Dogs are popular pets in the Stockton area, and while most people have positive experiences with the dogs they encounter, it is also possible for a dog to attack unexpectedly and inflict traumatic injuries. If you or a family member recently suffered any type of harm from another person’s dog, this can form the basis of a personal injury claim. While liability for your damages may seem perfectly clear, the reality is that winning your case and maximizing your recovery will be difficult if you do not have legal counsel you can trust on your side.
The team at the Law Offices of David Davidi, APLC, has extensive experience providing personal injury representation to clients in the Stockton area and throughout the state. We know that no two cases are exactly alike, and every plaintiff will have different needs and concerns when it comes to their recovery. We take time to develop personalized legal strategies that suit each of our client’s individual needs, and we always seek maximum recovery in every civil case we accept.
You face several procedural challenges and a host of potential variables that could influence your case, and the right Stockton dog bite attorney is an essential asset for the legal proceedings ahead of you. Instead of attempting to handle all your legal affairs on your own while recovering from your injuries, your attorney can manage your case so you can focus on recovery with peace of mind. You have a limited time in which to file your case, so it is important to connect with an attorney you can trust as soon as possible to have the greatest chance of success with your recovery efforts.
Some states enforce one bite rules that essentially give dog owners one chance to avoid liability for damages their pet causes. However, the state does not have any such rules and instead upholds the strict liability standard for dog attacks. This means that if a dog harms someone, the owner is strictly liable for all resulting damages regardless of whether the dog has any known history of previous aggression.
For strict liability to apply, the plaintiff must prove two facts. They must prove that they were legally present on public or private property when the attack occurred, and they must prove they did not provoke the attack by abusing the dog or attacking the dog’s owner. If a trespasser or intruder on private property is harmed by the property owner’s dog, strict liability would not apply, and it would also not apply if the alleged victim assaulted the dog owner and their dog reacted defensively.
It is possible for a plaintiff to face a diminished recovery if the facts of the case show that they do bear some fault for causing the incident. California upholds the pure comparative fault rule, which comes into play in any civil case in which the plaintiff shares fault for causing the damages. Though this law rarely applies in dog bite cases due to the strict liability statute, it is possible for a plaintiff to lose a percentage of their case award if they are found partially responsible for causing any of their claimed damages. Your Stockton dog bite attorney can address any such concerns you may have about comparative fault applying to your case.
Once you have proven that strict liability applies to your dog bite claim, you can proceed with citing the damages you are seeking from the defendant. The objective of a personal injury claim is for the victim to recover compensation for the losses that the defendant inflicted with their negligence or intentional misconduct, and a good attorney can help their client uncover every available channel of compensation to maximize their case award.
Economic damages you can claim from the defendant include all financial losses directly resulting from the attack. In most dog bite claims, the plaintiff’s economic damages primarily include their medical expenses and lost income. The dog owner will be responsible for paying for all medical treatment you need to achieve maximum medical improvement from your injuries, and if you are unable to work in the aftermath of the incident, they will also be liable for your lost income. Additionally, if the attack caused any permanent harm that impairs your ability to return to work at your previous earning capacity, the defendant would also be responsible for lost future income.
Personal injury plaintiffs also have the right to claim pain and suffering compensation. There is no limit on non-economic damages in most personal injury claims, and dog bite claims tend to be especially painful and traumatic for victims. Your Stockton dog bite attorney can help determine a suitable amount based on the overall severity of your injuries and the time it will likely take for you to reach maximum medical improvement. You also have the right to claim financial compensation for the psychological trauma caused by the incident.
The Law Offices of David Davidi, APLC, can provide the legal support you need in the aftermath of a dog attack in Stockton. Whether you are seeking compensation on your own behalf or on behalf of an injured family member, our team will carefully review the details of the incident and assist you in determining your most viable path to recovery.
We take time to learn as much as possible about each individual client’s situation and tailor our approach according to the client’s unique needs. We generally seek to settle our clients’ cases as swiftly as possible, but if litigation is required, we are fully prepared to represent you in court. Our firm has earned a strong reputation as a leading choice for personal injury counsel in the Stockton area, and we are ready to extend the full extent of our resources and experience in handling your dog bite claim.
A: California law requires that any animal that has bitten someone be medically examined in quarantine. This is to ensure that the animal does not carry any communicable diseases that pose a public health and safety risk and, if the animal is a domesticated pet, to evaluate the animal’s temperament. If the dog is found to be a health hazard and/or excessively aggressive, a judge may order the dog to be euthanized, but in most cases, the dog is returned to its owner after the evaluation.
A: It is not necessarily required to prove fault for a dog bite due to the state’s strict liability law. Under this rule, a dog owner is strictly liable for all harm their pet inflicts on another person as long as the victim did not provoke the attack and they were legally present wherever the attack occurred. Your Stockton dog bite attorney can assist you in gathering any evidence you may need to firmly establish strict liability for the incident.
A: If you can prove that strict liability applies to your dog bite case, you have the right to claim full repayment of all economic losses you suffered in the incident. These economic damages are likely to include medical expenses, lost income, lost future earning potential, and property damage. Additionally, the defendant is liable for the pain and suffering you experienced from the attack, and there is no limit to how much pain and suffering compensation you can claim.
A: In most dog bite cases, the owner of the dog will be liable for the damages the pet inflicted on the victim. However, if the dog was previously classified as dangerous after a prior attack and the owner did not follow court-imposed restrictions to ensure safe handling of the dog, they could face criminal penalties in addition to their civil liability for the victim’s damages.
A: A Stockton dog bite lawyer at the Law Offices of David Davidi, APLC, offers personal injury counsel with contingency fee billing. This means you will not pay any upfront or ongoing attorneys’ fees for representation and will instead only pay a percentage of the total case award we recover for you. Additionally, our client only pays their contingency fee if we win their case, and there is no fee at all if we are unable to secure compensation for their damages.
The team at the Law Offices of David Davidi, APLC, has years of professional experience representing injured clients in Stockton and surrounding communities, and we know the various legal challenges you are likely to face in the aftermath of a dog attack. We also know how damaging and traumatic these incidents can be and that you are likely to have many pressing legal questions regarding your options for recovery. The sooner you connect with our team, the sooner we can start building your case, so contact the Law Offices of David Davidi, APLC, today to schedule your free consultation with our team and learn how we can assist with your recovery.