In almost every area in the United States dog owners are required by law to keep their animals in an enclosed area on their property, when they are not on a leash. This also applies to pet owners in San Bernardino County. This does not stop the approximately 2 percent of the population in the U.S. from being involved in a dog bite attack every year. There are some dog owners that do not take the necessary safety measures to keep other people out of harm’s way from their dogs. When people suffer dog bites they have rights.
These rights include compensation not just for the physical injuries that are inflicted, but also the emotional wounds. If you or a family member has suffered a dog bite attack, it is your right to hold the dog owner responsible. Consult and experienced San Bernardino dog bite injury lawyer, who can assist you in obtaining the compensation you deserve. If you were bitten by a dog in San Bernardino County or another California location, more than likely your only concern was to get away to a safe place. After you are safe from the dog, there are some things you can do that will help to protect you and your rights in a legal claim.
- Get immediate medical attention: Medical attention is necessary, even if you feel the bite is just a small one that will heal on its own. Dog bites carry a high risk of infection, and there is also disease dogs carry such as rabies that may need to be addressed by the medical professional.
- Identification of the dog owner: It is important to find the dog’s owner, first because the owner needs to know that their dog has bitten someone and secondly so the person that suffered the bite can find out the dogs medical history and ensure they are current on their rabies shot. This way the dog’s owner can ensure there are no future incidences and they may want to submit a claim to their homeowners insurance for payment of your dog bite injuries.
- Inform Authorities: After a dog bite the local authorities should be contacted and San Bernardino County has an animal services department, which handles dog related issues. There should also be a police report filed with the local police.
- Preserve Evidence: When you have been involved in a dog bite attack, it is important to save evidence that may be lost or destroyed. There are some things the victim and their family can do, such as taking pictures of the injuries, the scene the attack occurred and preserving clothing the way it looked after the incident. Do not launder the clothing and take pictures of scuff marks, torn clothing or blood at the scene.
In the state of California canine owners can be held responsible for dog bites their pets cause, even if they did not know the animal could be dangerous. These laws make it possible if you were the victim of a dog bite, while walking down the sidewalk in San Bernardino County or elsewhere in the state to possibly recover damages.
This can be done with the assistance of the San Bernardino dog bite injury attorney, who will be required to prove:
- The person named in the lawsuit is the correct owner of the dog.
- At the time of the attack, you were on public property or legally on private property.
- The dog involved in the legal claim, is the dog that is responsible for the actual bites.
- The plaintiff actually suffered injuries from the dog bites. When you and your attorney are able to establish these things, you may recover compensation for the damages from the dog’s owner.
Every dog bite attack is different, which means there is no set standard for recovering damages. If a child is bitten by a dog, they may suffer only minor physical injuries or severe injuries, but they will also suffer emotional trauma. Children are often seriously injured, because of their size, which means that dog bites often involve the head and face. There will be a difference in necessary medical treatment and healing time. These factors can make a difference in the amount of damages that are recovered.
Damages that may be recovered include:
- Medical expenses
- Future medical costs
- Lifetime care expenses
- Medical monitoring Loss of wages
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
In some cases punitive damages may be awarded to the plaintiff. The punitive damages will compensate the victim, while at the same time punishing the dog owner in claims where there was guilt of more than negligence on the part of the dog owner. This may be seen in a case where the dog is a trained attack dog and the owner orders it to attack, without reason.
Hiring the most reputable San Bernardino dog bite injury attorney as soon as you are able is crucial for your claim. The sooner this legal professional is protecting your rights they are able to secure critical evidence, interview witnesses, whose memory can fade over time forgetting all of the details and filing the necessary documents within the time the law allows. Waiting can mean that evidence is destroyed, witnesses may not be found and the time permitted to file a dog bite action may have passed.
This would mean giving up the right to bring a claim against the owner of the dog. Ehline Law Firm, PC has handled many dog bite injury claims and has the years of experience necessary to handle even the most complex dog bite case. The law firm focuses on personal injury claims and has a reputation of being committed to providing quality legal representation for their clients. We offer a free consultation to discuss your case, if you or a loved one has been injured in a dog bite attack, call out office at 888-400-9721 or contact us by using our contact form on the website.