Los Angeles Dog Bite Lawyers
California leads the nation in fatal dog bite injuries. Finding an experienced Los Angeles dog bite lawyer after a dog attack can make or break your case. In California, if you are bitten by a dog you have the right to pursue compensation against that person's home owner's insurance as long as you did not provoke the dog and were not on the dog owner's property without their permission.
If you've been injured by a dog please call our offices to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer free of charge. There is no cost unless we win your case. Call 323-238-4683. Free case evaluation.
At Bisnar Chase we have achieved a 96% success rate for over 10,000 clients; we know how to win your case and get you the help you need to move past your traumatic experience with as little pain as possible.
Our team of dog bite lawyers have represented clients who have been bitten by an array of different canines; every dog attack reminds us how a seemingly innocent and friendly animal can turn into a frightening monster in a matter of seconds. In some cases, a reason for the attack is never identified and the dog had not had any previous record of being violent or dangerous. To learn more about the reasons why some dogs suddenly attack read this article on dog aggression.
According to Dogbite.org, last year's statistics showed 31 fatalities from dog bites. Specifically, Pit bulls, make up about 6 percent of the total U.S. dog population and contributed to 71 percent, 22 of the 31 dog bite fatalities.
The Law Relating to California Dog Bites
Under California California's Civil Code Section 3342: "The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner's knowledge of such viciousness."
This means that under California's "strict liability statute" dog owners are responsible for the injuries and damages caused to victims regardless of whether the attack occurs in a public or private place and whether or not the dog owner knew about prior instances when the dog had attacked. The only exceptions to such dog owner liability may be when a dog is provoked or attacked by a victim or when the victim was trespassing or in the process of committing a crime.
Seeking Dog Bite Damages
Dog bite victims often incur significant medical expenses. In many cases, the cost of reconstructive surgery may not be covered because health insurance companies consider it to be "cosmetic" as opposed to a life saving procedure. Dog bite victims can claim damages including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Cost of hospitalization
- Rehabilitative treatments such as physical therapy
- Pain and suffering
- Cost of psychological counseling
- Emotional distress
- Permanent injuries and disabilities
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Dog Bite?
Negligent dog owners can be held financially responsible for their actions in addition to facing citations or criminal charges. In addition to owners, caretakers of dogs can be held liable as well. However, they can only be held liable if they had prior knowledge of the dog's viciousness. Landlords can be held responsible in a dog bite case if the landlord knew that a tenant's dog was the dangerous and had the right to remove the dangerous dog from the property. Depending on the facts and circumstances of a case, there may be other potentially liable parties.
In this video: Managing partner Brian Chase discusses who's at fault in a dog bite case.
Los Angeles Dog Bites on the Rise
Our clients suffer from more than just physical injuries; the trauma associated with an unexpected attack by a dog can leave lifetime emotional scars. Some of our clients experience terror when being approached by a dog or even hearing a dog bark. Unfortunately, despite several organizations efforts to help prevent dog attacks, instances of dog bites are continuing to rise throughout the United States.
How Bad Does a Dog Bite Have to be to Have a Case?
There are many variations of dog bites. Some can be extremely damaging and cause severe injury or death, while other dog bites can leave a dog bite victim with severe mental trauma. A physical injury does not have to be present in order for a dog owner to be sued, but it helps having strong physical evidence, such as stitches, lacerations, bruises and medical expenses, rather than just stating severe mental trauma was inflicted.
Mental trauma can be very serious as well and should never be downplayed. Being emotionally scarred by an incident with a dog or other animal can leave a victim with long-lasting and even permanent damage that can hinder their ability to live a normal life from that moment on.
Why Would I Need an Attorney in my Dog-bite Case?
Dog bite cases can be very involved and sensitive. Who was breaking what laws, does the dog have a history of aggressive behavior, was the dog bite victim given permission to be on the property or where they trespassing? Understanding the laws, rules and best course of action to take throughout the legal process can entirely benefit your case. Experienced attorneys spend countless hours acquiring the newest information and studying law to best defend you and your case. The ability to receive the best legal representation is always advised, especially in dog bite cases.
What Type of Compensation is Covered in a Dog-bite Claim?
Depending on the severity and type of dog bite case, compensation can consist of the following:
- Medical cost
- Pain & suffering
- Loss of future income
- Loss of companionship
What Information do I Need to Gather When Preparing to Talk to a Lawyer About a Dog-bite Case?
If there was a personal injury involved in the dog attack, having documentation of the injuries, photos, a detailed summary of the event including location, time and how the attack began through how it ended. Having witness information is also very important, including eye-witness accounts of the attack, who the witnesses are, where they were during the attack and their contact information. Any information regarding the attack including witnesses, medical costs, photos, documentation and any police reports are important to keep handy.
What Does Your Firm do to Stand Out From Other Firms in Los Angeles When it Comes to Representing Dog-bite Clients?
