Every year hundreds of people are killed in dog attacks, over 800,000 people suffer dog bite injuries and require medical treatment. The dog bite victims deserve to receive fair compensation for the dog bite injuries suffered. To be able to receive compensation for their pain and suffering, you will need to prove the liability of the dog’s owner.
How to win a dog bite case?
Winning a dog bite case requires expert knowledge. As you know that you cannot win a medical malpractice case without having the required knowledge of medical procedures, hospitals, etc. Similarly with regards to dog bite cases, one needs to know about the legal concepts related to dog bite attacks.
The purpose of filing a dog bite lawsuit is to prove the liability for the dog bite injury suffered. Your attorney has to convince the court that the victim did not instigate or provoked the dog in any way.
Unearthing information like the animal showed signs of aggressive behaviour in the past or not can be very helpful to win the case. Below mentioned are some information that can help during the litigation of a dog bite lawsuit and help you win the case.
- Temperament of the dog
Like people, dogs have different natures and characteristics. There are some breeds of dogs that are more aggressive than others. A victim cannot be expected to know about the temperament of a dog and that they are at risk of being bitten if they interact with a particular breed.
A dog’s aggression may be attributed to its temperament, however; an underlying medical problem can also make a dog aggressive in some instances. Suffering from hypothyroidism or having pain and seizures can turn a friendly dog into an aggressive one.
When in pain dogs can turn aggressive and dangerous. Therefore if your lawyer can prove that the dog was sick and the owner did not take corrective action which resulted in the dog attacking the victim, the court can consider the owner to be liable, asking him to compensate you for the injuries suffered.
- Dog’s Behavior History
Proving the dog’s temperament alone cannot help you win the case. Presenting the previous history of the dog’s behaviour can add weight to your claim. Finding out details about how well the dog is socialized, especially as a puppy, can help determine how aggressive it can become.
Though it may not be true in all cases, it’s believed that dogs that are kept are less socialized compared to indoor dogs. Similar to us, dogs are also social creatures, if they do not receive adequate social interaction, they can get bored and lonely. This loneliness can make them aggressive, especially when someone enters what they consider to be their territory.
Chained dogs or dogs who are locked in for long periods tend to become more anxious, disturbed, and aggressive, making them more likely to bite or attack.
The court evaluates different aspects of the dog’s behaviour like the tone of its bark, its body posture etc. to determine the nature of the dog. The court takes into account that some dogs react aggressively only in situations where they are provoked or hurt.
- Victim’s injury
While treating a dog bite injury victim, how the doctor describes the injury and documents it in the records can make a huge difference in how your case is handled in court.
A deep injury wound or injury that led to the breaking of bones or damage to the tendons and ligaments is considered more serious as compared to a dog bite that resulted in tears or bruises on the skin.
Dogs when defensive bite only once to eliminate the threat or get rid of it. Whereas in the case of dog attacks, the dogs display offensive aggression and bite multiple times, inflicting serious injuries to more than one part of the body.
However serious is the injury sustained by you in a dog bite attack, you will need documentation to prove your claim in court. You will need to submit copies of the doctor’s diagnosis mentioning the extent of your injuries, along with his/her final prognosis listing any long-term effects or physical limitations the injuries may cause.
Along with the doctor’s report, you should also include copies of medical bills, hospitalization or doctor bills, pictures of the injuries etc. You can also submit proof if you have lost your job due to the injuries, this can help claim compensation for loss of wages or future income.
Dog bite lawsuit in California
California is a strict liability state. The state has favourable laws protecting the victims of a dog bite, holding the owners liable for the injuries caused by their dogs. The Civil Code section 3342 is California’s civil dog bite statute. It holds the dog owners liable for injuries to others as long as:
- The dog was not provoked by the person, and
- The person was attacked or bitten in a public place or the person was not trespassing and was lawfully present on private property. Victims of dog bites in California are entitled to receive compensation for their injuries from the liable party’s insurance company or the dog owner itself.
- Cost of medical bills, hospitalization
- Cost of therapy and counselling
- Loss of wages and income
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering,
- Scarring and disfigurement
Families of people killed in a dog bite attack can also claim for wrongful death damages or damages for loss of consortium in California.
Dog bite lawyer California
A dog bite lawyer can help in investigating the circumstances resulting in the dog attack and injuries. They can help identify the responsible party for the dog attack, issue a demand for compensation, and file a personal injury lawsuit in court if the demand is not met by the owner or insurance company.
Khashan Law firm in California has a special team of Dog bite lawyers, who have the required knowledge and experience for representing the clients and help them receive fair compensation for their damages. Contact us at 951-461-2397 for a confidential and free consultation with our team of personal injury lawyers.