San Bernardino Dog Bite Lawyer
San Bernardino dog bites happen more frequently than you think. Far too often, these incidents go unreported. As a result, there are dogs that have attacked or attempted to attack, people — even repeatedly.
Sadly, many dog attack victims do not receive the legal help they need from California dog bite lawyers. Often victims do not know what their rights and responsibilities are. In other cases, the dog’s owners might intimidate them.
Why Hire a San Bernardino Dog Bite Lawyer?
Dog bites are incredibly frequent occurrences. Though there are several breeds in particular that are linked to attacks, such as Rottweilers, Pit Bulls, and German Shepherds, the truth though, is that any dog can bite. The owner can also be responsible if they mistreat or abuse the dog.
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.
If you’ve been injured by a dog you need to:
- Seek medical attention (Call 911 or go directly to the emergency room)
- Take photographs of the injuries
- Contact witnesses and obtain statements
- Report the animal attack to animal control services
- Investigate the dog’s owner
- Contact insurance companies and establish claims
Because dog bite cases can be complex, it is imperative that you are represented by an experienced and knowledgeable dog bite attorney right from the beginning.
At MKP Law Group, LLP, we are experienced in dog bite injury cases. Our skilled and knowledgeable team of renowned injury attorneys represent injury victims in San Bernardino County and throughout the State of California. We strive to make the process as easy and quick as possible for you. Our team is experienced, attentive, dependable, and tenacious and ready to help you win the maximum compensation you deserve. Call us today at 310-285-5353 to schedule your 100% free consultation.
We use 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’s claims and review your medical records and bills so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
San Bernardino Dog Bite Lawyer Reveals Interesting Statistics
Officials from the City of San Bernardino explain that 70% of dog bites happen on the property of the animal’s owner.
This means that you may be at a friend or family member’s home when you are attacked. Even still, dog bite victims should report the incident. That way an Animal Control Officer can impose a quarantine on the dog. If the dog’s owner refuses, the individual may be arrested.
Although the City of San Bernardino enacts leash laws, it is clear that the bites still happen. If you are an invited guest at someone’s residence, the animal will most likely not be on a leash in the first place. Even so, the dog’s owner has the duty to keep you safe.
Animal Control offers several steps to take when charged by an attacking dog.
- Stand still. Running away encourages the dog to chase you. Instead, stay motionless. Do not yell or wave your arms.
- Avoid eye contact. A dog may mistake direct eye contact as a challenge. It may attack to assert dominance.
- Curl up. If the animal attacks you, in spite of your best efforts to defuse the situation, curl into a ball and cover your head and neck. The dog’s owner should make every attempt at removing the animal. Also, protecting your head and neck shields you from traumatic injuries.
When an attack begins, there is little you can do to avoid it. Considering that San Bernardino County allows a dog owner up to three offenses with minor fines, you might even encounter a repeat offender.
The Law is on Your Side in Dog Bite Cases
California’s Civil Code holds the owner of a dog liable for the damages that victims sustain following a dog bite. Statements such as, “He’s never bitten anyone before” do not absolve the dog’s owner of their responsibility.
Therefore, you do not have to prove that the owner was negligent.
Know your rights and what to do to help your dog bite case:
Emotional support dogs or animals: many individuals are declaring their dogs as emotional support animals without providing them with adequate training. An owner cannot hide behind this description. It comes down to adequate training; if an owner failed to provide their pet with it, they are liable.
Police reports and medical treatment: San Bernardino dog bite lawyers advise to always file a police report. You should also head to the emergency room for treatment of the bite. Be sure a doctor creates a comprehensive list of all injuries you sustained.
More than just a bite: It is a common misconception that a dog bite injury only refers to a puncture wound or open tear. Often there are other injuries along with the bite including abrasions, scratches, bruises, soft tissue injuries, and any bone fractures you might have sustained. As your dog bite case progresses, an attorney may be able to use your medical records to determine which future care is likely for you. Examples include scar tissue treatment, plastic surgery, occupational therapy, and mental health treatment.
Additional losses to keep in mind: If, following your injury, you lose your job or cannot perform it at the level you previously could, you may experience a diminished earning capacity. This means you will not be eligible for future raises and promotions. There is also the possibility of non-monetary losses that fall under the umbrella term “pain and suffering.” California dog bite lawyers can explain the intricacies of this term and what it entails in your unique situation.
That said, there are some exceptions.
Exceptions to the rule: Working dogs and trespassing
There are, however, exceptions to California’s strict liability Dog Bite Statute.
Official working dogs: 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.
Trespassers: 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 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.
Taking unnecessary risks: 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)).
An Insurance Company is Contacting Me; What Should I Do?
Insurance companies will do whatever they can to limit the amount of money they have to pay to compensate a dog bite victim. Insurance companies often try to use recorded statements to minimize injuries or place partial blame on the victim. They may also send you paperwork to sign in the hope that you will sign it and accept a lowball settlement offer.
Before you give a statement to the insurance company or sign any paperwork, call it’s in your best interest to speak with a legal professional.
Immediately after the attack, connect with a dog bite attorney who can help you understand your rights and connect you with the care you need.
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.
How to Contact MKP Law Group, LLP Today
It is never in your best interest to independently negotiate with an insurance company or accept a settlement offer without first consulting with an experienced dog bite attorney.
The San Bernardino 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 San Bernardino 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, Riverside County, and Long Beach County as well.
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