Los Angeles has the highest number of dog bites and attacks in the entire nation. Bisnar Chase will take on dog bite cases consisting of aggressive breeds, trespassing violations and uncommon situations when other firms will not. Bisnar Chase also does not back down from the high volume of dog bite cases because of our experience, skill and reputation in the courtroom.
Dog Bite Statistics
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that about 4.5 million dog bites happen each year to people in the United States and 1 out of five bites will result in an infection. Children between the ages of 5 and 9 are most at risk for dog attacks. Nearly two-thirds of dog bite injuries among children ages 4 years and younger are to the head and neck region. Also, statistics show that injury rates in children are significantly higher for boys than for girls. A CDC study shows that Pit bulls and Rottweilers account for more than 75 percent of all fatal dog attacks. Clients looking to obtain a dog bite lawyer has increased over the last decade.
Emotional Trauma from a Dog Attack
Experiencing a dog attack can be very traumatic, and can leave long lasting and even permanent PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), night terrors (suddenly waking in your sleep from extreme fear) and even Cynophobia (phobia of dogs).
PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is experienced by many individuals around the world. Ranging from military, car accident victims, violent assault, dog bite victims and many others who have experienced a traumatic event which is difficult for them to overcome emotionally and mentally.
PTSD is a disorder which is diagnosed in individuals experiencing symptoms for at least one month following a traumatic event, even though symptoms may not appear for several months or years later. Symptoms may include:
- Re-experiencing the trauma through vivid recollections of the event, flashbacks, and nightmares.
- Emotional numbness and avoidance of places, people, and activities that are reminders of the trauma.
- Increased arousal such as difficulty sleeping and concentrating, feeling jumpy, and being easily irritated and angered.
Learn more about PTSD, treatments, counseling, therapy and get in touch with others who suffer from PTSD at ADAA.org.
Signs of Cynophobia
Just the thought or seeing a dog can trigger fears and anxious feelings. Typical responses are usually both physical and psychological. Some signs of cynophobia include the following:
- Panic attacks just thinking of dogs
- Freezing when seeing or in the presence of a dog(s)
- Avoiding friends and family who have a dog(s)
- Avoiding places dogs could possibly be present (beach, parks, running paths, etc.)
Dog Bite Victims who show signs of cynophobia and who have experienced severe emotional trauma many times experience the following:
- Social phobias
- Agoraphobia (fear of places and situations that might cause panic, helplessness or embarrassment)
Many dog bite victims seek treatment at an emergency room and some others undergo surgeries to repair bite marks and scars. A dog attack can also prove costly for victims because of the medical expenses they incur. Many are unable to work and earn a livelihood as they recover physically and emotionally from the attack.
Dog Bite Injuries in Los Angeles
Dog attacks can cause serious injuries and wrongful death, depending on the nature of the attack. Dog bites can result in significant bodily injuries. Some of the common bodily injuries sustained in dog attacks include puncture wounds, nerve injuries, torn flesh, broken bones, laceration, tissue loss, and internal injuries. Individuals could be permanently scarred as a result of the bite marks. Amputations of limbs or fingers may also result from dog attacks.
Dog bite victims may also suffer life-threatening infections from the dog attack. John Bisnar, specializes in dog bite cases in Los Angeles and says seeking medical attention is critical to making a full recovery -- even if the victim initially doesn't think the bite is serious. In addition to physical injuries, dog bite victims suffer severe psychological issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, nightmares and fear of dogs.
Protecting Your Rights
If you have been bitten by a dog, it is important that you take the steps necessary to protect you own legal rights. First and foremost, it is important that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. Try to identify the dog that bit you so that the owner can be located. Report the attack to local law enforcement officials. Make sure you take photos of the injuries. Save evidence such as torn or bloody clothing.
Approximately 57 million households in the United States have a dog, estimated at about 83 million dogs throughout the country. At an average of almost 4 million dog bites per year in the United States, you should know your rights if you were or happen to be attacked, and contact our highly skilled dog bite attorneys immediately. Read more about your rights as a dog bite victim.
Last but not the least, it is critical that you contact a Los Angeles dog bite lawyer with experience. They will help protect your rights and ensure that the at-fault parties are held accountable.
A skilled and knowledgeable injury lawyer will work quickly to protect the evidence, locate all the parties involved and obtain a fair settlement in your case. It would be best not to give specific information to insurance companies about the incident.
Bisnar Chase Personal Injury lawyers have been taking on these cases for over 39 years, in the process winning thousands of dollars in settlements and compensation for dog bite victims. We have the best skilled connections, the necessary resources to engage in expensive personal injury litigation, and a reputation that gives us the advantage in winning these types of cases.
If you have been the victim of a dog bite or animal attack in Los Angeles, our Los Angeles dog bite lawyers at Bisnar Chase can help. Call 323-238-4683 or fill out a request for a Free case evaluation.
Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys
6701 Center Drive West, 14th Fl.
Los Angeles, CA 90045