A Recent Orange County Client
You may recall reading in the Orange County Register in December of 2008 about a woman who was attacked in Laguna Hills by 3 Bullmastiffs that had escaped from their owner’s backyard. It was reported that the 3 dogs viciously mauled the woman, shaking her like a ragdoll. Several neighbors came to the aid of the woman and used shovels to beat the vicious dogs off of her so she could be rescued. The woman was taken to the hospital where she underwent 8 hours of surgery to treat her severe injuries. The 4 neighbors that came to her aid were later honored as heroes by the City Council of Laguna Hills.
One of the neighbors who came to her aid was also bitten by the dogs and retained Easton & Easton, LLP to represent him. In early 2009, we were able to obtain a very favorable settlement for this client.
Attacks By Other Kinds Of Domestic Animals
While the one free bite rule has been abandoned in California with respect to dogs, it remains in effect for other types of domestic animals. For example, where an owner’s domestic cat, bird, rodent, or other animal attacks or bites a victim, the owner of the animal can be held liable for the victim’s injuries as long as the victim in Orange County can prove that the owner had knowledge or should have had knowledge of the animal’s vicious propensities. Therefore, where the plaintiff can prove the animal has attacked or bitten someone before, the owner will usually be held liable.
Another Recent Client
Attorneys at Easton & Easton, LLP, recently helped a woman who was petting a cat inside a home and was subsequently bitten on the finger by the cat. The bite became infected and our client eventually had to be hospitalized for the infection.
We were able to prove that the owner had knowledge of the cat’s vicious propensities by proving that the cat had previously bitten the owner and the owner’s boyfriend and that these facts weren’t disclosed to our client before she petted the cat. After establishing this, we were able to settle our client’s claim against the cat owner’s homeowners insurance carrier for $100,000, the full amount of their homeowners liability insurance.
How an Orange County Dog Bite Lawyer Can Help
The team at Easton & Easton can provide comprehensive legal support for every facet of your impending dog bite claim. We can help you gather the evidence needed to assert strict liability, and then we can help uncover all the various forms of compensation you may be able to include in your case. You may be able to resolve your case outside of court if the defendant agrees to a private settlement; otherwise, you will need to take the case to court.
The attorneys at Easton & Easton generally aim to help our clients settle their cases quickly for as much compensation as possible. However, should litigation be necessary, you can count on our team to assist you with every stage of your proceedings. You have a relatively short time in which to file your case, and the sooner you contact an attorney, the more time they will have to build a compelling civil suit for you.
Q: What Are the Defenses to Strict Liability for a Dog Attack?
A: In order for strict liability to apply in a dog bite case, the injured plaintiff must be ready to prove that they did not provoke the attack and that they were legally present at the location where the attack occurred. If the dog owner can prove the alleged victim provoked their dog in some way or that they were attacked while intruding or trespassing on private property, strict liability would not apply.
Q: What Damages Can I Claim in a Dog Bite Injury Case in Orange County?
A: If strict liability applies to your claim, the owner of the dog is fully liable for all economic losses resulting from the incident. These may include your medical bills, lost income, and property damage. You also have the right to claim compensation for projected future losses like lost earning power, and you can claim as much pain and suffering compensation as you believe to be appropriate to reflect the severity of the harm you endured.
Q: What Happens to a Dog After It Bites Someone in Orange County?
A: After a dog has bitten someone, it may need to be quarantined and medically examined to ensure it does not carry disease and does not pose an unreasonable health or safety risk to the public. If a dog has a known history of aggression and has seriously injured more than one person, a judge could order the owner to follow specific rules to minimize the chance of future attacks, or they may order the dog to be euthanized.
Q: How Long Do I Have to File a Dog Bite Claim in Orange County?
A: The state enforces a two-year statute of limitations for most personal injury claims, so you have two years from the date your accident happened in which to file a claim against the party responsible for injuring you. This may sound like plenty of time, but it may take much longer than you expect to file your complaint with the court. It is advisable to contact an animal attack attorney in CA and start building your case as soon as possible.
Q: What Does It Cost to Hire an Orange County Dog Bite Lawyer?
A: The team at Easton & Easton can provide the legal representation you need without adding to your financial concerns. We do not charge upfront or ongoing attorney fees for our representation. We take a contingency fee as a percentage of our client’s final case award at the end of their case, but only if we win. If we are unable to obtain compensation for your damages, you pay nothing in legal fees.
Learn More About How We Can Help You
Over the years, we have represented many dog bite claimants, as well as victims of other types of animal attacks, some of whom have received settlements in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Our years of experience allow us to skillfully negotiate our clients’ personal injury claims with the defendant’s insurance carriers, as well as seamlessly assess and coordinate medical care to make certain the full extent of our clients’ injuries are identified, treated, and proved to the insurance carriers.
We understand the tricks, stratagems, and defenses the insurance companies and their attorneys use to defeat or minimize a claim, and at Easton & Easton, LLP, we utilize our experience, skill, and dedication to make certain our clients do not fall victim to the insurance companies’ tricks and stratagems.
Please call our dedicated Orange County dog bite injury lawyers at 800-461-8259 for a free initial consultation. If we do not take your case, there is no charge.