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Personal Injury Blog

Is There Liability for Stray Dog Bite?

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Often when a person is bitten by a dog, the owner of the dog is held liable for their pet's actions. As such, lawsuits can be pressed against them to cover the extent of medical bills. However, not every dog has an owner. If you were attacked by a stray dog, what happens then? Is anyone held liable?

Those bitten by a stray dog may first look to the city as liable. After all, they are responsible for animal control. However, it is very rare that if you were bitten by a stray dog that anyone will be held responsible for the attack. There is one clause that states if the dog was already picked up and put in animal control, and it for some reason escapes, then the city can be held responsible for any injuries that occur. Yet, those circumstances are very rare. This means that if you are attacked by a stray, you will need to cover your own medical bills.

If you were attacked by a stray dog, your first priority is to get to safety. Afterwards, call emergency services in order to seek help for your injuries, and, if the dog is still present, be sure to contact animal control right away so they can prevent any more injuries from occurring. This is particularly important so they can arrive with or before emergency services to prevent the paramedics from becoming injured as well.

While there is not much we can do for you in the event of a stray attack, if it does turn out that the dog belonged to someone, even if they abandoned it somewhere, that dog's owners can still be held liable for the attack. If you were attacked by a dog, contact us today to see what we can do for you.

Will a Dog Be Euthanized After a Dog Bite Incident?

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Dog attacks are traumatic incidents, but even so, many victims after a dog attack don't want the dog to be euthanized. They are animals, after all, and likely it is the conduct of their owner that resulted in the attack and not an issue of the dog or dog breed itself. While owners are held liable for the financial burden of the attack, does the dog have to be euthanized after it bites someone?

The quick answer is no. There are some cases, usually in particularly vicious dog attacks, where the dog will be labeled by the court as "potentially dangerous" or "vicious" and it will need to be detained and potentially euthanized. However, not only does the owner have some recourse, but a few words from the victim can go a long way to saving a dog's life.

In court, the victim can advise their attorney that they want to save the dog, which will prevent their attorney from contacting animal control. Victims can also say a few words to the judge stating that they don't want the dog to be destroyed, and that is taken heavily into consideration. Even in vicious dog attacks, if the dog has displayed no other signs of aggression, the victim may be able to see that it lives, but is forced to go into dog training or taken away from its owner to ensure that a dog attack never happens again.

If you are a dog lover, a dog attack can be especially hurtful since the myth that dogs will be euthanized after just one bite is a widespread one. However, you shouldn't just shoulder the medical bills yourself in order to try and save the dog. If you have been attacked, contact us today to see what the Law Offices of Freeman & Freeman can do for you.

Don't Let Irresponsible Dog Owner off the Hook for Dog Bites

Thursday, July 13, 2017

There are no bad dog breeds, merely bad dog owners - That is what you should keep in mind after a dog bite incident. After you are attacked by a dog, you can be left with a considerable injury as well as psychological trauma. This means you not only have to deal with the physical burden of medical bills but the pain and suffering that can come after a traumatic incident with a dog.

However, while the attack may seem like the dog's fault, in the state of California, dog owners are automatically liable for any injuries caused by the dog, even if they weren't around when it happened. Even if their dog has never exhibited any signs of aggressiveness, they are still responsible for their pet's actions. What this means is that dog owners have a responsibility to prevent any attacks, and they should be held accountable for that.

If you were injured by a dog attack, you may not be willing to press charges, perhaps for the safety of the dog in question, but just because you are a dog lover doesn't mean you should be stuck with those medical bills. Don't suffer in silence, you are entitled to compensation from the owner.

In the event of a dog attack, you are entitled to seek coverage for not only the medical damages but treatment of psychological damages as well. If you have been attacked by a dog in the Los Angeles area, contact us today. The Law Offices of Freeman & Freeman love dogs, but only when owners have undertaken every precaution to make sure they are happy and friendly. If you have been bit, don't get stuck with the bill.

California Dog Bite Laws Are Strict On The Owner

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Dog bite personal injury cases are a lose-lose situation. Even if the person who was injured gets money, the other person loses their dog. This is especially true due to the strict nature of California dog bite laws and the ways they put the liability on the owner.

California Is A “Strict Liability” State

When a state bases their personal injury lawsuits on “strict liability,” the dog owner is liable for any bite that occurs by their dog when the person who was bitten was in a public place or lawfully visiting the owners home or another private place.

This is a very strict type of liability that makes it hard to defend against these cases. The statute of limitations is typically two years on this case – meaning the bitten person has those two years to bring the case to court.

Defenses Against These Claims

The only ways to really defend against this type of claim includes illustrating that the injures were not caused by a dog bite. For example, a medical examiner could state that the injury is not congruent with that caused by a bite and was caused by another injury. Typically this is hard if the dog clearly bit the person and there were witnesses.

Another defense is to claim that the person was trespassing unlawfully on the property. Again this is hard if the person who was bitten was a friend or family member who was visiting. But robbers bitten by a dog cannot sue, nor can anyone who was being thrown off of property or whom the owner did not want on the property.

The strict rules that dictate dog bite cases in California make it important to hire a professional attorney to defend you. Please contact us if you are involved in one of these cases and feel you are being unfairly persecuted.



Dog Bites / Animal Bites: A Story Worth Telling

Thursday, November 17, 2016

One of the early lessons in any good university's journalism program is that "dog bites man" is not a story while "man bites dog" has front-page potential.

Why?

Dogs biting people or getting into it with another dog is a common occurrence while the novelty of a man choosing to bite a dog is an interesting story worth telling.

We disagree.

Dog bites may be common, but the victims of these vicious attacks deserve to have their stories told. More importantly, they deserve to be compensated for the damages they suffer as a result of negligent pet owners who contribute to these attacks.

Many dog bite victims are children. They face a lifetime of physical and psychological issues and deserve to be supported as they go through the recovery process.

How?

People who are injured as the result of a dog bite have the option of pursing financial compensation through a personal injury claim. A successful claim can result in a settlement or verdict that provides funds to cover damages such as medical costs, pain and suffering, and lost earnings.

One of the worries our clients express frequently is a concern about pursuing a claim when it was a family member's, friend's or neighbor's dog that lashed out. This is understandable. The good news is that claims seek compensation through available homeowners' insurance policies, not by directly going after the financial resources of dog owners.

Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about how you can protect your rights or the rights of a loved one after a dog bite.


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From our offices in Woodland Hills, California, Freeman & Freeman, LLP, provides legal advice and representation for clients in communities throughout the state, including those in Burbank, Glendale, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, Tarzana, Santa Clarita, Agoura Hills, Reseda, Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Northridge, Granada Hills, Pacoima, Panorama City, North Hollywood, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Lancaster, Palmdale and Alhambra.