Generally, dogs are sweet and friendly. However, when dog owners do not take the proper precautions based on their dog’s demeanor, dog attacks become far more likely.
If you’re here because you’ve been injured in the dog attack, let us first say that we are deeply sorry for the pain you are going through, both mental and physical.
Michael Beliz is a Long Beach dog bite lawyer with significant experience handling dog attack cases throughout California.
To speak with Michael and receive a free case review please call (562) 452-3772. Or if you prefer email please complete the short form at the bottom of this page and Michael will be in touch with you shortly thereafter.
Understanding dog owner liability in California
Long Beach dog owners can be held under two theories of liability from their dog causing injuries.
The first theory is strict liability where a dog owner can be held responsible for the harm their dog causes, no matter how carefully the owner guards or restrains their dog . Basically, the law states that there is no free bite.
To prove a dog bite case under strict liability, the following four elements must be established :
The defendant owns the dog;
The dog bite happened in a public place or you were lawfully on private property;
Under the second theory, negligence, a dog owner may be held liable if he or she fails to use a reasonable standard of care to prevent harm or injuries.
A Long Beach dog bite lawyer like Micheal Beliz can assist you during the legal procedures of claiming personal injury damages against a dog owner. Remember to choose a lawyer who deals only in personal injury cases and that has a history of working on dog bites cases.
Take these crucial steps following your dog bite incident
Further, it is important to know what steps to take if you are involved in a Long Beach dog bite incident:
Promptly call and report the dog bite to the police and animal control. Describe the incident and the dog to the authorities.
2.Dog + Owner
Determine the biting dog and, if possible, the dog’s owner.
Take pictures of your injuries including any scratches, puncture wounds, cuts, and lacerations. If possible, photograph the location of the dog bite incident and the dog itself. A single photograph can be more powerful than an animal control or medical report. Like that old saying, “a picture can say a thousand words.”
Seek and speak to any witnesses to the incident. Obtain their name, address, and phone number.
Immediately seek medical providers for the dog bite. Dog bite injuries may require cleansing of the wound, stitches, shots for infections, physical therapy, and in the more serious cases, plastic surgery.
Keep quiet! There is no obligation to speak to the dog owner or to his or her representative. Kindly get their name and number and pass this information on to your attorney.
Promptly call an experienced and reputable Long Beach dog bite attorney.
What injuries can you be compensated for after a dog attack?
If you're involved in a dog bite incident, you may be entitled to the following compensation:
Medical bills for the injuries
Future medical bills including plastic surgery if necessary
Loss of earnings and loss of future earning capacity
Pain and suffering
Dog bite injury case study
Case type: Insurance Policy for Dog Attack Settlement amount: $100,000.00
The Beliz Law Firm settled a case for a client that was involved in a dog attack. The client was a 33-year old mother of two. She was retrieving her mail outside her home when a Shar Pei/German Shepherd mix dog got loose from his owner’s house.
The dog ran towards the client and attacked her from behind. The force of the attack put the client on the ground. The dog proceeded to bite and rip the legs of the client.
Eventually the dog owner’s son was made to get the dog off of the client. The client received approximately 14 wounds to her legs. The client went to urgent care where her legs were treated. Doctors placed 12 sutures into her left calf where there was a 6-centimeter open laceration. Due to the nature of her injuries, doctors were unable to provide any more services other than bandage the wounds to deal for her pains.
The client retained the Beliz Law Firm. Months after the attack, the client presented to a plastic surgeon to receive an evaluation. The doctor recommended excision and revision procedures however there were no guarantee that the procedures would totally eliminate the scarring.
In California there is a strict liability dog bite statute. There are two elements that need to be met for the dog bite statute: (1) a plaintiff needs to be in a public place or lawfully on private property and (2) the plaintiff needs to be harmed by the dog bite. In this case, the client was on her property when the dog attacked and the dog harmed the client’s legs causing an open laceration and puncture wounds.
Knowing that the dog owner was liable for the injuries, The Beliz Law Firm filed a lawsuit in San Bernardino Superior Court and served a policy limit demand onto the dog owner. Even though there was less than $2,500.00 in medical charges, the client’s claim was settled quickly for the dog owner’s policy limits of $100,000.00.
Get a free case review
Michael has worked on hundreds of cases throughout California including many serious injury cases involving dog bites. He has handled cases from the very early stages of a claim through the entire litigation process, including trial, and has settled claims for hundreds of thousands of dollars for his clients. Further, Michael has earned a reputation for being trustworthy, knowledgeable, and an advocate for his clients.
"A huge thanks goes out to this law firm. Michael’s expertise of law and his experience and knowledge of the judicial system was critical in helping me win my lawsuit. He was responsive and attentive to my questions and concerns throughout the 'court process'."