Experiencing a dog bite can be traumatic, leaving victims with physical injuries, emotional distress, and financial worries. RTM Law Firm stands as a beacon of support and expertise for victims of dog bites. Our seasoned team of personal injury attorneys in Torrance is committed to ensuring that you receive the compensation you deserve while you focus on recovery.
If you or a loved one have been bitten by a dog and are seeking legal representation, our Torrance dog bite lawyer can help. Let us take care of the legal processes while you focus on healing and moving forward.
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Understanding Dog Bite Attacks
What causes dogs to become agitated enough to bite? Dog bite attacks happen for a number of reasons, including:
- ✔ Aggressive behavior due to lack of proper training or socialization
- ✔ Feeling threatened or protective of their territory or owner
- ✔ Provocation by the victim, intentionally or unintentionally
A dog bite can have serious physical and emotional consequences. Victims may suffer from injuries such as puncture wounds, lacerations, infections, and nerve damage. The trauma of a dog attack can also lead to long-term psychological effects, including anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These injuries can result in costly medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
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Why RTM Law is Your Best Ally
for Dog Bite Claims
Our dog bite injury attorneys well-versed in California laws, particularly those related to animal attacks.
We recognize that each case is unique. We develop tailored strategies that address your individual circumstances.
Track Record of Wins
Our history of securing significant settlements for dog bite victims demonstrates our commitment to our clients.
Legal Options for a Dog Bite Injury
Victims of dog bites may be able to seek compensation for their injuries through legal means. Depending on the circumstances, they may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the owner of the dog or their homeowner’s insurance company. In some cases, victims may also be able to pursue criminal charges if the dog’s owner was aware of their pet’s aggressive tendencies and failed to take necessary precautions.
To succeed, victims must gather evidence such as medical records, witness statements, and photos of their injuries. They should also consult with a Torrance dog bite attorney who will have the knowledge and experience in handling these types of cases and can help guide the victim through the legal process.
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How to Prove Liability in a Dog Bite Case
Proving fault in a dog bite incident in Torrance involves several steps to establish that the dog’s owner or another party is responsible.
- Establish Ownership: Identify and confirm the ownership of the dog. The owner is typically the primary liable party in dog bite cases under California’s strict liability laws.
- Demonstrate Strict Liability Applicability: In California, the dog owner can be held strictly liable if the bite occurred in a public place or while the victim was lawfully on private property. You don’t need to prove the owner’s negligence or that the dog had a history of aggression.
- Document the Incident: Collect as much evidence as possible from the scene of the bite. This includes photographs of your injuries, the location where the incident occurred, and any visible warning signs about the dog. If there were witnesses, their statements could be crucial.
- Medical Records: Obtain and preserve all medical records related to the treatment of your injuries. These records will not only help establish the extent and severity of your injuries but also link them directly to the dog bite.
- Report the Incident: File a report with local animal control or law enforcement in Torrance. An official report provides a formal account of the incident and can be essential in your claim.
- Understand and Apply Local Ordinances: Be aware of any specific local ordinances in Torrance related to dog ownership and responsibility. Such laws can provide additional support in establishing liability.
- Consider Any Previous Incidents: If the dog has a history of aggression or previous biting incidents, this information can be used to strengthen your case. However, under California law, the owner is liable even if the dog has no prior history of aggression.
- Seek Legal Assistance: An experienced Torrance dog bite attorney can help navigate the legal process, gather and present evidence, and negotiate with insurance companies or represent you in court.
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California Dog Bite Laws and Victim Rights
California has specific laws regarding dog bite accidents, which are designed to protect victims and hold dog owners accountable.
Strict Liability Rule for Dog Owners
- ✔ In California, dog owners are held strictly liable if their dog bites someone. This means the owner is responsible for the injury, regardless of the dog’s previous behavior or the owner’s knowledge of the dog’s aggressiveness.
- ✔ This liability is not contingent on having a history of aggression. Even if it is the first incident, the owner can still be held accountable.
Law Applicability in Different Locations
- ✔ The strict liability law applies to injuries caused by dog bites occurring in public places, such as parks, streets, or public walking paths.
- ✔ It also applies to private properties, provided the victim was lawfully present. For example, if a mail carrier, invited guest, or service technician is bitten while on private property, the owner can be held liable.
- ✔ Trespassers who are bitten may not have the same protection under this law.
Emotional and Psychological Impact on Dog Bite Victims
- ✔ California law acknowledges not just the physical injuries from dog bites but also the emotional and psychological trauma that victims may suffer.
- ✔ Victims can claim compensation for emotional distress, anxiety, fear, and other psychological effects resulting from a dog bite.
- ✔ This aspect is particularly significant as emotional trauma can have long-term impacts on a person’s life, affecting their well-being, ability to work, and quality of life.
Victim Rights in Dog Bite Incidents
- ✔ Victims of dog bite injuries have the right to seek full compensation for all damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any required therapy or counseling.
- ✔ They also have the right to legal representation to ensure their claims are adequately addressed and that they receive fair compensation.
- ✔ In cases involving minors or incapacitated individuals, guardians or legal representatives can assert these rights on the victim’s behalf.
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Torrance Dog Bite Attorney: FAQs
Does homeowner’s insurance cover dog bite claims in Torrance?
Many homeowner’s insurance policies in Torrance cover liabilities arising from dog bites. Coverage depends on the individual policy’s terms and the bite’s circumstances. It’s advisable to review the insurance policy’s details and seek legal advice to understand coverage applicability to your situation.
How are damages calculated in dog bite injury cases?
In calculating damages for a dog bite, factors like medical costs, lost income, pain and suffering, and future medical or psychological care are considered. Each case is evaluated individually, and a lawyer can assist in estimating the worth of your specific claim.
What is the deadline to file a dog bite lawsuit in Torrance?
In California, you have a two-year statute of limitations from the date of the bite or attack to file a lawsuit. Initiate legal action within this timeframe to ensure your claim is valid and you retain your right to seek compensation.
Can I seek compensation for an animal attack that occurred on someone else’s property?
Yes, if you were legally present on the property when the dog bite occurred, you can file a claim for compensation. Liability may fall on the property owner or tenant, particularly if they were aware of the dog’s aggressive tendencies.
What compensation amount might I expect from a dog bite injury claim?
Compensation for dog bite injuries varies greatly. While average settlements range between $29,000 to $65,000, they can be as low as $15,000 or exceed hundreds of thousands, depending on the injury’s severity and specifics of the case. For more severe injuries, compensation can even reach up to millions.
What legal steps should I take if my child was injured in a dog bite incident?
If a dog bites a child, the same laws apply, but with a particular focus on the child’s vulnerability. Parents or guardians can file the claim on the child’s behalf, and the court often takes into account the potentially greater impact of a dog attack on a child.
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Get Compensation After a Dog Bite Injury.
Call RTM Law Firm’s Torrance Dog Bite Lawyers for a Free Consultation.
It is a dog owner’s responsibility to ensure that their pet does not harm others. If you or a loved one was injured in a dog bite incident, the owner may be held liable for any damages and injuries caused by their pet.
RTM Law’s experienced dog bite attorney in Torrance is ready to fight on your behalf. Claiming financial compensation can be difficult, especially if the dog owner is denying responsibility. Our legal team has a proven track record of successfully representing clients in animal attack cases and getting them the money they deserve.