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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.

Dog Bites / Animal Bites: Protect Your Rights After an Attack

Thursday, August 18, 2016

There are literally over 4 million dog bites and injuries each year, according to recent reports from the CDC; injuries can range from minor scrapes or bruises to significant wounds, some extreme attacks are even fatal. Knowing your rights and what to do if you or a loved one is attacked can help you respond the right way and get all of the help you need to recover after a dog related injury.

3 Things to Know about Dog Bites/Animal Bites

Any Dog Can Bite

While pit bulls make headlines, injuries are caused by even small breeds every day. Little pups like Chihuahuas can cause significant damage, particularly if they are being held by the person they attack. Facial scarring and damage can occur in an instant if a little dog decides to attack. The size of the dog or its breed have no bearing on your ability to file a lawsuit and recover your losses. If you have been injured, you are entitled to compensation for your suffering and injuries.

Other Injuries Matter, Too

If a dog attacks your child or pet and then turns on you, the collateral damage matters as well. You still will incur significant expenses even if you are not the party the dog attacked first. Dogs can cause injury without biting at all; a large dog can knock over an elderly person or a small child and cause significant damage without ever bearing his teeth at all. An attorney can help you protect your rights and ensure that you are compensated for any injuries caused by the dog in question.

Other Animals Can Attack

Any pet that has not been properly restrained or is not under control of its owner could attack and injure you. Even if the animal is an exotic species instead of a dog, you still have rights and can still pursue compensation. Recent cases have made headlines; snakes, birds and even a pet chimpanzee have caused catastrophic injuries when they attacked a visitor or bystander.

A personal injury attorney familiar with animal bites and dog bites can help you learn about your options and seek out the compensation you deserve after an attack. If you have been bitten or injured by someone else’s pet, contact us to talk about your case and determine what to do next. We are committed to helping you recover and put the attack behind you. 

You Got Bit? Don't Get Burned by Ignoring California's Dog Bite Law

Friday, March 18, 2016

Dogs are wonderful companions, but when poorly trained by their masters and under limited supervision, they can be a threat to the community. If you or someone you know has been attacked by an unsupervised dog, California's Dog Bite Law states that the owner of the animal must be held responsible for the actions of their pet. Before paying for hefty medical bills, be sure to understand that you may be able to take legal action against the dog owner to make sure that the fault of their actions doesn't have to come out of your wallet.

California Civil Code Section 3342 states, in its simplest terms, that the owner of any dog is held liable for damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog on either public or private property, which includes the dog owner's home. This also holds true regardless of whether or not this was the dog's first display of viciousness. The only exceptions to the law is if the dog bite victim was provoking the animal, trespassing, or in the process of committing a crime.

When to Seek Legal Representation?

If you were the victim of a dog bite that resulted in either physical injury or documented emotional trauma, you are eligible for litigation against the dog owner. With strong evidence of the event, you can also seek to any damages caused by the traumatic event.

Claim damages can include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Surgeries
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress

Were you or a loved one bit by a dog in California and forced to pay your own legal expenses? We can help. Contact us for a free consultation, we can make sure that you can win your court case before paying a penny in legal fees.


Bitten by a Dog in California? Things You Should Know

Friday, February 19, 2016

Dogs are wonderful, loyal creatures, but not all of their owners are. Sometimes, their owners let their loyalty stray, or misguide it. A dog with the wrong master can become a real menace. On the occasion that a dog bites a human, that dog's owner must be held responsible. Fortunately, California law reflects this.

In plain English, the law has several points that are worth noting:

  • Lawsuits against owners are either dismissed or damage amounts are reduced if the victim was found to be provoking the dog.
  • A defense of provocation is not applicable if the victim is under five years old.
  • Dog bite lawsuits apply strictly to an act of biting, not ramming or knocking-down.
  • If the victim is the dog owner's landlord, lawsuits can be filed on the grounds of negligence.
  • If the victim is an employee of the dog owner and the bite took place on company property, the lawsuit falls under labor action instead of dog bites.
  • People eligible for lawsuits are those who are bitten when invited onto the dog owner's property, or who are permitted by law to enter someone's property in the line of work, such as mail carriers, firefighters, or police officers.

If you or anyone you know falls under any of the above criteria, you may be entitled to a settlement. Freeman and Freeman represent all personal injury cases, including dog bites. Feel free to contact us or visit our website for more info or to see if you are eligible for our services.


Banning Dog Breeds May Not Help Lower Bite Risks

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Several California cities are experimenting with banning specific breeds of dogs like Rottweilers, to reduce the risk of dog bites. However, an interesting new study that was conducted in Ireland after breed-specific legislation was enacted in that country, found that banning specific breeds doesn't necessarily keep people safer.

The study specifically focused on whether people were safer from dog bites in Ireland after that country passed a special law that imposed restrictions on owning certain types of breeds. As many as 11 breeds were included in the regulation, and owners faced strong restrictions on the handling of these dogs. For instance, these dogs were required to be muzzled every time they were walked.

However, the researchers found that during the period of time after the breed-specific legislation was enacted, there was no corresponding decline in the number of dog bites that were recorded in the country. On the contrary, there was actually a slight increase in the number of dog bites.

The researchers speculate that focusing on banning breeds, as the sole solution to the problem of dog bites, is the wrong approach to take. They believe that it actually lulls people into a false sense of complacency and security. People may start believing that they are now much safer when they are around dogs because certain dangerous breeds have been banned. That could cause them to lower their guard and behave in a threatening manner around a dog. That obviously increases the risk of a dog bite, even if the breed in question is not one that has been restricted. In fact, researchers found an increase in the number of serious dog bites after the law was passed.


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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.