Though dogs are amicable creatures, many people are afraid of them due to their lethal bites. However, the most important question that you might be asking yourself is “how much can I sue for a dog bite?
As said earlier, dogs are quite friendly when they are given the proper training. If they are allowed to be in human presence, they can easily adapt to their surroundings. However, if a pup is brought up in a hostile environment, it would grow into a beast.
This is not difficult to understand as many of us have read Sherlock Holmes and the Hound of the Baskervilles. A dog bite can be quite painful. It can also lead to several diseases like rabies or sepsis. That is why one should be medically and mentally prepared to recover from the trauma.
That said, there are several laws in the United States and especially California that can help you get through the situation. For example, if California residents are bitten by dogs, then they are likely to receive compensation. Honestly, dog bite injuries are the most common types of personal injuries seen in California. Such injuries can be traumatic Therefore, you will need a skilled personal injury attorney like the ones found in Kuzyk Law. They can help you get the best outcome for your case.
Also, keep reading the article to learn more about dog bites and the process to acquire compensation.
Firstly, you should learn about the different types of dog bites that call for compensation. The severity of dog bites can range from minor to severe, depending on the breed, cause of the accident, and age of the victim.
- Level 1 – This is the most inconsequential form of a dog bite. It mostly involves hostile behavior. Barking, growling, and jumping on the victim can be included in this category.
- Level 2 – Though it is still trivial, a mark is left by the dog bite in such cases. However, the skin is not necessarily punctured.
- Level 3 – It is a moderate level of a dog bite. It generally includes slightly punctured skin.
- Level 4 – This is the level where the bites appear to be severe and multiple in numbers. The aggressive bite causes skin puncture, bruises, and other wounds.
- Level 5 – In this level, the victim suffers from severe dog bites capable of damaging the nerve and bones.
- Level 6 – This level includes a dog attack that can eventually lead to the death of the victim.
It is time to know about the necessary steps to acquire compensation. Different places have different laws for dog bites. However, if an animal causes harm to a human, the owner is liable to pay for the damages.
Note that the victim should not be involved in provoking the animal in any way. If you have been bitten by a dog while trespassing on private property, then you cannot sue the owner.
What is a dog bite according to the law?
Usually, the term dog bite encompasses all kinds of possible injuries. For example, you can simply be knocked out by a dog and injured. This might be termed under the broad category of a dog bite.
In a nutshell, an attack by a dog inflicting serious injuries can be termed a dog bite. You need not be literally “bitten” by the dog to file a complaint.
Have you been bitten by a dog recently? Are you baffled by the process of taking forward your case? No worries, Kuzyk Law personal injury attorneys can help you get through to the end without any stress.
Attacked by a dog but not bitten?
In case you were injured but not bitten by the dog, you will need to prove the negligence of the owner. It means that the owner should have known or knew that his canine friend poses a threat to other people. But he had failed to take preventive measures to avoid such incidents. If dog owners violate a local or state statute meant for public safety, they will be considered to be negligent under the law of “Negligence per se” in California.
Are you unaware of your rights in a dog bite case? If yes, then do not hesitate to consult Kuzyk Law to get every penny you deserve.
Frequency of dog bites
Around 4.7 million incidents of dog bites take place annually in the United States. It is equivalent to almost 400,000 dog bites in a month and 12,800 per day. This means that every hour approximately 563 people are bitten by dogs in the U.S.
A dog bite victim can suffer emotional and physical wounds that can last a lifetime. That is why it would be a good idea to get the help of Kuzyk Law’s dog bite attorneys.
Classifying a dog as dangerous or vicious
According to California law, when a dog harms a person twice within three years, it is considered to be dangerous. Moreover, a dog is considered dangerous when it has bitten someone without being incited.
If the dog has killed or injured a domestic animal without provocation, the dog must be categorized as dangerous.
To be classified as vicious in California, a dog has to kill somebody or severely injure a victim more than twice during the previous three years. The dog has to do so without being provoked. When a court has ruled a dog potentially harmful or the owner has failed to meet the legal conditions, the dog is categorized as vicious. According to the laws of California, a vicious dog is not allowed to be around.
Dog bites can occur at any time. Not to forget that the smallest dog can cause serious harm. That is why you need a fair settlement to live a normal life after the trauma. Do not worry! Dog bite attorneys at Kuzyk Law can help!
Reporting a dog bite in California
California is abundant in Animal Control facilities. Therefore, it is comparatively easier for the residents to call for the nearest office to report a dog bite.
Once you have reported the bite, take a free consultation at Kuzyk Law to learn more about the process of getting compensation.
The worth of a dog-bite case
Every case of a dog bite is different from the other in terms of injuries and recovery time. A victim can choose from a range of financial recovery. It can be pursued by filing a lawsuit. However, the settlement will depend on various aspects of the case.
For example, if a child is bitten by a dog, then the settlement may be higher than in the case of an adult. Kids can potentially be harmed beyond repair by large dogs. A small child can incur soft tissue injuries and trauma that can be long-lasting. In cases like these, criminal charges for dog bites can also be applied.
An experienced personal injury attorney can help you get the best possible outcome of the case. That said, you can find such an attorney at Kuzyk Law.
Amount of money you can get from a Dog Bite Lawsuit
In many cases, it has been seen that dog owners have dismissed the bite as a mere scratch. However, this kind of behavior should be avoided at the best. A dog bite can lead to many more serious diseases. Thus, it should be treated by a doctor as soon as possible.
For example, if your skin has been punctured due to the bite, it would be recommended that you settle for proper medical care. This can avoid infection caused by the dog’s saliva in your bloodstream.
