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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.

Understanding Dog Bites / Animal Bites Law in California

Thursday, September 22, 2016

If you are the victim of a dog bite or other kind of animal bite in California, you need to understand the laws that affect your situation before making any decisions about compensation or settlement. Dog and animal bite situations can range anywhere from relatively harmless to life-changing. You will need to take several factors into account and speak with an attorney to learn your options and understand how to navigate the complicated legal process.

To put it simply, California law is quite clear, in Civil Code section 3342 that dog owners are liable for any physical damage suffered by a person in a public or reasonable private residence or dwelling. So, if you are a dog owner, it's important to make sure your dog is obedient and well-trained. Conversely, if a dog or animal bites you while you are acting reasonably, you are perfectly within your rights to seek compensation that aligns with your scope of pain and injuries.

With the right legal and medical analysis, victims of dog and animal bites can increase their chances of a swift and fair judgement for compensation in a court of law, if necessary. In the best outcomes, victims can reach a settlement without the need for a court appearance. If you experience a dog or animal bite, we can help you determine the best next steps you can take as a reasonable course of action.

Please know, there are times when you may not have a case...

California law is quite clear about the instances when dogs or animals can bite without breaking the law. For instance, if you are bit by a canine working for law enforcement, you may not hold the agency liable if you were breaking the law or inciting the animal in any way that proved the attack. Also, if you are being held as the suspect in a crime and get bit, you will not have.

The main takeaway is you need the advice of experienced lawyers who handle dog and animal bite cases before settling with the owner of an attacking animal. We specialize in helping citizens of Los Angeles and several surrounding areas, including: San Fernando Valley, Woodland Hills, Van Nuys, Encino, Thousand Oak and North Hollywood. Contact us to talk about your situation as soon as possible. Sometimes, the longer you wait, the weaker your case. And be sure to follow us on Twitter to keep up with our latest legal news, blogs and other helpful info.

Dog Bites / Animal Bites: How To Prevent Them

Friday, August 26, 2016

Nearly 4.5 million Dog Bites / Animal Bites occur in the U.S. each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many of the victims are children, and many of the bites occur in the dogs' own homes.

And dogs aren't the only companion animals who can bite and cause serious injury. Cat bites, too, can be very dangerous.

How do you prevent Dog Bites / Animal Bites? Just follow these safety tips.

  • Never corner or try to pick up a frightened cat. Even the sweetest, gentlest house cat will attack if it feels trapped.
  • Supervise young children when they're with family pets, and teach them to treat dogs and cats with respect and caution.
  • Never startle a dog or cat who's sleeping, and don't disturb dogs when they're eating or caring for puppies. Cats caring for kittens need their own space, too.
  • Don't try to pet a dog without allowing it to see you and sniff your hand first.
  • Discourage aggressive play by both dogs and cats.

When An Unfamiliar Dog Approaches

Always be cautious of dogs you don't know. Keep these suggestions in mind to avoid an attack or bite.

  • Avoid direct eye contact with the dog. Direct eye contact sends an aggressive message to both dogs and cats.
  • Stand sideways and stay still until the dog goes away.
  • Say "No" or "Go Home" in a firm, deep voice, but don't clap your hands or make loud noises that will frighten the dog and make it more likely to attack.
  • If the dog knocks you over, curl into a ball with your head against your chest, and put your hands over your neck and ears.

Sometimes the worst happens, and it's not possible to prevent an attack. If you're the victim of a Dog Bite / Animal Bitecontact us to discuss your options and to find out whether you're entitled to compensation for your injuries.

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.



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Woodland Hills, CA 91367-7418

P: 818-992-2919
F: 818-992-2940


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.