Mission Viejo residents are bitten by dogs each year. In many cases, a person bitten by an animal may have a legal right to pick up compensation from the animal's holder or another accountable party. However, without representation from a qualified, experienced Mission Viejo dog bite attorney, you may end up shooting yourself in the foot when it comes to obtaining compensation.
If An Animal Bites You
The first thing --- seek medical attention immediately! If you are not treated, animal bites can cause grave injury, disease, and even death. Once you have been treated, consider calling a lawyer with experience in dog bite cases. A Dog Bite specialty attorney can assist you regarding a legal claim and what damages you may be able to recover.
A Mission Viejo Dog Bite attorney will request details about the situation regarding your dog encounter. At a minimum, you should offer the name and contact of the animal's holder. If you don't have this information, a neighbor or a observer might be able to give it to you. Also, if there were witnesses, you should get their names and contact information as well.
Legal responsibility for Dog/Animal Bites
In deciding who is accountable for an animal bite, the first issue to decide is: who is the owner of the animal? Some states impose what is known as "strict accountability" upon animal owners whose animals bite or attack others. Under the theory of strict accountability, an owner is legally guilty ("liable") for an animal bite, regardless of whether the owner did anything wrong with regard to protecting others from attack. Under this conjecture, even if the owner had no reason to know that his or her animal was hazardous, if the animal bit someone, the owner would still be accountable. In other states, the owner of an animal can be held legally responsible for the injuries it inflicts, provided that the owner knew that the animal had "dangerous leanings." In other words, if an animal owner knows that his or her canine is perilous and could cause harm to a person, the animal owner can be held liable for the animal's injurious actions.
The dog owner -- the only individual legally responsible for a dog bite?
Actually many other individuals, firms and official agencies can be held answerable
- The dog liability law might cover owners and also "harborers" and "keepers" of the dog.
- Doggie day care centers and some schools sometimes let dogs to mix with the kids, resulting in damage to both dogs and children.
- Shops and eateries intermittently or even regularly allow regulars to bring in their dogs. Other customers can fall over leashes or get bitten.
- Animal control officers from time to time carelessly permit a acknowledged risky dog to wander the area, ultimately resulting in severe injuries to a person.
- Police now and then inattentively let their working cannines maul suspects or even bite people other than suspects.
- Employers may be held responsible for likely injuries incurred by canines belonging to staff and used in the course of their work. The point for legal blame is simply based on being the employer, not on distraction.
What should a dog bite victim do to ensure getting compensation?
- Make a report to the animal control authority. Don't assume that the hospital's report will trigger the necessary investigation, because it will not.
- Record the names of the dog owner or handler, and all witnesses.
- Take photographs of the wounds before they are treated and afterwards.
- Get medical attention immediately. This is not only to document the cause and nature of the injuries, but to prevent infections that could lead to horrific consequences.
- The next step focuses on the severity of the injuries. If the bite is to the face, or is major, or mandates hospitalization, keep a lawyer who has knowledge and skill with dog bite cases. Less important injuries can be pursued in the small claims court, which can only award a limited amount of money but has the advantage of being speedy and cheap.
Sound confusing? Handling such things by yourself could end in losing your claim, or worse, having other parties blaming you.
The Mission Viejo dog bite personal injury lawyers of Bisnar | Chase Personal Injury Attorneys, LLP, have represented over 6,000 clients. We stand ready to assist you. Call us at 949-203-3814 or contact us for more information or a free consultation.