Dog bites are incredibly frequent occurrences.

Even our most beloved pets may lash out in situations where they feel threatened or when they are protecting their young. In fact, a recent incident was reported in Riverside involving a pit bull that had just given birth inside an RV and resulted in four dog bite victims, one of them the dog owner.

Dog bite incidents can be terrifying and often lead to lasting mental trauma and anguish in addition to physical injuries. This is especially true in cases involving infants and minors.

Why Hire a Riverside Dog Bite Attorney?

If you’ve been injured following a dog bite incident, you may be wondering what your next steps are. Dog bite cases can be complex, often it is best to work with an experienced and knowledgeable dog bite attorney right from the beginning.

There is much more that goes into dog bite claims beyond negotiating a settlement with the dog’s owner or their homeowner’s insurance carrier. Some of the things that need to be done as soon as possible after a dog bite include:

  • Seek medical attention (Call 911 or go directly to the emergency room)
  • Take photographs of the injuries
  • Contact witnesses and obtain statements
  • Report the attack to animal control services
  • Investigate the dog’s owner
  • Contact insurance companies and establish claims

Having a skilled and knowledgeable Riverside dog bite lawyer on your side will ensure that your claim is handled properly from the outset.

MKP Law Group, LLP’s experienced dog bite attorneys understand how traumatic a dog bite injury can be, and want you to know that you are not alone. Our team also uses skilled investigators to determine the dog’s owner, the dog’s history, and the facts of the attack. We will deal with the insurance company claims and obtain your medical records and bills so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries.

What is the Law on Dogs in Riverside?

Riverside’s Title 8 requires dogs to be restrained on a property. This refers to the dog’s owner or the person having custody of the dog – even if they are not the legal owner. Moreover, if the dog is tethered, the chain cannot be so long that the animal can leave its property and jump at a pedestrian who is walking past it.

If a dog is judged to be “vicious” following an attack or incident, the dog owner must pay for and attend obedience courses with the animal. Moreover, they have to buy a liability insurance policy in the amount of $100,000.00. A dog’s owner can apply to have the designation withdrawn if there is no incident for 48 months after the initial incident.

In the meantime, any Riverside dog owner is also governed by California’s state law, which puts the responsibility for preventing dog attacks on the animal’s owners. It is called a strict liability law and requires that an owner take responsibility for any dog bite from their pet that occurs on private property or on public property.

Exceptions to the rule: Working dogs and trespassing

There are, however, exceptions to California’s strict liability Dog Bite Statute. A government agency, such as the police and military, cannot be held liable for dog bites that occur when the agency uses a dog while carrying out official duties. This exception only applies if the dog bite victim was a suspect or participant in acts that prompted the use of the dog in the police or military work.

Another exception to the rule that dog owners are 100% at-fault for a dog bite attack is when the victim is trespassing. Generally, property owners are not obligated to maintain a safe property for trespassers. A trespasser is someone who enters someone else’s property without the property owner’s consent. California law provides an exception to the strict liability of dog owners for dog bites that occur when the injured person is trespassing or otherwise unlawfully on the property.

California also makes exceptions for victims who assumed the risk of being bitten, i.e. that they understood the risk of being bitten but proceeded anyway. This rule usually applies to veterinarians who are bitten while treating a dog. (See Nelson v. Hall, 211 Cal. Rptr. 668 (Cal.App.1985)).

Do I Need a Riverside Dog Bite Lawyer to File a Lawsuit?

The good news is that the majority of dog bites are not fatal. While Riverside dog attacks tend to happen frequently when friends and family members enter the animal’s space, many attacks are so minor that they do not typically call for medical attention. The dog’s teeth may not entirely puncture the skin or do so only slightly.

However, you may benefit from consulting with a Riverside dog bite attorney if the attack was more serious. For example, you might not just have puncture wounds, but also have lacerations and open wounds. If the dog is bigger, it may cause organ damage, bone fractures, and even nerve damage.

An infection could cause a build-up of scar tissue, which might lead to permanent disfigurement. In extreme cases, the injury can be so severe that you lose the full use of a hand or arm.

As you might imagine, the increasing seriousness of the potential injuries leads to the need for extensive medical care. You may undergo surgery to repair torn muscles. After you heal, you might require plastic surgery to repair areas with extreme scarring.

A Riverside dog bite lawyer can file a lawsuit that helps you get fair reimbursement for the financial losses you suffer. Working with a lawyer can ensure that proper steps are taken in order to prove your case. Lawyers often collect surveillance footage that a neighbor’s camera might have recorded. Since motion-activated cameras are now very popular in the area, there is a chance that the attack was caught on video.

Because of Riverside’s rules about vicious dogs, it is critical to also research the animal’s history and see if the owner has added liability for negligence.

How do I know if I am eligible for compensation?

Victims of dog bites are entitled to recover damages for both their monetary and non-monetary losses after suffering a dog bite. The experienced dog bite attorneys at MKP Law Group, LLP will fight to get your full compensation for your losses including:

  • Medical Bills
  • Lost Earnings or Diminished Earning Capacity
  • Pain & Suffering
  • Scar Revision Treatment
  • Mental Trauma (PTSD)

Each dog bite case is different due to several factors including the severity of the attack and the number of medical bills incurred as a result of the attack. The attorneys at MKP Law Group, LLP will build the best case possible to make sure you or a loved one gets the compensation they deserve.

I Have Been Attacked by a Dog. What Should I Do?

The immediate priority is your safety and wellbeing. This is not the time to wrap your arm in a shirt and walk home.

Here are some steps to follow:

  • Call an ambulance to take you to the hospital. In the meantime, try to stop the bleeding as well as you can. At the hospital, the attending doctor will evaluate your injury and document it. This documentation will be crucial should you file a dog bite injury case and need to show evidence of the injury.
  • While at the hospital, ask the staff to take pictures of the injuries. If you are able, you can do so yourself with a phone.
  • Make sure to report the incident to Animal Services and file a police report as well. You may ask a friend to stop by the place where the attack happened and take some pictures. This can help your attorney build a case and spot any situations that may have led to the incident (such as a damaged fence allowing a dog to escape.)
  • Talk to an attorney to better understand whether you have a case.

Throughout the process, keep track of your expenses. Similarly, determine how your recovery is going. Are you able to return to work? Can you still do the job that you have? The sorts of effects can determine the value of your case should you have one.

Contact MKP Law Group, LLP Today

Remember, in California, there is a two-year statute of limitations for filing a dog bite personal injury claim from the date of the incident. However, waiting to hire an experienced dog bite attorney is never recommended as there are many factors that can reduce the value of your claim.

So do not delay, and call MKP Law Group, LLP today for your 100% free consultation. It is never in your best interest to negotiate with an insurance company or accept their offer without first consulting with an experienced dog bite attorney. The dog bite & attack lawyers at MKP Law Group, LLP will handle the insurance claims on your behalf and negotiate with the insurance company to get you top dollar. If the insurance company refuses to negotiate fairly and only makes low-ball offers, our attorneys are experienced litigators and will file suit in court.

At MKP Law Group, LLP, we have personal injury attorneys that are highly experienced in handling dog bite injury & attack cases and have obtained large settlements on behalf of our clients.

Call 310-285-5353 or fill out the contact form below to discuss your case and legal options with our dog bite lawyers.

We proudly service clients in the city of Riverside and other cities in Los Angeles County including Santa Monica, Westwood, West Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Long Beach, Pasadena, Glendale, and more. We also represent clients in Orange County, Long Beach County, and San Bernardino County as well.

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