The objective of a personal injury suit is for the plaintiff to prove fault for the damages they suffered and to recover compensation for those damages from the defendant who injured them. After proving fault and asserting strict liability for the dog attack, the plaintiff’s next focus should be proving the exact scope of the damages they suffered and proving they resulted from the attack alone, and not some other cause.
The average personal injury claim can involve three forms of damages: economic, non-economic, and punitive. Economic damages are the most straightforward and include any direct financial losses the plaintiff suffered because of the defendant’s actions. Your San Bernardino dog bite attorney can potentially help you recover economic damages such as:
- Medical treatment costs. When you have suffered physical harm because of another party’s actions, they are liable for the cost of all medical care you will need to recover as fully as possible. Dog attacks can not only result in bite-related injuries like puncture wounds, lacerations, and nerve damage, but also serious traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, and damage to internal organs. Your San Bernardino dog bite attorney can help to ensure all the physical harm you experienced is properly acknowledged in your claim.
- Property damage. If the dog also damaged or destroyed any of your personal property, you can include these losses in your personal injury claim as economic damages.
- Lost wages. If you have been left unable to work after your dog attack due to the severity of your injuries, the defendant who injured you is responsible for the money you were unable to earn during this time. A good attorney can also help you recover recompense for all paid time off you were forced to use because of the incident.
- Lost future income. When a plaintiff has suffered a catastrophic injury because of a defendant’s actions, they may be unable to return to work in the future, or their earning capacity may be severely diminished. If your dog attack has permanently impacted your ability to earn money in the future, your attorney can help you secure compensation for the future income you are no longer able to earn. They can calculate this amount based on your age, current earning level, and the length of time you would have reasonably expected to continue working if you hadn’t been injured.
The average plaintiff should be able to assess immediately noticeable economic damages like hospital bills on their own, but accurately calculating long-term economic losses is more challenging. After your San Bernardino dog bite attorney has helped you assess the extent of the economic damages you can seek from the defendant in your case, the next step is determining suitable pain and suffering recompense to include in your personal injury claim.
Attorneys in California personal injury cases generally use two methods to calculate pain and suffering recompense for their clients:
- If the plaintiff has suffered catastrophic injuries resulting in permanent disability, their attorney is likely to seek a large lump sum of pain and suffering recompense calculated using the multiplier method. The attorney adds the total of the plaintiff’s economic damages and then multiplies this amount by a factor that reflects the overall severity of their condition.
- If the plaintiff is expected to make a complete recovery in the short term, their attorney is more likely to use a per diem calculation. They determine a suitable amount of daily pain and suffering recompense and then multiply this amount by the number of days it takes the plaintiff to fully recover. For example, $300 per day for a 100-day recovery period would amount to $30,000 in pain and suffering recompense.
For most personal injury clients in San Bernardino, pain and suffering recompense comprises the bulk of their case awards. Additionally, punitive damages may come into play if the facts of the case show that the dog owner was negligent in their handling of their dog. For example, if the dog had previously attacked someone and the owner failed to follow restrictions placed on them following the first attack, they could face punitive damages as well as criminal prosecution, depending on the details of the situation.
The attorneys at Easton & Easton have extensive experience handling the most complex civil claims for damages on behalf of clients throughout the San Bernardino area. We know you are likely to have many pressing concerns in the aftermath of your dog attack, and you need reliable legal guidance in this difficult situation to help you recover as fully as possible. When you choose our firm to represent your dog bite claim in San Bernardino, you will have a responsive legal advocate readily available to address your concerns and answer your questions throughout your civil court proceedings. The sooner you connect with legal counsel that you trust, the more likely you are to succeed with your case.
Q: Why Do I Need to Hire a San Bernardino Dog Bite Lawyer?
A: While hiring legal counsel for your dog bite case isn’t strictly required by law, having legal representation that you trust on your side will make handling your case much easier and you will be more likely to maximize your total recovery with their help. The right San Bernardino dog bite attorney can make every aspect of your claim easier to manage, and you will be more likely to uncover every available channel of compensation. You will also be more likely to streamline your proceedings, securing compensation much faster than you could handle on your own.
Q: Can a Plaintiff Share the Fault for a Dog Bite?
A: The state upholds the pure comparative fault rule in cases in which multiple parties share fault for causing the damages. If a plaintiff bears any fault for causing their claimed damages, they lose a percentage of the total compensation won from the defendant. Dog bite cases unfold under a strict liability rule, meaning a dog owner is fully liable for any and all damages their pet inflicts on another party. The prerequisites for strict liability include legal presence at the location of the incident and lack of provocation. If you are concerned about bearing partial fault in a dog bite claim, your attorney can explain how any such variables may influence the outcome of your case.
Q: How Much Recompense Can I Claim for a Dog Attack in San Bernardino?
A: If you can establish strict liability for the dog attack you recently experienced, a good attorney can help you hold the dog owner accountable for the full scope of economic losses you suffered from the attack as well as compensation for your long-term economic damages like ongoing medical treatment costs and lost future earning capacity. Additionally, you can claim as much pain and suffering recompense as you believe to be appropriate to reflect the severity of your experience.
Q: How Long Will It Take to Finalize My Dog Bite Injuries Case?
A: The majority of personal injury claims filed do not end in the courtroom and are usually resolved during settlement negotiations. During the settlement negotiation process, the parties involved in the case will meet privately to discuss mutually acceptable terms for resolving the case. As long as they can reach a compromise, settlement may only take a few weeks. By comparison, litigation could take more than a year to complete, and the final outcome will depend on a judge’s discretion.
Q: What Does It Cost to Hire a San Bernardino Dog Bite Attorney?
A: It’s natural to worry about how much it might cost to hire an attorney to help you with your dog bite claim, but expensive legal fees are not a concern if you choose Easton & Easton to represent your case. We take personal injury claims on a contingency fee basis, meaning our client only pays a fee after we win their case, and their fee is a percentage of the total recovered. There is no fee at all if we are unable to secure compensation for you, so there is no financial risk to choosing our team to represent you.
The attorneys at Easton & Easton have decades of professional experience in California personal injury law and our firm has successfully represented many past clients in complex dog attack claims. We know the various legal obstacles you may need to overcome in your efforts to recover from the dog attack you experienced, and our team is standing by to provide the guidance and support you need in this difficult situation. Contact Easton & Easton today to set up your consultation with an experienced San Bernardino dog bite attorney to start working toward recovery with confidence.