Riverside Dog Bite Injuries Lawyer
Dogs are incredibly popular as pets in Riverside, CA, and throughout the United States. “Man’s best friend” has a reputation for loyalty, obedience, and good company across many different breeds. However, dogs are also capable of inflicting severe wounds on people, sometimes without provocation. When a domesticated animal attacks a person, the resulting injuries can be life-changing, including disfiguring bites and secondary injuries from hitting the ground. If you or a loved one was recently bitten or otherwise injured by someone’s dog in the Riverside area, it’s vital to know your available options for legal recourse.
A Riverside dog bite attorney is the best asset you can have in this situation. Your legal team can help you determine the full range of the damages you could recover from a successful civil claim against the dog’s owner and guide you through the complex legal proceedings your case is likely to entail. The Riverside dog bite lawyers at Chris and Frank can provide the comprehensive and compassionate legal counsel you need after experiencing this situation.
Should I Hire an Attorney for a Dog Bite?
It’s common for victims of personal injuries to believe that they can manage their legal affairs unassisted, saving money on legal fees by acting as their own legal representatives. While it is technically possible to navigate your dog bite claim on your own, hiring an experienced Riverside dog bite attorney offers a much better chance of succeeding with your claim and maximizing your recovery.
Finding your way through the California civil court system can be much more difficult than you expect, especially when you do not have formal legal training or experience. As a result, you could make errors that jeopardize your case at a foundational level, losing your chance to recover your losses on a technicality. It’s also possible to unintentionally settle for much less than you deserve; you may be able to assess immediate damages like your hospital bills and lost income, but an experienced dog bite lawyer can uncover every available channel of compensation in your claim to ensure you receive as much compensation as California law allows.
Ultimately, hiring a Riverside dog bite attorney not only increases the chances of success with your claim but also increases the likelihood of maximizing your recovery. You can rest and recover from your injuries with peace of mind knowing your case is in trustworthy hands, and your legal team will keep you informed about your case proceedings as your dog bite claim unfolds.
How Much Is a Dog Bite Lawyer?
If you are concerned about the cost of attorneys’ fees for your dog bite claim, there are a few things you should keep in mind when it comes to legal costs. First, the amount you pay in legal fees will likely be far less than you stand to lose if you do not hire legal representation and either lose your case or wind up with a low-ball settlement that’s far less than you deserve. Second, the team at Chris and Frank offers contingency fee billing, meaning we do not collect legal fees until you secure your settlement, so there is no upfront cost to you when it comes to pursuing a settlement or trial award for your dog bite claim.
When you consult a dog bite attorney to determine whether they are a good fit for handling your claim, make sure you fully understand their billing policy before agreeing to their representation. The attorneys at Chris and Frank will help you understand every facet of your case and provide a detailed breakdown of the timeline your case will likely follow until you obtain a recovery for your losses. Our goal is to provide transparent, responsive, and detail-oriented legal counsel through every phase of every case we accept.
Possible Injuries From a Dog Bite Attack
Dogs are mostly friendly and loyal pets, but any dog is capable of inflicting severe injuries. Additionally, depending on how a dog attack happens, bites may be just one of the injuries a victim sustains. If you or a loved one suffered a dog attack, possible injuries might include:
- Bites. Dogs have surprisingly powerful jaws. While some breeds are more dangerous than others when it comes to biting, any dog bite is capable of causing severe puncture wounds, breaking the skin, and causing permanent damage. For example, a dog bite on the hand could crush nerve endings and damage the tendons and ligaments that provide a range of motion to the hand. This type of dog attack may result in permanent loss of function, extensive pain and suffering, and an uncertain range of future complications for the victim.
- Scratches. Dogs’ claws may not be sharp in most cases, but they can still severely lacerate and tear the skin. Some dog scratches will require surgery to treat, and they are typically quite painful.
- Secondary injuries. Larger dogs can easily knock people to the ground during attacks. If a dog unexpectedly attacks someone and pushes them to the ground, the victim could hit their head, suffering a traumatic brain injury. They may also suffer injuries to the spinal cord, internal organs, and the face and teeth. Bites are just one of the ways dogs can cause severe injuries to people.
- Trauma. Experiencing a dog attack can be terrifying. Many people who suffer injuries from unprovoked dog attacks may develop psychological issues from these incidents. They may develop a fear of dogs, experience repeated nightmares about the incident, or may even develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from severe dog attacks.
The right Riverside dog bite attorney can help their client assess the full scope of their injuries by reviewing the victim’s medical report and consulting other medical experts. It’s common for dog bite injury claims to involve substantial damages, including coverage for the victim’s medical expenses as well as their lost income during recovery and non-economic damages for pain and suffering.
How Much Can You Sue for Injuries from Dog Bites?
