Santa Ana Dog Bite Attorney
Dogs are incredibly popular pets throughout the United States, and many people are fortunate enough to have only positive experiences with “man’s best friend.” However, others are not so fortunate and find themselves the victims of severely damaging dog attacks. Dogs can inflict tremendous physical damage to a person by biting and knocking a victim to the ground. Large dogs and many breeds with powerful bites are capable of inflicting fatal injuries as well.
Legal Representation for Santa Ana, CA, Dog Attack Claims
Chris and Frank Accident Attorneys has a team of experienced Santa Ana personal injury attorneys with years of experience representing clients in many types of civil claims, including those pertaining to dog attacks. We understand the stress and uncertainty that can follow any dog attack, and many victims may have no idea what to do in this situation. Our team can provide the comprehensive and compassionate legal counsel you need after experiencing a dog attack in Santa Ana, CA.
Why Do I Need a Santa Ana Dog Bite Lawyer?
If another person’s dog injured you or a loved one, you might assume that the fault for the incident is clear, and you should have minimal trouble holding the responsible party accountable for your damages. However, handling any personal injury claim without legal representation is very risky. Liability for your injury may not be as legally clear as you think, and you could overlook potential channels of compensation that ultimately limit your final recovery.
Working with an experienced Santa Ana dog bite attorney substantially improves your chances of success with your claim. You are not only more likely to win your personal injury case but also maximize the total recovery you receive. Instead of attempting to address your claim’s procedural requirements with the civil court on your own while managing the effects of the incident simultaneously, you can have a legal team handle your case proceedings while you focus on recovery.
The lawyers at Chris and Frank Accident Attorneys have extensive professional experience representing clients with complicated personal injury claims, including those pertaining to dog attack injuries. If you must file a civil claim to hold a dog owner accountable for your injuries, our team will guide you through the challenging legal proceedings ahead of you. In addition, we can assist you in addressing the unique details of your claim, increasing your chances of securing fair compensation for your damages. Our team understands the anxiety and distress that can follow any personal injury and want to help you recover as fully as possible.
California Laws for Dog Attacks
Every state enforces different statutes regarding dog owners’ liability for injuries their pets cause others. In California, these cases fall under the strict liability rule. This means that a dog’s owner is fully liable for any damages their pet inflicts on another person, regardless of whether the dog owner knew their pet could be dangerous to others.
There are conditions to the strict liability rule for dog owners, however. First, the victim must not have provoked the dog intentionally, either by threatening to harm or harming the dog or its owner. Second, the victim must be lawfully present wherever the attack occurs. This means the victim must have been on public property or private property with the property owner’s permission. The strict liability rule does not apply if the dog attacks an intruder or trespasser on the dog owner’s private property.
When filing your personal injury claim for a dog attack, you must do so within the two-year statute of limitations for California personal injury cases. This means you must file your complaint within two years of the date the attack occurred. Your Santa Ana dog bite lawyer will ensure your claim meets this deadline, and they will also help you determine the full scope of damages you can include in your claim.
Plaintiffs in personal injury claims in California should also bear the state’s pure comparative negligence law in mind when pursuing compensation for civil damages. This law states that a plaintiff will lose a percentage of their case award if they bear partial responsibility for causing their claimed damages. If the plaintiff is found to be in any way responsible for their claimed damages in a dog bite lawsuit, they will lose a percentage of their final case award that reflects their degree of fault for the incident.
Damages and Compensation for a Dog Attack
California’s personal injury laws state that the plaintiff in a personal injury case can seek full repayment of all economic damages suffered due to the defendant’s actions:
- Dogs can inflict severe injuries on people. Bites can result in puncture wounds, torn soft tissue, and crushing injuries. Dogs’ claws can cause deep scratches, and falling to the ground in a dog attack can result in broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, etc. The dog owner is liable for any medical expenses the victim incurs from their dog. The plaintiff has the right to seek compensation for immediate medical costs following the attack and their anticipated future medical treatment costs.
- A dog attack can leave the victim unable to work for an extended time, or they may develop a permanent disability from their injuries. Therefore, the defendant is liable for the plaintiff’s lost income during recovery. They are also responsible for losing future earning capacity when the plaintiff cannot return to work because of the severity of the dog attack.
- If the dog attack also damaged the plaintiff’s personal property, they can include these losses as economic damages in their civil suit.
A Santa Ana dog bite lawyer will help their client calculate the full scope of economic damages they can seek in their claim. Many plaintiffs are surprised to learn their cases are worth much more than they initially expected once they assess the total economic damages they can seek from the defendant. However, their recovery may not stop there as California allows personal injury plaintiffs to seek compensation for pain and suffering as well.
Pain and Suffering Compensation for a Dog Attack
The personal injury laws of California allow plaintiffs to seek reasonable compensation for physical pain, emotional distress, and psychological trauma resulting from a dog attack. Pain and suffering may sound like it would be challenging to assign a monetary value to, but your Santa Ana dog bite lawyer can use different methods to help you determine a fair amount to seek in your claim.
