Burbank Dog Bite Lawyer
Dogs can bring joy, and many of us do not expect them to bite. If a dog does bite you in Burbank, you might not know what to do to recover compensation to treat your injuries. At bottom, dog owners are generally liable for their dogs’ bites. Take action as soon as possible after a dog bite incident to protect your rights and seek the compensation you need.
Dog bites occur each day across the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calculated that 4.5 million dog bites occur in the United States country annually. Out of those, 900,000 become infected. A dog bite can be very traumatic and painful for the victim.
Statistics show that 94 percent of dog bites are unprovoked. In other words, most dog bite victims did not instigate the event in any way. Many victims of dog bites are children. California statistics illustrate that 70 percent of dog attack victims are under the age of 12.
Read on to learn more about dog bite cases, and how the Burbank dog bite attorneys at Yarian Accident & Injury Lawyers, APC can help you.
Los Angeles County is the most populous county in the United States. This means that dogs and dog bites are a common occurrence. If you’ve been involved in a dog bite incident, you should contact a Burbank dog bite lawyer today.
Attorney for Dog Bites in Burbank
Dog bites are painful, traumatic, and often unexpected. As a victim of a dog bite injury, you are most likely eligible for compensation under the laws of California. Seek guidance from a dog bite attorney with experience in these cases. At Yarian Accident & Injury Lawyers, APC, we understand how difficult it can be to recover from a dog bite and the challenges that can follow as you fight for the recovery of your losses. We are here to help you fight for what you deserve under the law after a dog bite.
If a dog recently bit you, you may be entitled to compensation. A good personal injury attorney can evaluate and file your claim. Time, however, is limited. Contact the dog bite attorneys at Yarian & Associates, APC, for legal representation today.
Our Burbank dog bite lawyers are experienced in handling dog bite cases. We approach our clients with compassion and respect. Contact one of our attorneys today and let us help you hold the responsible party liable for your pain and suffering. Yarian & Associates, APC accepts clients throughout the Los Angeles Metropolitan area, including surrounding cities such as Burbank, Visalia, Irvine, San Bernardino, Riverside, and Long Beach.
Overview of Dog Bites Claims in California
What to Do After a Dog Bite
Dog bites can put the victim into a state of shell shock. Depending on the severity, the victim may not know how to react. Although it is understandable to be stunned after an attack, you should try your best to be proactive.
Some tips that a victim can do after an attack include:
- Get to a safe place, away from the attack;
- Call a first responder;
- Determine who owns or control the dog;
- Take photos of the dog, the location, and your injuries;
- Get information from the dog owner, including name number, address, and if possible, their homeowner’s insurance;
- Get information from surrounding witnesses as well;
- Contact animal control or law enforcement
Although not listed, a final tip is to get in contact with a personal injury attorney. There is only a limited amount of time to file a claim for a dog bite attack. If you were injured by a dog bite, it is vital that you call an attorney to best understand your rights.
Where Do Most Dog Bites Happen?
As you go about your day, it may be common for you to encounter multiple dogs. These encounters may take place while the dog is free to roam at someone’s home, or in a park or neighborhood where the dog may be leashed or let loose to play. A dog bite can happen anywhere and during any of these encounters throughout your day. It is difficult to predict or understand why exactly a dog may bite. They may be territorial, feel afraid or threatened, or perhaps have simply been allowed by their owners to be aggressive. While a dog bite can occur anywhere, there are certain areas where a dog is most likely to attack or bite a person.
In a Home
While a dog may bite its owners or family, more often a dog will bite a visitor to a home. While the law does not impose liability on an owner for the actions of a dog on a trespasser or home intruder, an owner is liable for the harm done by their animals to guests on their property or inside their home. Children are particularly susceptible to dog bites in these scenarios, as they might not recognize the signs of a dog’s aggression or threatening demeanor and believe that, because they are in a familiar setting, they are safe.
Every neighborhood is home to many pets, including dogs. Many households have not just one but multiple pets, which means that you are likely to see various dogs of different sizes and breeds on a walk through your neighborhood. When dogs are within the boundaries of a fence or on a leash, there is a much lesser chance of a dog bite. But if a dog gets loose, is a stray, or is abandoned in a neighborhood, they become a threat to the safety of those nearby them. Dogs can be easily frightened, especially if they are in a confusing setting or lost. A loose dog is one of the more common scenarios in which a random dog will attack a person on the street.
