Dog bites, on a yearly basis, account for over one third of all home owners’ insurance policies and expenses. Many victims usually end up filing for lawsuit seeking for compensation from damages. The usual practice is the proof of liability in any case of dog attack. This starts by identifying the dog in question, the owner or other responsible parties. Most countries and cities have come up with a rule that requires the dog to have tags with its owner’s contact information. There is always a case that comes up when dog owners violates confinement law or knowingly keep a dangerous animal.
Most dog cases can be settled outside courts, but with involvement of insurance companies. Even if you do not go to court, finding a Dog Bites Attorney Los Angeles, Woodland Hills, Encino, Tarzana, Chatsworth and the Entire San Fernando Valley with a track record in dog attack cases is very important because some cases can sometimes be very complicated for just any individual to handle. I have particularly helped a lot of victims of dog bite to get compensation without any charges.
Some states work on the principle that strict liability is to the owner alone. Meaning, the owner is liable for any of the dog attack regardless of whether the owner knew the dog was dangerous or not. In states without this standard, it is thus proven that the owner knew the dog was dangerous. Another related factor is negligence. A person who climbs over a fence, and ends up being bitten by a dog obviously, is at fault as he/she contributed to the attack. Also, provoking an animal can be a contributory factor. Other cases entail non-aggressive dog accident. At times, non-aggressive dogs cause accidents unintentionally like knocking people over, tripping or stepping on them. These categories of dogs are by nature cool tempered and unaggressive enough for anyone to raise any eye brow.
Common Dog Accidents
Other than bites and mauling being the most common injuries caused by dogs, there are additional injuries every year, which include, knock downs, tripping, falling over dogs and even head butting. For big dogs weighing even more than a hundred pounds, such can easily jump on anyone and knock him or her down in an excited state, while small dogs can only overwhelm people by causing cuts, scratches and abrasions. The mere force of big dogs is enough to push anyone over and get him/her sprawling on the ground. Even the smaller ones are capable of winding between people’s legs to cause tripping and falling on hard surfaces. The most susceptible group of people that fall victim of these non aggressive dog accidents are little children as well as the aged.
Culpability of Negligence
When it comes to personal injury claim, a culpable dog owner is one whose failure to control his or her dog leading to injury of others is to be blamed. Failing to control a dog is an act of negligence, apart from the gravity of the injury caused by the dog. The failure of the dog owner to control his/her dog makes him liable. Examples reflecting the negligence of dog owners include:
- Failure to leash a dog
- Failure to control a dog while it’s leashed
- Failure to keep a dog fenced in
Damages that dog owners are liable to bear include: The victims medical bill, medical expenses, crutches, bandages, lost wages, victims pains, suffering and liability.
One Bite Laws
This law is often referred to as the common law rule and it states that if a dog has never exhibited any sign of violent behavior and never bitten anyone previously, then the owner will not necessarily be liable for the victim’s injuries. This means that the first time a dog injures someone whether accidentally or intentionally, the owner might escape liability. But then, there is a caveat. If the victim can prove that the injury was caused by the owner’s negligence, the one-bite principle is set aside, and the victim is eligible to seek and recover compensation for his/her damages.
As a misnomer law, it encourages a free bite for the dog, a bite for which the owner is free and not held liable. But, if a dog owner understands his/her dog to be aggressive in behavior by snapping and growling at people, even for the first bite, he/she will be chargeable and liable for all damages incurred.
Strict Liability Laws
This law does not follow the one-bite rule or principle. A dog owner can be held liable for victim’s damages even if the dog has no history of previously hurting anyone nor showing tendency towards violence. The dog owner is still liable, under this law, even if he/she properly leashes or controls the dog. Whatever the case, getting a Dog Bites Attorney Los Angeles, Woodland Hills, Encino, Tarzana, Chatsworth and the Entire San Fernando Valley
who can help you get compensation for your victims will reduce your burden.
Under these exemptions, a dog owner may escape liability for injury his/her dog causes its victims. A dog owner can be exempted if:
Gathering Evidence to Support Your Claim
- The victim is found to trespass
- The victim intentionally provoked the dog
- The dog is a police, airport security or military dog
- The victim is a professional who deals with dogs like a veterinarian
Dealing with Insurance Company
- Photographs and videos. They can provide graphic evidence of negligence. Insurance is forced to compensate the victim when presented with a clear convincing photographic proof. Unless lucky, it is impossible to record an accident yourself, but in some cases you can photograph or video the accidents afterwards. Showing video of a dog let loose and a hole in the dog owner’s fence are evidences that can prove the owner’s negligence.
- Witness statements are valuable, especially if they are from Good Samaritan with no personal or financial interest in your claim. No need for sworn statements. Rather, get witnesses to write down on a paper the exact detail of what they saw. The more witnesses you have verifying the dog owner’s negligence, the stronger your claim
- Medical records’ bills. The insurance company needs the medical bills receipt for out of pocket expenses and verification of lost wages. Make sure you attach the doctor’s notes of your injury diagnosis and prognosis. The prognosis helps the insurance to determine how many future work days you will miss.
If your claim is well presented, you will be compensated otherwise, you should know that insurance companies do not like giving away money. But, you can get all the needed assistance from a Dog Bites Attorney Los Angeles, Woodland Hills, Encino, Tarzana, Chatsworth and the Entire San Fernando Valley
who has practically helped past victims. For your insurance company, just stick to the facts, and do not mention anything implying that you contributed to your own injury. The insurance may decide on taking your recorded statements and proceed to speaking with your witnesses.
For all your dog bites related matters, the Leventhal Law Group, P.C offers free and no obligation consultation with a qualified attorney. Call 818-347-5800 for a free consultation today!