An attack by a pet dog can change the way victims feel about dogs forever. Dogs have been living with human beings for centuries — but despite all of that time as domesticated animals, they haven’t lost their predatory instincts. When those instincts lead them to bite or mail human beings, the result can be devastating. With their strong jaws and sharp teeth, dogs can literally tear human flesh, causing massive loss of blood and skin, broken bones, nerve damage, organ damage or infections. When the dog is able to reach the victim’s most vulnerable body parts — most often with children, because of their short stature — it can kill or gravely injure the victim.
As Riverside dog bite lawyers, we know serious dog attacks are more common than you may think. Statistics from the federal Department of Health and Human Services show that dog attacks kill an average of 17 people every year, hospitalize 6,000 others and send a total of 386,000 to emergency rooms annually. Often, these victims need years of follow-up treatment to fully recover. Dog bite injuries often leave their victims physically scarred around the face and neck, requiring multiple dermatological treatments or even surgeries to resume a normal appearance. There can also be substantial emotional scarring, especially for child victims, requiring therapy or special accommodations during the recovery.
While some of the most serious dog attack cases stem from groups of two or more dogs running loose, the vast majority of victims are friends or family to the dog’s owner. That can create an awkward situation for victims who are considering a Riverside dog bite lawsuit, but aren’t comfortable suing someone they know and care about. Fortunately, they don’t have to. In 90% or more of cases, victims don’t really sue the dog’s owners — they sue the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance company. Insurance covers these claims, so victims can secure the financial compensation they need even if the dog owners are not wealthy.
California law says dog owners may be held responsible for all attacks by their pets, even if it’s the first attack. If the victim was in public or lawfully on the dog owner’s property, or if the dog was running loose or otherwise violating Riverside County animal control laws, the dog owner has clear liability in any dog bite lawsuit victims choose to file. That’s true even if the county or a municipality has already taken action to declare the dog dangerous or have it put down. While these enforcement actions can take a violent dog off the streets, only a legal claim can help victims recover the money for past and future medical bills; any lost income from time they were forced to take off work; and compensation for their physical and emotional injuries.
Our law firm has more than 25 years of experience representing Californians who were seriously injured through no fault of their own. We’re proud to say that we’ve helped more than 25,000 people recover fair compensation for their injuries — money they can use to pay their bills, support themselves while they cannot work and get back on their feet. Thanks to our policy of aggressive negotiations with insurance companies, we have been able to settle 90% or more of our cases long before trial, sparing our clients the strain of a courtroom battle. However, if necessary to secure our clients’ rights, we are not afraid to go to court. Our goal is always to get clients the best possible compensation for their injuries.
If you or a loved one has been attacked by a dangerous dog, you should call our firm to learn more about your rights and our legal options. To set up a free consultation, you can reach us toll-free at 1-800-753-6997 or contact us. We have Los Angeles dog bite lawyers, Las Vegas dog bite attorneys, San Bernardino dog bite lawyers and Orange County dog bite attorneys.