Sacramento Dog Bite Attorney
When most people hear about dog bite injuries, the first thing to come to mind is a little nip on the hand. In reality, many dog bites are much more severe than that. It is not unusual for victims to suffer severe injuries that result in significant lacerations, muscle and nerve damage, and permanent scarring. In many cases, the emotional injuries connected to the trauma of the attack are the most serious.
Unless the victim was trespassing on the owner’s property or the animal was provoked, owners are held strictly liable under California law when their dogs cause serious personal injuries. If you have been bitten by a dog, you should have your case reviewed by a skilled Sacramento dog bite attorney as soon as possible. At Rosenthal & Kreeger, LLP, we represent dog bite victims throughout the Sacramento area.
Sacramento Dog Bite Resources
- Why Hire Rosenthal & Kreeger, LLP for Your Dog Bite Claim?
- How a Dog Bite Attorney Can Help
- Compensation for Dog Bites
- California Dog Bite Laws
- What to Do After a Dog Bite
- Dog Bite Myths
- Dog Attacks on Children
- Contact a Sacramento Dog Bite Lawyer Today
Why Choose Rosenthal & Kreeger, LLP to Handle Your Dog Bite Claim?
For over 25 years, our law firm has provided quality legal representation to clients who were seriously injured in dog attacks. Here are several reasons why you should trust us with your dog bite case:
- Our team of attorneys has the resources necessary to take on insurance companies and demand fair compensation for injuries, pain, and suffering.
- We’re regular folks but exceptional lawyers.
- We achieve successful outcomes in over 99% of our cases, whether it’s through mediation, settlement, or trial.
- We offer a free consultation to all prospective clients and will pay for an Uber ride to and from our office if you’re unable to drive yourself.
- We offer our services on a contingency fee basis, which means you won’t owe anything unless we achieve a successful result.
A dog bite can have multiple negative effects, from permanent disfigurement to extensive medical treatment and emotional side effects. In the state of California, pet owners do not need to commit negligence to be liable for the damages that their animals cause. Any dog bite might form legal grounds for a civil claim, so victims of an attack should contact a Sacramento dog bite lawyer as soon as possible.
Do I Need an Attorney for a Dog Bite?
If you suffered an injury from a dog bite or animal attack in Sacramento, a lawyer can help you in several ways:
- He or she can handle the communication between the insurer and the other parties involved
- Collect the necessary evidence to establish grounds for a civil claim
- Collect and organize all medical records and bills to evaluate material damages
- Obtain all medical evidence necessary to establish harm
- Present all evidence to an insurance company to demand a fair settlement for material and intangible losses
- Negotiate a fair amount that reflects the amount of pain and suffering on the account of the plaintiff
A Sacramento dog bite attorney helps by securing damages not only for the material costs of a dog bite but intangible losses as well. A couple of methods for calculating these damages exist and an attorney will negotiate aggressively with an insurer to achieve maximum compensation for them.
How Much Can I Sue for a Dog Bite?
A person who suffers injury as the result of a dog bite may be entitled to two major types of damages:
- Economic damages involve material damages a plaintiff suffers. Examples include medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, and any other costs expected with care and recovery.
- General damages compensate for the intangible losses a person suffers as the result of an accident. Examples may include loss in life quality, emotional anguish from permanent disfigurement, physical pain, and more.
For additional information regarding the specific damages available in your case, reach out to a qualified dog bite lawyer in Sacramento.
Dog Bite Laws in California
The laws governing dog bites in California fall under section 3342 of the Civil Code. This states that any owner of an animal is liable for the damages it causes if:
- The damages were the direct result of a dog bite, and;
- The person was rightfully in the place where the bite occurred (i.e. not trespassing)
With regard to dog bites, California is a “strict liability” state. In other words, an owner will be vicariously liable for the damages a dog bite causes, regardless of whether he or she knew the dog was dangerous. Anyone who sustains injury from a dog bite need only prove that the bite led to damages and that the bite occurred in a public place or while lawfully occupying a private space.
