We represent the plaintiff in dog bite and attack cases. Dog bites go much further than broken bones or scarring, as the emotional trauma of a dog bite can last a lifetime. We can help determine if you are entitled to compensation for medical bills and damages coverage.
The Orange County personal injury lawyers at Humphrey & Associates handle numerous dog bite and attack cases each year. We have the knowledge and experience to represent our clients and assist them in obtaining fair and full compensation for all their losses.
When a dog attacks an individual – regardless of the victim’s age, physical build or mental attributes – the incident leaves a mark and ultimately, long lasting anxiety. This goes beyond the physical puncture wounds and bite marks suffered by the victim. There is a heavy emotional and psychological toll in dog bite cases, which is indisputable.
We will take steps after you’ve been bitten by a dog including taking pictures of your injuries right away.
Call us anytime 24/7 at (844) 612-5800 for a FREE, no obligation consultation with our Orange County personal injury attorneys.
Two recent reports confirmed that California, especially the Los Angeles area, leads the nation when it comes to dog bite incidents. For example, Los Angeles has earned notoriety for the second year in a row as the U.S. city with the most dog attacks on postal workers. According to the U.S. Postal Service, Los Angeles had 69 dog attacks on mail carriers in fiscal year 2012. In 2011, Los Angeles led again with 83 mail carrier dog attacks.
Experts say year-round pleasant weather in Southern California could be one of the reasons why these incidents are so prevalent here. Also, according to a report released by State Farm insurance company, California led the pack when it came to the number of dog bite claims (527) and the payout in these types of cases ($20.3 million) during the year 2012.
California has what is known as a “strict liability statute” when it comes to dog attacks. What this means is that dog owners are responsible for the actions of their pets, no ifs or buts. The only exceptions may be when the dog attack was provoked by cruelty toward the animal or when a dog bites someone who was committing a crime or trespassing on the owner’s property. However, there are very few exceptions in this regard. In a majority of cases, dog owners can be held financially liable in addition to receiving citations or facing other penalties associated with the attack.
California’s Civil Code Section 3342 states: “The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.” There have also been several recent cases in California where courts have upheld personal injury claims against landlords who have allowed a tenant to have a dangerous dog on premises.
Dog bite incidents can result in serious injuries including, but not limited to bites, puncture wounds, broken bones and even nerve injuries. Dog attacks also result in permanent scarring and disfigurement, which, needless to say, also causes serious emotional and psychological issues for victims. Often, victims or their families spend thousands of dollars on therapy so that their lives can return to normalcy. Most victims develop a long-term fear of dogs. Many victims also require plastic surgery to treat bite marks and scars. Some undergo several surgeries to repair these scars. Some are unsuccessful and are left with permanent scars.
Victims and their families also struggle with paying for these treatments. Most insurance companies do not cover plastic surgery procedures because they are cosmetic in nature and not something that is needed to save the life of a patient. Patients end up paying out of pocket for these procedures and much-needed psychological therapy sessions to combat issues such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
It is unfair that victims pay such a high physical and financial price for a dog attack when the incident was not even their fault. Dog owners should be held financially responsible for the injuries, damages and losses suffered by these unsuspecting victims. Injured victims can seek compensation in dog bite cases for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation, cost of surgeries, permanent injuries, pain and suffering and emotional distress.
Homeowners’ insurance policies usually cover dog attacks. Most of these policies provide between $100,000 and $300,000 in liability coverage. However, if the dog owner is a renter or lacks insurance, the victim can try to hold the property owner liable for allowing a dangerous dog to live on the premises. In a recent development, Farmers Group notified its policyholders that it would no longer cover bites by pit bulls, Rottweilers and wolf hybrids under homeowners’ insurance policies.
Despite sharp criticism from pit bull advocates, insurers say bites from pit bulls and other breeds have risen significantly in recent years, along with the cost of settling those damage claims. Farmers said that the three breeds it listed accounted for more than 25 percent of their dog bite claims. Farmers officials also said that these breeds caused more harm than any other breed when they attacked.
If you have questions about dog bite injuries, we’re here to help you. Call us anytime 24/7 at (844) 612-5800 for a FREE, no obligation consultation. We’ll answer your questions and help you determine the best course of action for you.
In the event that your injury makes traveling difficult, we can arrange to visit you in your home or hospital. Our corporate location in Anaheim is conveniently centered to most major cities. We can arrange to send a representative to you while you are healing.
Humphrey & Associates
Offices in Los Angeles, Orange County and the Inland Empire
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