HOW DO DOG ATTACKS FIT UNDER PERSONAL INJURY LAW?
The law in California addresses dog attacks differently than personal injury claims. An owner of a dog is held to be strictly liable in California for damages their dog creates during a dog attack.
California Civil Code section 3342(a) provides:
The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness. A person is lawfully upon the private property of such owner within the meaning of this section when he is on such property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him by the laws of this state or by the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or when he is on such property upon the invitation, express or implied, of the owner.
This liability on the part of the dog owner is much stronger than the general negligence standard in most other personal injury claims. As a result, the victims of these dog attacks can focus on addressing their physical and emotional symptoms prior to settling their claims.
WHAT TYPE OF INJURIES USUALLY RESULT FROM ANIMAL ATTACKS?
Dog bite attacks typically produce gruesome and grisly injuries. These injuries are characterized as ripping, tearing, and puncturing of the flesh. Unlike most other injuries in collisions or falls, the physical damage inflicted on the victim’s body is permanent and usually results in significant scarring.
Moreover, the healing and medical treatment from these vicious dog attacks is complicated by the nature of the injury. Surgeons and medical personnel faced with these injuries have to address the injuries differently than other injuries. Most of the significant wounds are not surgically repaired and “closed” due to the high degree of bacteria that accompanies the animal’s bite. As a result, the healing rate is prolonged and often accompanied by setbacks.
WHAT CAN SOMEONE BE ENTITLED TO IF THEY SUFFERED PERMANENT PHYSICAL DAMAGE?
Much like auto accidents, a victim of a dog attack can recoup the medical bills and wage loss associated with the recuperation and rehabilitation that they must endure. They can also recover pain and suffering damages incurred from the attack. Many times the victims of a dog attack have injuries that involve permanent scarring which presents unique physical and emotional damages. Often our clients need to see a plastic surgeon to be evaluated and treated. The scarring from a dog attack can be addressed through a variety of treatment options including surgical revision. Our office has referred clients to plastic surgeons who may provide scar revision options.
IF A VICTIM HAS EMOTIONAL TRAUMA DUE TO ATTACK, CAN THEY CLAIM THAT AS AN INJURY AS WELL?
Many victims of dog attacks are pet owners themselves. A dog attack is a very personal physical attack that results in lasting and enduring physical scars from an animal that is described as “Man’s best friend.” Many of our clients’ attacks create emotional scars as well. Several clients have required psychological counselling and emotional support to assist them in their emotional symptoms related to such an attack.
HOW CAN SOMEONE HELP PROVE THAT A DOG BITE WAS THE NEGLIGENCE OF AN OWNER?
Most dog attacks that result in physical injury are documented in the form of an incident report by either local law enforcement or animal control. If the incident is not documented by a public agency, then thorough investigation needs to be completed in a timely manner. Victims of an attack can be assured that our firm will aggressively investigate the matter and obtain the necessary information to prosecute. Proving fault in a dog attack case is usually dependent upon the facts discovered through that investigation.
WHY SHOULD SOMEONE CONTACT REDKEY GORDON TO GET ASSISTANCE WITH A DOG ATTACK CLAIM?
Dog attacks are definitely unique claims that call for a separate set of medical physicians and specialists. These attacks have produced permanent physical limitations and scars on our clients which have required multiple surgeries and scar revision procedures. These cases are unique in their treatment and their recovery, therefore we must rely upon our experience with these cases to determine the case value and the proper resolution of the claim.
Redkey Gordon can facilitate qualified treatment options for the emotional and physical injuries produced in these gruesome events. We understand the suffering our clients have experienced, and with that in mind, our firm works diligently towards a successful resolution by constant and compassionate communication with our client. Call today for a free consultation 209-267-1685.