How Common Are Dog Bite Personal Injury Cases in Orange County?
Dog bite injuries are pretty common in Orange County. We’ve handled numerous dog bite cases over the years. Obviously, in Southern California, we have a big population, and many people own dogs as pets.
What Are Some of the Common Types of Injuries That You See as a Result of Dog Attacks?
A dog attack can lead to bite marks, cuts, tears, scratches, severe scarring, and lacerations. More severe injuries usually require some sort of surgery, whether it’s a general surgery or a plastic surgery to try to fix the scars. We sometimes see bone fractures. Especially with younger victims, we also often see segmental issues where they will have a fear of dogs for years.
What Type of Compensation Is Available to Dog Bite Victims in California?
Special and general damages are available to dog bite victims in California. The special damages consist of medical bills, future medical bills, and lost wages if you’re out of work, while the general damages are your pain and suffering. For particularly bad bites, your future medical bills would include any plastic surgery that will be needed. Some cases need multiple surgeries, even years later.
Is There Any Sort of Comparative Negligence That Could Be Placed on a Dog Bite Victim That Could Lessen a Settlement?
There could be some comparative negligence. Let’s say, for example, that your own dog was off leash when it ran over to the dog that ended up doing the biting; you can be held partially at fault. The value of your case would be reduced by whatever percentage you are at fault, just as it would be with an auto accident case.
Should I Try to Work Something Out with the Dog Owner Instead of Going the Legal Route, Especially If It’s Someone I Know?
You can try to work something out with the dog owner if you choose, but it’s generally better to hire an attorney and let them handle the claim with the dog owner’s homeowners insurance. The misconception is that by hiring an attorney, you’re suing someone, when the goal is actually to settle a claim before you ever have to file a lawsuit and get into court. In other words, you’re not suing your friend, if it’s someone you know. I find it’s better to have an outside party like an attorney handle this kind of situation with the insurance so that you and your friend aren’t dealing with it directly and causing rifts in your relationship.
How Long Do I Have to Bring a Dog Bite Claim Against the Pet Owner’s Insurance Provider in California?
You’d have to file a claim within two years because the statute of limitations in California for filing a lawsuit is two years.
Does the Statute of Limitations Differ When It Comes to Children?
The statute of limitations is different for minors in California—that’s true for auto accidents, dog bites, slip-and-falls, etc. For them, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of their 18th birthday (until they’re 20 years old).
For more information on Dog Bite Cases in California, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (562) 600-0807 today.