When the victim of a personal injury is expected to fully recover within a relatively short time, their attorney may seek a set amount of compensation for every day spent in recovery with a per diem pain and suffering settlement. Alternatively, if the plaintiff faces long-term or permanent medical complications and the dog attack has significantly diminished their ability to work and live independently, their attorney may seek a large lump sum. When attorneys use this multiplier method, they typically multiply clients’ claimed economic damages by one to five times to reflect the seriousness of their clients’ conditions.
If you suffered a dog attack from a dog that has a history of attacking other people unprovoked, the dog owner might also face criminal penalties for failing to prevent the attack in question. Typically, nothing will happen to the dog after it bites someone. Still, if a dog has a record of multiple bites and causing serious injuries to others, a judge may order it to be destroyed. The dog owner would potentially face liability for punitive damages in addition to the plaintiff’s claimed civil damages.
What to Expect in Your Santa Ana Dog Bite Claim
When you have grounds to file a civil suit against a dog owner whose pet harmed you, your Santa Ana dog bite lawyer will play a pivotal role in the complex legal proceedings ahead of you. Your case begins once you assess your damages and identify the dog owner responsible for them. Your attorney will then help you build your complaint and file it through the appropriate channels. Once the court receives your complaint, they will notify the defendant and offer them the opportunity to enter a response.
At this point, your case could go several ways. First, if the defendant acknowledges responsibility for the dog attack, they may seek to settle the matter quickly through private negotiations. The vast majority of all civil claims filed in the US end in a settlement as this provides both plaintiffs and defendants with speedy resolutions to their claims. Alternatively, if the defendant denies liability, asserts that the plaintiff is responsible for their own injuries, or disputes the range of damages sought by the plaintiff, the case will proceed to litigation.
While settlement may take a few weeks to a month or two to conclude, litigation for a dog bite case can take several months to complete, with long pauses between courtroom proceedings. Your Santa Ana dog bite attorney can advise you on the best ways to streamline your case as the law allows, helping you reach a favorable outcome more quickly.
The lawyers at Chris and Frank Accident Attorneys have helped many past clients succeed with their dog bite injury cases. We know how to gather the evidence and witness testimony most claimants will require to establish fault for their dog attacks. We also know how to accurately calculate a client’s immediate and future economic damages resulting from a dog attack and assist clients in securing fair pain and suffering compensation for their experiences. If necessary, our firm can consult expert witnesses to provide valuable insights that may support your claim. Ultimately, we can offer a wide range of legal services that can help you ensure accountability for your damages.
Q: Is It Worth Hiring a Santa Ana Dog Bite Attorney?
A: California’s dog bite statutes may seem very clear, and the fault for your recent dog attack might be perfectly apparent to you. However, the actual process of holding the dog owner legally accountable for your losses is more challenging than many people expect. Hiring the right lawyer to represent you can make a significant difference in the quality of the outcome of your case. In addition, if you are concerned about the cost of legal fees, you stand to lose much more if you try to handle your case alone.
Q: How Long Will My Dog Bite Claim Take to Conclude?
A: The time your case will require hinges on various factors, such as the availability of evidence and witness testimony, the severity of your damages, and the court’s speed of processing newly filed cases. Your Santa Ana dog bite attorney can estimate the time your case will likely require before reaching any resolution.
Q: How Much Is a Dog Bite Lawsuit Worth in California?
A: Your dog attack injury claim could yield far more compensation than you may expect at first. California law allows you to seek total compensation for economic damages, and you have the right to seek pain and suffering compensation. The best way to maximize your recovery from a dog bite is to hire an experienced Santa Ana dog bite attorney to represent your case.
Q: How Much Does a Santa Ana Dog Bite Lawyer Cost to Hire?
A: It’s natural to be concerned about the potential cost of your legal fees, but many personal injury attorneys make their services accessible and affordable with contingency fee billing. When you have a contingency fee agreement with your attorney, the attorney takes no upfront legal fees and does not charge you anything if they cannot secure compensation on your behalf. When they win your case, their contingency fee is a predetermined percentage of your final case award.
You probably have many legal questions after suffering injuries in a dog attack, and you may not know the best options for legal recourse available to you in this situation. Chris and Frank can provide the answers and guidance you need after a dog attack. To review your case details with an experienced Santa Ana dog bite attorney, contact us today and schedule a consultation to learn more about how we can help.
Santa Ana Practice Areas
- Santa Ana Personal Injury Lawyer
- Santa Ana Car Accident Lawyer
- Santa Ana Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
- Santa Ana Truck Accident Lawyer
- Santa Ana Wrongful Death Lawyer
- Santa Ana Dog Bite Lawyer
- Santa Ana Slip and Fall Lawyer
- Santa Ana Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
- Santa Ana Bicycle Accident Lawyer
- Santa Ana Rideshare Accident Lawyer
- Santa Ana Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer
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