A dog attack has the potential to cause tremendous harm to the victim. When most people think of dog attacks, they immediately think of bites, and a dog bite can potentially cause devastating injury to the victim. A dog bite might cause puncture wounds, break bones, and even cause nerve damage. If the dog thrashes after it bites, it could cause a joint dislocation and tear the skin causing severe bleeding.
Dogs are also capable of knocking a victim to the ground in an attack, potentially resulting in a traumatic brain injury, spinal injury, or damage to their internal organs. Ultimately, a dog attack has the potential to result in multiple physical injuries. The experience itself is also highly traumatic, and many dog attack victims experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health complications in the aftermath of these incidents.
Success with a personal injury claim for a dog attack in Riverside will require establishing strict liability. Your Riverside dog bite attorney can help prove that you did not instigate the attack in any way and that you were legally present at the location where the attack occurred. Once you have established strict liability, you can proceed with claiming compensation for the damages you suffered.
Most personal injury cases are resolved in private settlements. This process allows all parties involved in the case to avoid the stress, expense, and time investment required of litigation. It also allows them to have more control over the outcome and reach more personalized results than they could expect if a judge ruled on the case. As long as you have a good attorney representing you and the defendant accepts liability, it is possible to settle a dog bite claim in a matter of a few weeks. However, if the defendant disputes liability or disagrees with the amount of damages you are claiming, it may not be possible to resolve the case privately. If a settlement is not an option, the case will proceed to litigation, and a judge will have the final say on the outcome.
The goal of your personal injury case is to prove fault for your damages and secure the compensation you need to recover from your losses as fully as possible. California’s personal injury laws allow the plaintiff in a dog bite claim to seek compensation for any direct financial losses they incurred because of the defendant’s actions. In a dog bite claim, your claimable economic damages are likely to include:
- Medical treatment costs. The defendant is liable for the costs of all medical treatments you need to recover as fully as possible from your injuries. Your Riverside dog bite attorney can review your medical treatment records and billing history to ensure the defendant is held fully accountable for both immediate and long-term medical expenses resulting from the incident.
- Lost income. Many people who are severely injured in dog attacks need time to recover before they are able to return to work. If you cannot work and earn income due to your recent dog attack in Riverside, the defendant is responsible for your lost wages. Similarly, if the attack has left you permanently disabled and you cannot work in the future, the defendant is also responsible for your lost future earning capacity.
- Property damage. If the dog also damages or destroys any of your personal property, the dog owner is liable for all associated property losses.
The average person is usually capable of assessing immediately recognizable damages, but they may struggle to accurately calculate long-term losses like future medical treatment costs and lost earning potential. Beyond economic damages, the plaintiff also has the right to claim pain and suffering compensation to reflect the severity of their experience.
California law does not limit or cap pain and suffering compensation in dog bite claims. This means that once you prove the full extent of the injuries you suffered, you have the right to seek as much compensation as you believe to be appropriate to reflect the physical pain and psychological trauma you experienced from the dog attack.
Attorneys typically use two methods to calculate pain and suffering compensation for their clients. The first is the per diem method, most often used when a client is expected to fully recover from their injuries. Their attorney can set a daily compensation rate they believe appropriate to reflect the victim’s condition and then multiply this amount by the number of days it takes the client to fully recover. The second method is the multiplier method, most often used when a client faces long-term or permanent effects from the attack. The attorney adds up the total of their client’s economic damages and then multiplies the total by a factor of one to five.
Ultimately, you could be legally entitled to claim more compensation than you may initially expect, and having the right attorney handle your case is the optimal method of enhancing your case award as fully as state law allows. When you choose Easton & Easton to represent your dog bite case in Riverside, we can immediately begin gathering whatever evidence you will need to assert strict liability and prove the full extent of your damages. We typically aim to settle our clients’ cases as quickly as possible, but if we must litigate to win your compensation, we are fully prepared to represent you in court.
Q: Can I Sue for a Dog Bite in Riverside?
A: Yes. If you were harmed by someone else’s dog in Riverside, state law enforces strict liability for these incidents. That means that the dog’s owner is fully responsible for your damages, regardless of whether the dog had any previous history of aggression. You simply need to prove that you were legally present wherever the attack occurred and that you did not provoke the dog to attack in any way.
Q: How Much Compensation Can I Claim for a Dog Bite in Riverside?
A: The owner of the dog that attacked you will be liable for all medical expenses you incur for the treatment of your injuries. Additionally, if you cannot work after the incident while you recover, they are also liable for the income you cannot earn during this time. Your Riverside dog bite attorney can help you recover the maximum compensation possible for your compensatory damages. State law also allows you to seek compensation for the pain and suffering you endured, and there is no limit to this aspect of your case award in a dog bite case. Your Riverside dog bite attorney can provide an estimate of your claim’s total potential value if you win.
Q: How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim for a Dog Attack in Riverside?
A: There is a two-year statute of limitations that applies to personal injury cases in Riverside. This means that you need to file your claim within two years of the date the dog attack occurred; otherwise, you will no longer be able to seek compensation for your losses from the dog owner. Two years might sound like more than enough time in which to file a case, but the reality is that it takes time to gather the foundational materials of your claim, and you have the greatest chance of success if you start the claim filing process as soon as possible.
Q: What Happens to the Dog After It Has Bitten Someone?
A: In most cases, nothing will happen to the dog after it has bitten someone. The owner may need to surrender it briefly for a medical examination to ensure it does not have communicable diseases. However, if the dog has a history of multiple attacks and a judge determines the dog to be unreasonably dangerous, the owner could be compelled to meet very specific requirements for handling the dog to ensure it does not bite anyone again. In extreme cases, a dog may be ordered to be euthanized.
Q: How Much Will It Cost to Hire a Riverside Dog Bite Attorney?
A: It is natural to worry about the potential cost of hiring an attorney if you are already struggling with the financial effects of your recent dog attack. However, if you choose Easton & Easton to represent your case, there is no risk of your attorneys’ fees outweighing the final case award you obtain. Our firm accepts personal injury clients on a contingency fee basis, meaning we only take a percentage of your final case award as our fee, and we only take this fee if and when we win your case. If our team is unable to secure compensation for you, there is no fee.
The attorneys at Easton & Easton have extensive professional experience assisting dog bite victims with their recovery efforts, and we know the legal challenges you are likely to face when you are seeking compensation for your damages. Our firm’s goal is to help you approach your case with confidence and secure maximum recovery from the losses you suffered in the shortest possible amount of time. If you are ready to learn what our team can do for you in your impending dog bite claim, contact us today to schedule a consultation with a Riverside dog bite attorney.