Dog Bite Attorney in Riverside, CA
While dogs can be wonderful pets, they can also pose dangers. Dog bites can cause severe, long-term injuries and should not be taken lightly. According to data from the American Veterinary Medical Association, over 4.5 million people in the United States experience dog bites annually.
The Beliz Law Firm team knows how distressing a severe dog bite can be. Our Riverside dog bite lawyer is ready to help you fight for the compensation you need to fully heal.
Case Spotlight$100,000 Settlement amount
Case type: DOG BITE
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 able 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. There was a 6-centimeter open laceration to her left calf so doctors placed 12 sutures to it. Due to the nature of the client’s injuries, doctors were unable to provide any more services for her pains other than bandage the wounds.
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.
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.
Common Kinds of Dog Bite Injuries
Depending on the breed of dog and the force behind the bite, a bite can cause multiple types of injuries. Some of the most common types of dog bite injuries include the following:
- Broken bones,
- Puncture wounds,
- Nerve damage,
- Eye injuries,
- Face injuries,
- Neck injuries, and
- Head injuries.
A Riverside dog bite attorney at Beliz Law Firm can help you pursue compensation for your dog bite injury.
Riverside County Dog Bite Laws and Strict Liability
You may be wondering, What are the dog bite laws in Riverside? First, it’s important to know that California is a “strict liability” state when it comes to dog bites. This means a dog bite victim will not have to show the owner was negligent. A dog owner can be responsible for the injuries their dog caused even if the owner tried to take precautions or did not know the dog was dangerous.
The City of Riverside requires owners to stake out dogs on private land so that the animals cannot escape the property. That means if there is no enclosure, the dog should not be able to leave the boundaries of the property.
Additionally, there are leash laws to be aware of in Riverside. Dogs are generally required to be on a “substantial” leash or chain in public places and on private property. Also, the person walking the dog has to be “competent” or able to reasonably control the dog.
Keep in mind that there are exceptions if the animal is a police dog. Dog bite lawyers in Riverside can examine the facts of your case and help you understand your legal options.
Steps to Take After Suffering a Dog Bite Injury
It is critical to keep these steps in mind after you sustain an injury from a dog bite.
Apply First Aid and Get Medical Care
The first thing you should do is clean the wound and stop the flow of blood. You can help stop the bleeding by applying pressure to the injury site.
You should then seek medical care immediately, no matter how minor you think your injuries are. Call 911 if your injuries are severe. Getting immediate medical attention can help you prevent infection, which is always a risk with a dog bite.
You should ensure that you take pictures of your injuries. Videos are also helpful if possible. It is also important to get the dog owner’s contact information. Lastly, keep copies of your medical bills, pay stubs, and other financial documents. These can help your attorney calculate and prove your damages.
Obtain Insurance Information from the Owner
You should get the dog owner’s insurance information. Homeowner’s insurance policies can help you recoup the costs of medical bills. However, insurance companies often try to get you to settle for less than your claim is worth. An experienced dog bite lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company for you and help protect your right to compensation.
Determine If the Dog Has Rabies Vaccinations
As soon as you can, try to get proof the dog has had a rabies vaccination. You will need to ask for the veterinarian’s contact information as well to double-check the dog’s vaccine information.
Report the Incident
You also need to report the dog bite to Animal Services and the local health department. These agencies will monitor the dog to make sure it does not have rabies. They may determine the dog owner and contact them. They may get a statement and photos regarding the dog and attack. Finally they may write up a report that could helpful in the case.
Contact an Attorney
After suffering a bite injury, reaching out to a dog bite attorney is vital. An experienced dog bite lawyer can help you at every step of the claims process so that you can maximize your recovery. A lawyer can explain your legal options, collect evidence, communicate with insurance companies, and advocate for your best interest at the negotiating table and in the courtroom.
What Damages Can I Recover?
After a dog bite, you might be able to recover compensation for your injuries and losses. There are several types of damages you might be eligible to receive, depending on your individual circumstances.
Under California law, you can recover compensation for the money you have spent or lost because of your injury. These are called economic damages. That means you can recover compensation for medical bills and medical expenses you incurred as a result of your injury, including hospital bills, doctor bills, and prescription costs.
Economic damages you can recover for a dog bite also include lost wages. If you had to miss work due to your dog bite injury, you might be able to recover the money you would have earned. Be sure to save your pay stubs to help your lawyer calculate and prove your lost wages.
Pain and Suffering
Under California law, you can also recover compensation for noneconomic damages. These types of damages compensate you for the emotional and psychological harm caused by your injury. Pain and suffering is a category of noneconomic damages. Pain and suffering damages are designed to compensate you for the physical pain and mental anguish you have experienced.
Emotional distress is another category of noneconomic damages. If you have experienced emotional issues after a dog bite, you may be able to receive compensation for that harm.
This is not a comprehensive list of damages you might be able to recover. While economic damages can be established by looking at documents such as bills and pay stubs, noneconomic damages can be more complicated to calculate and prove. An experienced dog bite lawyer in Riverside, CA, can help you identify, calculate, and prove all of your damages so that you can be sure you are asking for all of the compensation you are eligible to receive.
How Our Riverside Dog Bite Attorney Can Help
If you have suffered dog bite injuries, Beliz Law Firm is here to protect your rights. We have collected millions of dollars in compensation on behalf of our clients and are ready to help you recover the compensation you deserve. At Beliz Law Firm, you will get personal attention from an experienced personal injury lawyer with a track record of success. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.
What Else Should You Look For In A Riverside Dog Bite Attorney?
When you’re looking for the best legal representation for your personal injury case, you want to find someone you can trust.