Whether you are at a designated dog park or a dog-friendly park, you are at risk of a bite, more or less depending on the behavior of the owners and the atmosphere of the park. Dog parks can attract heavy crowds of owners and canines during the early morning hours, evening hours, and on the weekends.
These times can be chaotic, and any scuffle can result in an owner or bystander becoming the victim of a dog bite. In parks, a mix of people exercise or enjoy the outdoors, families play and interact, and owners stroll with their pets. If a dog is off-leash or an owner can’t maintain control of the animal, it can become a threat to the rest of the public at a park.
Most Common Injuries That Result From a Dog Bite Attack
In many cases, people hear “dog bite” and think of a very specific injury to the skin where a dog’s teeth will break the victim’s skin. However, dog bite injuries can be severe and involve much more than just the puncture wounds from the dog biting through the skin. Many factors will influence the severity of a dog bite injury. How the attack takes place, the jaw strength of the dog, the size and weight of the dog, and the overall health and state of the victim all play into the resulting injuries.
The injuries after a dog bite can require surgery or long-term recovery. There is also a potential for permanent damage and life-long disability to a victim. Beyond the injury itself, dog bites can also lead to complications during the healing and recovery process, such as infections or communicable diseases that pass from the dog’s saliva into your open wound
Common injuries from dog bite attacks include:
- Puncture wounds
- Cuts, bruises, and lacerations
- Broken or crushed bones
- Scarring or deformity
- Internal injuries
- Nerve injuries
- Cosmetic disfigurement
- Psychological Impact
- Injuries to organs such as the eyes, ears, and mouth
Establishing Liability for a Dog Bite in California
Since California is a strict liability state, the dog owner will be held responsible for dog bite injuries. This includes any situation where trespassers on the owner’s property are involved. The strict liability statute holds true as long as the victim is:
- In a public place;
- Lawfully on private property; or
- On the dog owner’s property, so the victim is there legally.
California Civil Code sec. 3342(a) states that the dog’s owner is liable for any harm caused. Even if the animal has never shown any prior aggression, the owner will still be liable. Additionally, California law mandates that all dogs must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet in length.
The California law dictates if a dog is deemed “vicious,” that it may be quarantined by animal control and put to sleep for public safety. The definition of a vicious dog is any dog that has attacked a person in an unprovoked manner, a dog that has bitten a person or another domestic animal off the property of the owner on two or more separate occasions within a 36 month period.
A “vicious dog” may inflict severe injury or cause death on a person. Severe injury is defined under California law as a muscle tear or disfiguring lacerations that require multiple sutures or corrective surgery.
The definition of a vicious dog is any dog that has attacked a person in an unprovoked manner, a dog that has bitten a person or another domestic animal off the property of the owner on two or more separate occasions within a 36 month period.
Are Certain Dog Breeds More Dangerous Than Others?
Much controversy surrounds whether certain breeds have a higher tendency to aggression than others. The reality is that any breed of dog can be prone to bite. However, the damage a bite causes varies greatly depending on the breed involved. This does not necessarily mean that one dog breed is more likely to bite than another, but it does mean that certain dog breeds are more likely to cause severe injuries or even fatalities if a bite occurs.
Furthermore, it may be hard to identify a dog breed responsible for a dog bite or attack. After all, most dogs are a mix of multiple breeds, which can make bite statistics by breed a fool’s errand. In fact, a study conducted by medical researchers shows that the top dog breed responsible for the vast majority of severe dog bites is unknown. However, certain breeds may cause more severe damage due to their strength, such as pit bulls, terriers, Rottweilers, and German shepherds.
Dog Bite Laws in Burbank
When it comes to dog bites, the laws of California are clear. If you suffer a bite from a dog, the owner is strictly liable to you for your damages and losses. The only exceptions to this law are if the individual that suffers the bite was trespassing on another’s party, was aggressing the animal at the time of the bite, or the dog was a law enforcement K-9 on the job.
Beyond these limited exceptions, any time a dog bite occurs, the animal’s owner is responsible for the injuries the dog causes the victim. In California, liability does not require an owner to know that the dog is a threat or that the dog bit someone before. So long as the victim does not fall under one of the exceptions, the owner is liable.
California’s dog bite statute pertains only to dog bites. In the case of other animal bites or if a dog attacks you by pushing you to the ground but does not bite, the statute does not apply. This does not mean you cannot recover compensation for any injury you suffered. Rather, in these cases, strict liability doesn’t apply under the dog bite statute. Instead, a victim may recover compensation under general principles of negligence. If you can show that an owner negligently handled their dog or animal, leading to your injuries, you may pursue compensation for your injuries.
