Dog bites can be serious and even life-threatening, and if you have been the victim of a dog bite, you may be wondering whether or not you should pursue a case with the help of a Santa Monica, CA dog bite attorney. Dog bites can be a traumatic experience and unfortunately, they happen more often than many of us would like to admit. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a dog bite, it is important to consider your options for legal action. According to our friends at Cohen Legal, there are various factors to consider when making this important decision:
Understanding Dog Bites
Dog bites are a common injury, and they can lead to serious physical and emotional trauma. In California, for example, a dog bite victim can file a lawsuit to receive financial compensation for the damages they have suffered. In order to do so, it is important to understand the legal rights and responsibilities of both the victim and the dog’s owner. Dog owners are strictly liable for their pet’s actions under most state laws. This means that if a dog bites someone, the owner is legally responsible for any resulting injuries. It does not matter whether the dog had been known to be aggressive in the past or not; the law requires owners to take responsibility for their pet’s behavior.
Determining If You Have a Claim
According to most state’s strict liability laws, the owner of the dog is liable for any injuries that the animal causes, regardless of whether they had knowledge of their pet’s dangerous tendencies or not. To make a successful claim, there are several key elements that must be present. You must be able to show that the injury occurred due to the dog bite or attack, and that the owner of the animal was responsible for the injury. Additionally, you must have proof of the extent of your injuries, including medical records and evidence of lost wages or other damages incurred as a result of the incident.
When determining whether or not you have a valid case, it is important to consider any other contributing factors that may have resulted in your injury. For example, if you provoked or otherwise agitated the dog before it attacked, then you may not be able to pursue a claim against the owner. Similarly, if you were trespassing on private property when the incident occurred, then you may not have a valid claim either.
The Process of Filing a Claim
First, it is important to determine if you have a valid claim. You will need to provide evidence of the dog’s prior behavior, or prior attacks, if any. If the dog was previously declared dangerous by a court, this would be a good starting point. Additionally, you will need to provide proof that the owner was negligent in some way, such as not providing proper containment or warning others of the dog’s tendency to bite.
Once you have determined that you have a valid claim, you should contact an experienced dog bite attorney in your area. Your attorney will help you collect evidence and file the necessary paperwork with the court. The attorney will also provide advice on how to negotiate with the other party for a settlement or go to trial if necessary. The lawyer will also represent you in court proceedings and can help obtain damages from the responsible party. This may include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and punitive damages (if applicable).