Although widely regarded as “man’s best friend,” dogs still possess some natural instincts and occasionally bite. If you get bitten, you can sue the dog’s owner with a personal injury claim–but should you? Seek out an expert dog bite attorney and discuss your state’s laws, the potential damages owed, and the owner’s stance.
Given California’s “strict liability” laws for dog bite cases, you stand a strong chance of receiving damages for a bite. But a professional dog bite attorney from Davana Law Firm in Los Angeles, CA, can ensure your success. By working with our legal team, you can make a more informed decision about suing. Davana guarantees to charge no fees until we win your case, and we’ve won over 500 cases through our practice’s history.
Here, we outline the factors that you should consider when deciding whether to sue over a dog bite:
Factors That Influence Dog Bite Claims
- The cost of your damages
Medical treatment never comes cheap. And if you’re bitten by a dog, there’s a reasonable chance you will need to visit a hospital or doctor. Depending on the bite’s severity, you may have to pay for treatment, medications, and missed work. Thus, your first consideration in making a dog bite claim should be the costs incurred by the incident.If you only received a scratch or a scare from someone’s dog, we suggest that you leave off legal action. However, significant medical bills and lost time at work can take a heavy impact on your life. You can recover medical costs and income from a dog bite claim, which makes them good reasons to pursue such a move.
- Negotiability & willingness to settle in/out of court
After determining whether your damages call for some kind of action, you should consider the dog owner’s stance. Most dog bite cases get settled out of court, and the cases that don’t usually go to small claims court. Even if the incurred costs are high for you, they probably don’t warrant a state court’s involvement.You should determine whether you and the other party can settle on an amount. Legal experts suggest that dog bite victims write a letter to the dog’s owner. The letter should outline the incident’s details, itemize the victim’s related expenses, and cite local or state dog-bite laws. Finally, they should list a deadline for the payments and emphasize their willingness to go to small claims court.
- State laws governing dog bites
You should pay particular attention to local and state guidelines governing dog bite liability. These differ from place-to-place, so what worked for one person may not for another. For instance, California has strict liability dog bite laws that put financial responsibility for dog bites on their owners.A qualified dog bite lawyer can help you navigate the specifics of your state’s laws. In California, one can help you establish the necessary facts: the dog’s ownership, facts of the case, pain and suffering, etc.
- Pain and suffering
Along with the costs of medical treatment, many victims consider pain and suffering in their dog bite claim. In personal injury claims, this term refers to the physical and mental discomfort related to an accident. It can include the effects of an accident, the time devoted to healing, and the loss of enjoyable activities.Quantifying an appropriate amount for pain and suffering is difficult, but your lawyer can help you to determine one. Their experience with other cases should inform your decision and reasoning.
- Ability to get a lawyer
If the dog’s owner refuses your letter’s request for damages, get a lawyer before making a claim. While anyone can argue a case in small claims court, you better your chances of winning with a lawyer. Granted, part of your damages payment will go to them. But your lawyer can help you secure a greater amount, thereby covering the expense.
Get a Qualified Dog Bite Attorney in Los Angeles, CA, at Davana Law
Every dog bite case differs in its details and victim, but they all can have a positive outcome. If you’ve paid significant medical bills, missed time at work, or suffered in the bite’s aftermath, call Davana Law Firm. We charge no fees until our expert dog bite attorney wins your case. Additionally, we offer 9 practice specialties in 3 different languages to support all your legal needs. Call us today at (818) 501-1055 or fill out our online form for a free case consultation.