Dogs are very popular pets in Fresno and throughout California. While many people enjoy spending time with dogs and do not experience any issues, dog bites do happen, often unexpectedly. When these incidents occur, it is possible for the victim to suffer all types of traumatic injuries, not only from a bite but also additional harm from being knocked to the ground. If you recently experienced a dog attack in Fresno, it is crucial to know your rights and your options for legal recourse against the dog’s owner.
The state upholds a strict liability rule for dog bites, meaning dog owners are entirely liable for the harm their pets cause others. However, while this may sound straightforward enough, the reality is that any dog bite claim has the potential to escalate to a very complex and hotly contested legal battle between the victim and the dog’s owner. If you find yourself in this situation, a Fresno dog bite attorney is the ideal resource to consult.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of David Davidi, APLC, have years of professional experience handling all types of civil suits on behalf of clients in the Fresno area and surrounding communities. We take time to create individualized legal strategies for the clients we represent, learning as much as possible about each client’s unique needs and concerns. You can rest assured that our firm will do everything we can to maximize your recovery in the most efficient manner possible.
The foundation of every personal injury case filed is actual harm, meaning a tangible or measurable loss resulting from a specific situation. To have grounds for a personal injury claim, you must prove another party harmed you in some way. Usually, it is necessary to prove that the damages you suffered directly resulted from another party’s negligence or intentional misconduct. When it comes to dog attack claims, however, it is only necessary to identify the dog that hurt you and prove you did not provoke the attack and were not trespassing on private property when the attack occurred.
California’s strict liability rule for dog owners means that a dog owner is entirely responsible for all the harm their pet causes to another party. This rule applies even if the dog has no known history of aggression or a record of previous bites. If you were harmed by another person’s dog, an experienced Fresno dog bite attorney can help ensure accountability for the resulting damages.
You will need to show proof that you were legally present at the location where the attack occurred. This means you must have been on public property or on private property with the property owner’s permission. Additionally, you must prove you did not provoke the attack. If you attacked the dog or its owner, the dog would instinctually defend itself, so this would not form acceptable grounds to assert strict liability. Your Fresno dog bite attorney can help gather the evidence needed to prove fault and to prove the full extent of your claimable damages.
Dogs are capable of inflicting various injuries on a person. Many dog attack claims filed include injuries such as:
Ultimately, it is possible for any dog attack to result in very painful and damaging injuries to the victim. Additionally, a dog attack can be a terrifying and traumatic experience, resulting in psychological disruptions for the victim that may require extensive therapy. Your Fresno dog bite attorney can help assess the extent of the damages you can claim from the dog owner and assist you in building your claim.
Once you have the evidence necessary to assert strict liability for the dog attack you experienced, you can proceed with claiming compensation from the owner of the dog that harmed you. California’s personal injury laws enable the plaintiff in a civil claim for personal injury to recover compensation for the various economic damages they suffered from the attack, which may include:
After assessing the extent of immediate and future economic damages you can claim from the defendant, you might realize that your case is worth more than you initially expected. However, your recovery does not end with your economic damages. You also have the right to seek compensation for the pain and suffering you experienced.
California law does not place a limit on pain and suffering damages in dog bite claims. This means that you are allowed to seek as much as you deem appropriate to reflect the severity of your experience and the harm you suffered. The average person may struggle to determine appropriate pain and suffering compensation for a dog attack, but your Fresno dog bite attorney can offer guidance on this aspect of your case.
Attorneys typically base their clients’ claimed pain and suffering damages on the overall severity of the injury and the time it will take the victim to recover. If you are expected to make a full recovery in the near future, your Fresno dog bite attorney might aim for a settlement that focuses on the time it takes you to fully recover from the injury. If you suffered any permanent harm from the attack, they would be more inclined to aim for a large lump sum calculated by multiplying your total economic damages by a factor of one to five.
The majority of all the personal injury cases filed each year are not resolved in the courtroom. Instead, most of the parties involved in these cases will aim to settle their claims privately through a settlement negotiation process. Settlement offers both a plaintiff and a defendant the opportunity to avoid the time commitment, stress, and expense required of litigation. Additionally, both parties will have more influence over the final outcome, whereas litigating a case would mean the end result is entirely in the hands of the judge.
When you select the Law Offices of David Davidi, APLC, to represent your dog bite claim in Fresno, our goal will be to settle your case quickly to reduce the time it takes you to receive compensation for your damages. We have the experience needed to craft a compelling complaint for you that clearly shows the defendant’s liability for the damages you suffered. However, should settlement fail for any reason, or if the defendant refuses to settle the claim, we are prepared to represent you in litigation, helping you approach your courtroom sessions with confidence.
Time is an important consideration for anyone who intends to file a personal injury claim for any reason in Fresno. You must ensure that you meet the statute of limitations, and you must take time to gather the evidence needed to assert strict liability and prove the extent of your damages. After a dog attack, you should seek medical attention for your injuries immediately before contacting a personal injury attorney you can trust to help build your case.
The state upholds a strict liability rule for dog bites, meaning dog owners are entirely liable for all damages their pets cause others. This rule applies regardless of whether a dog has any known history of aggression or past attacks. The only things that the victim needs to prove for strict liability to apply are that they were legally present at the location where the attack occurred and that they did not provoke the attack by abusing the dog or being aggressive toward the owner.
A dog bite claim is a type of personal injury claim, and California law allows the plaintiff in a personal injury suit to claim full repayment of all the economic damages they suffered because of the incident that caused their injury. Additionally, the plaintiff has the right to seek pain and suffering compensation from the defendant. The total value of your dog bite claim can vary based on many factors, and it’s important to consult an experienced attorney for an estimate of your claim’s potential value.
You must file a personal injury claim within the statute of limitations, or you risk losing your chance to recover compensation for your damages. The statute of limitations for most personal injury claims is two years, starting on the date the injury occurs. Two years might sound like more than sufficient time to file your case, but you need time to gather proof of your damages and evidence of the defendant’s liability for the dog attack. It’s advisable to consult a Fresno dog bite attorney as soon as possible after the attack.
In most cases, nothing will happen to the dog that bit you. It will be quarantined following the attack to be examined for communicable diseases and to assess whether it poses a further danger to others. If the dog has a history of multiple attacks and a judge determines that it is a threat to others or unreasonably dangerous, they may order the dog to be euthanized.
It’s natural to be hesitant to hire legal counsel due to the assumedly high cost of legal representation, but legal fees are no cause for concern if you choose the Law Offices of David Davidi, APLC, to represent you. We take personal injury cases with contingency fee agreements, so our firm only collects a fee from a client after we win compensation on their behalf. Additionally, they only owe this fee if and when we win their case, and there is no fee if we are unable to secure compensation for any reason.
The right attorney can make a tremendous difference in the outcome of any personal injury case. Dog attacks can be traumatic and damaging, and you need legal representation you can trust if you want to reach the optimal outcome to your impending legal proceedings. The Law Offices of David Davidi, APLC, can help you navigate the complex series of case proceedings ahead of you, so contact us today and schedule a free consultation with a Fresno dog bite attorney you can trust.