How Much Does a Huntington Beach Dog Bite Lawyer Cost to Hire?
A: Easton & Easton offers contingency fee billing, ensuring that our client pays nothing upfront for our services and only owes a legal fee once we win their case. The contingency fee is a percentage of the final case award, ensuring our client’s recovery. If we cannot secure compensation, the client pays nothing.
The attorneys at Easton & Easton understand that you probably have lots of questions after experiencing a dog attack in the Huntington Beach, CA, area. We can provide the answers and support you need in this challenging situation. Contact us today to schedule your consultation with a Huntington Beach dog bite attorney.