Bites differ based on the circumstances and the seriousness of the injury. It can, therefore, be difficult to provide an exact amount. Every case is somewhat unique. As a result, different laws may be applicable. According to a statistic by Insurance Journal, the amount can range over $37,000.
Kuzyk Law has handled numerous personal injury claims since 1971. They have a team of experts who are known for working day and night for their clients. Therefore, it would be a good idea to contact them when you feel perplexed by the dog bite case.
Important points to remember in a Dog Bite Case
To win a case in court, you need to contact an advisor capable of providing sound advice. You need to keep in mind the following points before making any haste.
Firstly, a vet has to professionally evaluate the nature of the dog. He has to check whether it is dangerous or vicious. The doctor has to make a video of the animal for representation in court. In most cases, a friendly dog will not turn out to be dangerous. Likewise, a vicious dog will not become friendly towards the vet. Hence, a witness has to be prepared.
Attach scene investigation
Secondly, an investigator needs to thoroughly inspect the scene of the attack. A dangerous/vicious dog will leave clues like scratches on the door.
Proof of attack
Thirdly, victims need to have sufficient documentation to prove the attack. For example, if you are involved in a dog attack, you need to report the attack at the earliest. Additionally, you have to take photographs of the injury before receiving any medical attention.
You need to have your injury examined by a professional dealing with dog injuries. The court needs to know whether the cause of the wound is the said dog. False accusations to defame the owner and the animal are not entertained by the court of law.
You can now talk with a dog bite lawyer at Kuzyk Law to learn more about victim rights!
Can a Dog- Bite Attorney Help?
After you have been attacked by a dog, you must seek legal advice. For example, you can schedule a consultation to discuss your case at Kuzyk Law. It can help you proceed with the case. Your attorney will help you in such scenarios. He will safeguard you in case the dog owner’s insurance company assigns a lawyer to cause trouble. Additionally, if you are unable to get medical help on your own, a qualified and skilled dog bite attorney can help you receive treatment.
All that is involved in a lawsuit
It is tough to be logical and calm after a dog attack. However, to enforce legal rights, the victim needs to be calm and collected. There are several steps to be followed. For example, the victim has to gather evidence, contact the dog owner, seek medical help, try to negotiate a settlement, and file a lawsuit. However, all this should be done with the help of a dog bite attorney. That said, Kuzyk Law can help victims maximize the value of their cases. Do not hesitate to contact them if you want to learn more about dog bite cases.
Losses that can be compensated in a dog bite lawsuit in California
If your innocence is proved and your lawsuit appears to be successful, you can recover compensation for all your losses. However, for that, you will need an experienced personal injury attorney like the ones found in Kuzyk Law. They are known to have the prerequisite knowledge required to tackle such cases.
Remember that your compensation can include medical bills, reimbursement for emotional trauma and any kind of permanent disfigurement caused by the dog bite. Other types of compensation may include the following:
- Lost wages,
- Damage to property
- Reduction of your ability to earn
- Physical pain
- Loss of consortium
As a victim, you need to include the fees of the attorney, medical reports, and expert witnesses. These are the basic amount of money required for moving the lawsuit forward.
However, with free consultations, it becomes quite affordable to hire an attorney from Kuzyk Law.
The statute of limitation in California for dog-bite cases
It is the amount of time for filing a valid lawsuit. For example, suppose you have suffered from a dog attack in 2016. But you have filed the case in 2021. In such a scenario, your lawsuit will not be considered valid because the time limit to file a case has already passed. Generally, such a lawsuit is dismissed. The statute of limitations in California for these types of cases is 2 years from the date of the incident.
Laws can be complicated. The process can be tiresome. With you running from one point to another for medical treatment and case registration, it can be tough to keep track of the progress of the case. Therefore, it would be prudent for you to take the help of attorneys available at Kuzyk Law. They are known to have numerous clients get a fair settlement.
Possible Defenses in Dog-Bite Lawsuits
Before filing a lawsuit, it might be a good idea for you to know about the defenses in such cases. Dog owners who may have one or more legal defenses may argue that the victims were trespassing on their private property. They can also claim that the victim was at fault. This would lessen any compensation received under California’s “Comparative Negligence” rule. A dog owner can also claim that the victim willingly took the risk of being bitten by a dog.
Are you worried about being victimized in the case? Are you afraid of your voice being unheard? Do not worry! At Kuzyk Law, your grievances will be heard!
Does California homeowner’s insurance cover dog bites?
Some renter’s and homeowner’s insurance companies cover dog bites.
However, some companies do not cover the expenses for certain breeds.
That said, some of the breeds that are often excluded from the coverage are:
- Pit bulls,
- Wolf hybrids.
- Alaskan Malamutes,
- Siberian Huskies
- Staffordshire terriers
- German Shepherds
The complex structure of laws can intimidate you. You might feel lost in the middle of chaos. However, you can prevent this by availing help from Kuzyk Law.
The Question of Euthanasia
Usually, canines that bite people are not euthanized. However, the law is a bit different in California. If a canine has been associated with attacks on two separate occasions, it can be permitted for euthanasia. Likewise, if a dog trained to kill or attack, severely injures somebody, it will be euthanized. In such cases, the animals are taken away from their owners. Following a hearing, they are euthanized.
Contact The Lawyers At Kuzyk Law Today!
Are you unaware of the best path forward in your case? Are you not well-informed about the procedures in dog bite cases? Consult Kuzyk Law at the earliest to get all the necessary information!