Sacramento Dog Bite Lawyers
Representing Dog Bite Injury Victims in California
Whether or not you like dogs, a dog bite or attack can make for an unpleasant experience. In addition to the psychological terror of an animal attack, dog bites can leave victims with deep lacerations and disfigurements that may never fully heal. Unfortunately, children are the most common victims of dog attacks.
If you have been attacked by a dog and it caused physical and/or emotional injuries, you should contact an experienced Sacramento dog bite attorney. The team at Kershaw, Cook & Talley has over 100 years of combined legal experience to put towards your case to help you receive the compensation you deserve.
Call (916) 520-6639 today to get in touch with a member of our firm.
What Should I Do If A Dog Bit Me?
The aftermath of a dog attack can be chaotic, but following these steps can help you when you need to file a personal injury claim:
- Seek medical attention. Serious infections and other complications can result from a dog bite.
- Take photographs of your injuries and continue to do so throughout the healing process.
- Make a record of any witnesses including their full names, addresses, and phone numbers.
- Obtain the name and contact information of the dog’s owner. You may inform the owner that you were bit by his or her dog, but do not provide the owner any information about your condition as this could be used against you later.
- Do not speak with the dog owner's insurance agent. Anything you say to them can be used later and can potentially weaken your claim. Also, do not allow the owner or insurance representative to photograph you or your injuries.
- Contact a dog bite attorney. Dog bite injury claims are complex so you will need the legal representation of an experienced lawyer to help you recover compensation for your injuries.
How Do I Know If I Have a Dog Bite Case?
Generally, most dog bite cases in California are governed by the “dog bite statute" which is found in the California Civil Code, section 3342(a).
According to this statute, the owner of the dog is strictly liable for the damages caused by the dog bite when their dog bites a person who is in a public area or was invited to private property, no matter how carefully they guard or restrain their dog.
To prove this claim, the victim must demonstrate:
- That the defendant owned the dog;
- That the dog bit the victim while he or she was in a public place or lawfully on private property;
- That the victim was harmed; and,
- That the defendant’s dog was a substantial factor in causing the victim’s harm.
The above statute requires that the victim suffer a dog bite. However, it does not require the skin to be broken. For example, if a dog bit the victim’s clothing causing the victim to fall down and injure themselves, the owner would still be strictly liable for any damage caused as a result of the bite, including damages from the fall and/or the emotional distress of being attacked.
What if I Was Attacked but Not Bitten?
If a person is injured by a dog attack, but not actually bitten by the dog, their claim cannot be brought pursuant to the California dog bite statute. However, they may still be able to bring a claim under something called the “common law” doctrine.
Under the common law rule, the owner of the dog will still be strictly liable for injuries caused by his or her dog, but only if the dog was dangerous and the owner knew or should have known that the dog was dangerous. Injuries like these can occur when a dog jumps on a person or aggressively rushes them, causing them to trip and fall.
What damages Can a dog bite victim can be compensated For?
In our civil justice system, individual compensation generally falls into two categories. They are called economic and non-economic damages. They are also sometimes referred to as special and general damages.
“Economic” or “special” damages include past and future medical bills, and past and future lost earnings and earning capacity.
“Non-economic” or “general” damages include past and future losses for pain, mental suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement, physical impairment, anxiety, inconvenience, humiliation, and emotional distress.
If you have suffered injury as a result of a dog bite or attack, please contact our firm. Our team of experienced staff and trial attorneys will answer your questions. We will ensure your legal rights are protected and will fight to get you the full compensation to which you are entitled for your losses.
Contact an experienced Sacramento dog bite attorney today at (916) 520-6639.