The Populations at Highest Risk of Fatality from a Dog Bite
Death from a dog bite is rare, but it does happen and children are disproportionately at risk of fatality. Their smaller and more fragile bodies make it harder for them to defend themselves in an attack or escape, and they are more likely to suffer devastating injuries from just one bite from a dog, especially from larger and more powerful breeds.
When to File a Claim for a Dog Bite
There is a limited time period to file a claim against a dog bite owner. California Code to Civil Procedure § 335.1 establishes the statute of limitations for dog bites. The limit for a dog bite claim is typically two years.
If a lawsuit is not filed during that two-year period, the victim loses the right to file a lawsuit, and the owner will be without fault. The faster you file a claim with fresh evidence, the easier the case will be. Due to the time limit, it is important to get in touch with a personal injury attorney who will have your best interest in mind.
When Can You Sue for a Dog Bite in California?
In many instances of a dog bite, you may be able to seek compensation through an insurance policy. It may come as a surprise to many, but homeowner’s insurance policies, as well as renter’s insurance policies, will often cover dog bite injuries. However, coverage might not be available if the specific breed of dog that bites a victim falls under the policy exclusions of the insurer. Also of note is that, even if the dog bite takes place away from the insured property, you may still qualify for coverage under the policy.
When insurance coverage is available and applies to your case, you may first proceed with an insurance claim. You can settle by negotiating your insurance claim if you can reach an agreement with the assistance of your attorney that meets your needs and sufficiently covers your losses. Most dog bite cases settle.
If an insurance policy does not cover your dog bite or the settlement offers made by an insurer are insufficient, you may sue the insurer or dog owner personally. Your attorney can advise you as to when this step is necessary or in your best interest in your case.
What Damages Can You Collect in a Burbank Dog Bite Case?
A dog bite can range from a minor injury to a severe and life-threatening injury that permanently damages your health and ability to function. If a dog bit or attacked you, you may need emergency medical attention, miss work, and have a long period of recovery and rehabilitation. The law in California is clear—any individual who suffers a dog bite may seek compensation for the damages they sustain from that bite.
Damages in a dog bite case can include:
- Medical costs
- Lost wages and income
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
Additional Dog Bite Injury Resources
Civ. Code §3342(a) – Visit the California Legislature’s website for statutory language regarding dog bites. See the specifics, penalties, and liabilities involved with dog bites and the exceptions to the statute.
Preventing Dog Bites – Visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website. Learn about various ways a person can avoid being bit by a dog. Read about what you can do to protect yourself as well as what you can do if an unfamiliar dog approaches you.
If a Dog Bites You, Do These 7 Visit Cleveland Clinic’s website, and see an article written by M.D’s on what a person should do after a dog bite.
The Risk of a Dog Bite in Burbank
Many people do not think about the odds of getting bit by a dog, and might not consider that they could get bit by a dog at all until it happens. While an innocent nip from a pet will rarely cause much more than a startle, serious dog bites happen more often than people may realize. It can happen with a dog you know or a random dog you pass in public.
While we may believe we know how dogs will act or react, the reality is they can be unpredictable. If a dog bites a person, the damage can be serious, especially depending on the breed of the dog, the location of the bite, and whether there are multiple bites. In some cases, a dog bite can even cause death.
Reports estimate that in just one year across the U.S., over 4.5 million people incur dog bites. While most of these bites result in minor injuries, approximately 800,000 individuals require medical attention for the bite. And, unfortunately, some may suffer life-threatening injuries that can result in death.
Hire a Burbank Dog Bite Attorney
No one should have to suffer from an animal attack. If you or someone you love has been bitten by a dog recently, contact the dog bite injury attorneys at Yarian & Associates, APC.
At Yarian & Associates, APC, we have genuine compassion for dog bite victims. Attorney Levik Yarian has received numerous awards and recognition from his practice over the years. We want to help you get what you deserve.
If you or a loved one suffered a dog bite in Burbank, you may pursue compensation. Contact Yarian Accident & Injury Lawyers, APC at (818) 459-4999 to discuss your case with a free case evaluation and get started on the path to fair compensation.
Yarian Accident & Injury Lawyers Burbank Office
500 E Olive Ave Suite 720,
Burbank, CA 91501