When an animal-related injury occurs due to something other than a bite (i.e. being knocked down by a dog), then regular negligence rules apply. In other words, the plaintiff must be able to show:
- The owner of the animal owed a duty of care to the plaintiff
- He or she violated that duty by negligently caring for the animal
- That negligence led to injury
- The plaintiff suffered damages as a result
If you have any further questions regarding California dog bite laws, consult a knowledgeable Sacramento dog bite attorney at Rosenthal & Kreeger, LLP.
What to Do After a Dog Bite
Smart dog owners understand that even the friendliest, gentlest pet is unpredictable. Dogs can provide companionship and protection. However, when they feel afraid, frustrated, or cornered, they may react by biting, growling, or other aggression. If you have ever suffered a bite from a dog, you know how painful it can be.
In California, dog owners are responsible for the actions of their pets even if they never suspected the animal would attack. To improve the chances that you or your child will recover medically and financially from a dog bite, there are steps you can take.
Get Medical Treatment
The first step after any injury is to seek medical help. Dog bites can be dangerous even if they are not deep. While deep bites from a strong dog may cause bleeding, muscle damage, and even broken bones, the germs in a dog’s mouth should also cause concern anytime a bite breaks the surface of the skin.
Rabies is a dangerous and deadly virus a dog may spread to you or your child through its saliva. If the dog owner has not kept the animal’s vaccinations up to date, you or your child may suffer through the painful treatment. Even if the dog is properly vaccinated, you may be at risk of infection, so it is important to get medical care as soon as possible after a dog bite.
Document the Incident
The cost of medical treatment after a dog bite can add up quickly. You may need stitches, antibiotics and pain medication. A severe bite may require reconstructive surgery or result in permanent scarring, disfigurement or nerve or muscle damage.
Whether you plan to seek compensation from an insurance company or through a civil lawsuit, you will need to document the incident. You can do this in the following ways:
- Obtain information from the dog’s owner including the name of the animal’s vet.
- Speak to witnesses and write down their contact information.
- Call animal control and ask them to take your report of the dog bite. Under California law any time a dog bites the animal must be quarantined.
- Take pictures of the injuries throughout the healing process.
- Write down your memory of the events as soon as possible to avoid forgetting important details.
- Keep a log of any expenses and hardships related to the injuries.
You may try to get payment from the dog owner’s insurance company but how can you be sure they are offering you a fair settlement? A reliable Sacramento dog bite lawyer will know how to calculate the total cost, including time you miss from work, and future expenses that may arise.
The ‘One Free Bite’ Rule and Other Myths
California has done away with its so-called “one free bite” rule, so owners are held liable even if their dogs have never shown any aggressive behavior previously. It is also not true that, if no bite took place, the victim has no claim. It may be possible to pursue damages if you were injured while trying to avoid an attack. The dog does not have to be aggressive in order for an injury victim to have a claim. If the victim is knocked down, even if the dog was being gregarious, he or she has the right to seek compensation for any injuries that occur. To learn more and clear up any other myths, speak with a Sacramento personal injury attorney experienced in dog bite claims.
When Dogs Attack Children
Children may be at the greatest risk of being attacked by a dog. They have no natural fear of dogs and trust that no harm will come to them by approaching one. When a child is attacked, the injuries tend to be much more severe. This is especially true of the emotional aspect. Some children never overcome their fear of dogs after experiencing an attack.
Contact Our Sacramento Dog Bite Lawyers Today
When you choose Rosenthal & Kreeger, LLP, our trusted attorneys will seek full compensation for all of your injuries, including care for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other similar conditions. We invite you to contact one of our offices in Roseville or Sacramento to discuss your case. You can reach us by phone at (916) 774-7200 or by email to schedule a free consultation.
“Chris cares for his clients. I received 1st class service and was comfortable with how he handled my case.”