Dog bite reports–which recur in local news outlets–remind us that lovable pets can still have a wild side. Moreover, California citizens should keep in mind that they live in a “strict liability” dog bite state. This classification means that state laws hold owners responsible for their dog’s actions, including the injuries and damages that they cause. If you suffer a dog bite–or your dog bites someone else–contact an experienced dog bite lawyer for advice.

Residents of Encino, CA, and the surrounding region can turn to Davana Law Firm for all personal injury inquiries. In addition to dog bites, we also handle property damage, slip & fall, wrongful death, automobile accidents, and more. Since 2017, our legal team has fought to help clients receive compensation and peace of mind. We promise to charge no fees until we win your case, and with over 500 personal injury cases won, we are confident we will do so. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

Below, we list several questions to ask a lawyer if you are involved in a dog bite incident:

1. What are the Advantages of Hiring a Dog Bite Lawyer?

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Dog bites may seem like trivial events. Even in cases that call for stitches and/or hospitalization, some people shrug the incident off. However, dog bites can lead to physical handicaps, mental suffering, and financial repercussions for victims and dog owners.

Personal injury lawyers can help you sue for damages. The final decision to make a claim rests with you, but a dog bite attorney can build a strong case for you. They know how to gather evidence, tally damages, negotiate with insurance companies, and–if needed–represent you in court.

2. How Great of a Settlement Can I Expect with a Lawyer?

Several factors affect the ultimate amount of a settlement: lost wages, cost of damages, medical bills, and more. Plus, state laws can influence how such cases develop and play out. Whether you’re filing or facing a claim, you must discuss your case’s details with your lawyer.

But one thing is clear: lawyers tilt cases in their clients’ favor. Insurance companies rely on the public’s ignorance of the law to offer low damages pay-offs. However, an experienced attorney knows the proper damage amounts and can ensure you receive fair compensation. 

Moreover, if your dog bites someone, a lawyer can anticipate how their case against you may develop. This knowledge will help them build your defense.

3. Is There a Statute of Limitations for Dog Bite Cases?

As with other elements of personal injury cases, the statute of limitations for dog bites hinges on your state’s laws. For instance, California’s statute of limitations on personal injury cases is two years. If you (or someone making a case against you) file a claim outside that window, you can expect it to be dismissed.

4. What if the Owner Says I Provoked Their Dog?

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As mentioned above, California is a “strict liability” dog bite state. Thus, the victim of an attack need not prove that the owner knew their dog was dangerous or neglected to keep control of it.

Yet these “one-bite rules” have exceptions: owners aren’t held responsible if the bitten party trespasses on the owner’s property or provokes their dog. If someone claims that you provoked their dog, your lawyer will build a case to prove the opposite. Conversely, if your dog bit someone, your lawyer can make a legal defense based on the “one-bite rule” exceptions.

5. What if the Dog That Bit Me Had Was Never Vicious Before?

Once more, “strict liability” dog bite laws apply whether or not the dog has bitten someone before. The owner cannot avoid a lawsuit by claiming their dog has always been well-behaved. Likewise, you cannot expect this explanation to hold water if your dog bites someone.

6. What Can Dog Owners Do to Prevent Their Dog(s) From Biting?

If you’re worried that your dog will lash out without warning, take steps to prevent them from injuring someone. Always have them on a leash when outside, even for quick walks up a trail or around your neighborhood. Also, judge your dog’s comfort around other people and animals. If your dog gets anxious in public, or seems irritable one day, avoid strangers and other animals. Finally, remember that dogs need plenty of exercise to burn excess energy.

Personal Injury and Dog Bite Lawyer Available in Encino, CA

Whether you suffered a dog bite or your dog bit a stranger, turn to Davana Law Firm for legal advice. Our team has an expert dog bite lawyer that handles cases in Encino, CA, and the surrounding area. We handle a diverse range of personal injury cases, including wrongful death, motor accident, premises liability, and more. With our support, you can face the legal system with confidence and discernment. Call us today at (818) 501-1055 or fill out our online form and get a free case consultation.