When you choose the Riverside dog bite attorneys at Chris and Frank to represent your injury claim, you can rely on us to help you determine the total value of your claimable damages. A dog bite injury claim falls under the purview of California personal injury law, meaning the plaintiff has the right to claim compensation for all damages resulting from the incident in question. Therefore, when it comes to dog bite claims, plaintiffs can potentially recover:
- Medical expenses, both immediate and future. An injured plaintiff has the right to claim full compensation for all medical expenses resulting from a defendant’s negligence. This includes immediate medical expenses such as hospital bills and ambulance fees, as well as long-term medical costs. For example, suppose your dog bite injury resulted in severe damage that will require physical therapy and other rehabilitative treatments. In that case, you have the right to claim compensation for your anticipated future medical costs as well as your immediate medical expenses.
- Lost wages, both immediate and future. When a dog attack forces you to remain home and recover, you have the right to claim compensation for income lost during your recovery. However, some dog attacks cause permanent disabilities, and a victim may be unable to resume their job after experiencing such an attack. If this applies to your situation, your Riverside dog bite lawyer can help you calculate the lost future earning potential you incurred from the incident and add to your lawsuit.
- Property damage. If a dog attack results in damage to the plaintiff’s personal property, they have the right to claim compensation for repair and replacement costs.
- Pain and suffering compensation. California law acknowledges that the experience of a personal injury can be painful and traumatizing. Therefore, plaintiffs have the right to claim compensation for their noneconomic damages, such as physical pain, emotional distress, and mental suffering from a personal injury. Your attorney can help you determine an appropriate amount of pain and suffering compensation to add to your personal injury claim.
If you are unsure how much your dog bite claim is potentially worth, it is essential to speak with an experienced dog bite attorney as soon as possible. Your legal team will help you explore the full scope of your claimable damages to ensure maximum recovery from your losses. Depending on how your dog bite occurred and the range of damages you intend to claim, your attorney may consult various expert witnesses to support your position in court. For example, if you are claiming extensive pain and suffering damages due to long-term medical complications your injuries entail, your attorney may consult medical experts who can accurately explain your situation to the court. They may also consult animal behavior experts to prove that a dog attacked unprovoked or that the owner should have known the animal was dangerous.
California Statutes You Should Know Concerning Dog Bite Case
Every state handles specific personal injuries differently, and California upholds a few statutes that anyone facing a dog bite claim should know. First, California enforces a strict liability statute for dog bite injuries. This law states that a dog’s owner is strictly liable for all damages their pet causes to another person, regardless of whether the dog’s owner knew the animal was potentially dangerous. Many states enforce “one bite” laws that provide dog owners one opportunity to avoid liability for damages their dogs inflict on others, but there is no such law in California. If any dog injures a person, the dog’s owner is strictly liable for the victim’s damages.
California’s strict liability law only applies in specific situations. A dog bite victim can only rely on the state’s strict liability if the dog attack occurred at a location where the victim was lawfully present. For example, if the victim was visiting a friend and the friend’s dog attacked them inside the friend’s home, the victim has the right to file a lawsuit since they were lawfully visiting the premises. This law also applies in public, such as walking down the sidewalk or visiting a local park. California’s strict liability law for dog attacks does not apply to trespassers and home invaders. If a person unlawfully enters another person’s private property and the property owner’s dog injures the trespasser, there is no legal recourse for the trespasser. The same applies to home invasions.
It’s also vital to understand California’s pure comparative negligence statute. This law applies to any situation in which a victim bears partial fault for causing their claimed damages. For example, if the victim of a dog attack provoked the dog to attack in any way, or if they attacked the dog’s owner and the dog attempted to defend their owner, this comparative negligence statute would likely come into play. Under California’s pure comparative negligence statute, a plaintiff who is partially at fault for causing their damages will lose a percentage of their case award to reflect their partial fault. For example, if the court determines a plaintiff is 25% at fault in a $100,000 dog bite claim, the plaintiff loses 25% or $25,000 of their case award to reflect their comparative negligence.
Find Your Dog Bite Legal Team In Riverside, CA Today
Swift legal action is essential after experiencing any personal injury in Riverside. California state law allows a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims, and this time limit begins on the date a personal injury occurred. This may seem like plenty of time to handle a personal injury case, but the window can close rapidly in some situations. For example, it may be difficult to immediately calculate the full scope of the plaintiff’s damages, or the victim may have trouble gathering the evidence they need to establish the dog owner’s liability. Therefore, it’s best to consult an experienced Riverside dog bite lawyer as soon as possible after experiencing this type of personal injury.
The sooner you take legal action, the better your chances of securing the evidence you need to establish the defendant’s liability and ensuring the freshness of eyewitness testimony. The team at Chris and Frank is ready to assist you with your dog bite injury claim. We have years of experience representing clients in some of the most challenging personal injury claims, including those about dog bite injuries. If you are ready to take legal action against a negligent dog owner and secure maximum compensation for your losses, contact Chris and Frank today to schedule a complimentary case evaluation with our team.
Riverside Practice Areas
- Riverside Personal Injury Lawyer
- Riverside Car Accident Lawyer
- Riverside Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
- Riverside Truck Accident Lawyer
- Riverside Bicycle Accident Lawyer
- Riverside Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
- Riverside Uber Accident Lawyer
- Riverside Lyft Accident Lawyer
- Riverside Slip and Fall Lawyer
- Riverside Wrongful Death Lawyer
- Riverside Dog Bite Lawyer
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