If a dog bites and injures you, its owner may owe you money for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other losses. A personal injury attorney at Saeedian Law Group can help you pursue it, working to establish the owner’s liability so you can recover the money you need to move on with your life. 

What Should I Do If a Dog Bites Me in Beverly Hills?

If a dog bites you, take photos of the scene, the dog, and your injuries, if possible, then seek prompt medical attention. Depending on the severity of the bite, you may need emergency medical care, or you could be seen at an urgent care facility. Stick to your treatment plan, and compile a file with your medical records and bills related to the treatment for the dog bite. This documentation serves as critical evidence in subsequent investigations. Finally, contact an attorney as soon as possible after the attack so they can gather additional evidence and talk to any eyewitnesses while the incident is still fresh in their minds. 

How Do Dog Bites Happen? 

Dogs bite for any number of reasons. Even dogs without a history of violence sometimes unexpectedly bite if they feel threatened or to protect their owner. Other common scenarios that lead to dog bites include: 

  • The dog gets loose and runs away 
  • The dog owner fails to comply with local leash laws 
  • The owner does not maintain control of the dog while on a leash 
  • The dog is provoked 
  • Someone tries to pet an unfamiliar dog 
  • Someone trespasses on private property where a dog is present 

Critically, under California law, the dog owner must take care to prevent foreseeable attacks by maintaining control of their pet. They can be held liable when their failure to do so results in someone else’s injuries.

Types of Dog Bite Injuries 

Dog attacks can result in serious, long-lasting injuries. The dog’s size, strength, and breed can dictate the severity of the injuries, which may include: 

  • Puncture wounds 
  • Facial and eye injuries
  • Deep lacerations
  • Muscle and ligament injuries 
  • Nerve damage 
  • Permanent scarring and disfigurement 
  • Infections 

In addition to these physical injuries, a dog bite can also cause emotional trauma and mental distress. A dog bite lawyer can fully evaluate your injuries and losses to pursue your maximum compensation while you focus on your recovery. 

Proving Liability in a Dog Bite Case

California law provides a strict liability statute by which the dog owner will be found liable for injuries suffered by the individual who was “bitten by the dog while lawfully on private property or in a public place, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or whether the owner knew of such viciousness.”

In other words, if a dog bit and injured you while you were lawfully on the property where the incident occurred, the dog owner is liable. Documentation of your injuries is critical evidence that could prove both the dog owner’s liability and the extent of what you suffered, and could include:

  • Medical record
  • Photographs
  • Witness statements

The dog owner might attempt to avoid liability by alleging you provoked the dog and that, therefore, they are not liable for your injuries. However, a skilled and knowledgeable dog bite attorney will investigate your case and gather the necessary evidence to build a robust case showing you did not provoke the attack and that the liability lies with the dog’s owner.

What is the Statute of Limitations for Dog Bites? 

In California, you have two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit. This deadline is set by the state’s statute of limitations on personal injury claims. If you fail to file by this date, the judge will likely dismiss your lawsuit, and you will lose the opportunity to pursue the compensation you need in court. 

It is important to contact a dog bite attorney as soon as possible after the incident. Although two years may seem like a long time, your attorney needs this time to build a strong case on your behalf. During this time, your attorney will thoroughly investigate the incident, gather your medical records and bills upon your authorization, and demand the compensation you deserve. If your case does not settle, your attorney must file your lawsuit before the deadline expires. 

What Money Can You Receive in a Dog Bite Case? 

The amount of money you could recover after a dog bite case depends on the severity of the injury and your related financial losses. That said, your dog bite claim could cover the cost of your: 

  • Past and future medical expenses 
  • Lost wages 
  • Pain and suffering 
  • Emotional distress 
  • Permanent scarring and disfigurement 

Does A Dog Owner’s Insurance Cover Dog Bites?

In most cases, dog bites are covered by the owner’s homeowners or renters insurance policy. This is good news if you know the dog’s owner. Rather than having to compensate you out-of-pocket, the owner’s insurer will pick up the tab, minimizing any awkwardness that might come from litigation between friends or family members.

Remember that if the owner of the dog that attacked you does not have insurance covering dog bites (or your losses exceed the dog owner’s policy limits), you may still have options to seek the compensation you need. An experienced dog bite lawyer will review your case and evaluate whether filing a personal injury lawsuit against the dog’s owner directly would be worthwhile. Your attorney will investigate whether you could ultimately collect the judgment awarded in court from the dog owner before advising you to file suit. 

Discuss Your Dog Bite Claim with Saeedian Law Group Attorney

The attorneys at Saeedian Law Group are committed to helping victims of dog bites in Beverly Hills. We have the skills and knowledge to handle your dog bite injury case effectively and efficiently, and the compassion and dedication to support you throughout the process. Contact us today for a free consultation, and we can evaluate your dog bite case, gather evidence to prove the dog owner’s liability, and demand maximum compensation on your behalf.