If you have been injured by a dog, call now to get a free consultation with experienced Los Angeles dog bite lawyer Allen Vaysberg at 1-800-824-5416.

Attacks by canines can result in serious injuries such as infections, scarring, disfigurement, and psychological trauma. While every case is different, this page may answer some of the questions which you may have if you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog.

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Choosing A Dog Bite Lawyer In Los Angeles

The Law Offices of Steers & Associates has successfully obtained just compensation for numerous dog bite victims.

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Our in-depth client support services include:

  • Thorough factual analysis during initial (free) consultation with clients.
  • Knowledge of laws and issues that specifically relate to dog bites and animal attacks, including the availability of insurance coverage, rights of pedestrians, and inattentive dog owners.
  • Obtain police and investigative reports when appropriate.
  • Have law firm investigators obtain witness statements when necessary.
  • Inspect the scene of animal attack if necessary.
  • Fast response to clients’ questions.
  • Monitor medical treatment to ensure clients are satisfied with their care.
  • Prompt preparation of demand for compensation to the insurance company once medical treatment is finished.
  • Assistance in resolving clients’ medical expenses including any lien issues.
  • Aggressive and thorough representation in the event a lawsuit has to be filed.

If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, it is important that you obtain legal representation to hold the insurance company responsible for your affliction. Our experienced and dedicated personal injury attorneys will provide you with the assistance you need to recover a financial settlement to heal physically and emotionally.

The Law Offices of Steers & Associates offers our legal services with dog bite injury cases on a contingency-fee basis. When a settlement for damages is secured, then the law firm legal fees will be covered by an agreed upon percentage of the financial compensation to the client. If you have been seriously injured by a dog attack, contact our offices today to schedule a free consultation.

Suffering from dog bites can cause physical, emotional, and psychological pain to victims bitten by a dog, even if they were an avid pet lover before the accident, which is why the Los Angeles dog bite attorneys at the Law Offices of Steers & Associates strives to deliver impeccable representation to help them recover fully from the attack.

The Law Offices of Steers & Associates’ diligent approach to representing our clients begins with a free consultation to understand the circumstances surrounding your case fully. Our experienced dog bite lawyer Los Angeles team are committed to providing a personal partnership with our clients, so they never feel like a number in our caseload, but an honorable and respected confidant in our quest to hold the negligent party responsible for their injuries.

Who is Responsible for a Dog Bite Injury?

The Los Angeles dog bite attorney team at the Law Offices of Steers & Associates will always explore if the dog’s owner is responsible for their pet’s behavior, especially if the animal has injured another person. Whether it is a family or friend who lost control of their pet or a complete stranger who lost track of their animal during a walk, the injuries can scar a victim physically and emotionally.

There are also situations where landlords may be liable for tenants’ animals.

California Dog Bite Laws

  • California Civil Code section 3342: (a) The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the dog’s owner, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.
  • Los Angeles, CA County Code Sec. 10.32.010: It is not permissible to let your dog run at large on any streets, public places, or private property belonging to anyone other than you, day or night, with or without a license.

Dog Bite Statistics

  • Each day, approximately 1,000 citizens in the United States require medical care for a dog bite or personal injury. This startling statistic leaves over 79% of the victims suffering from bodily harm.
  • Male dogs bite over 6 times as often as female dogs
  • Nearly half of people injured in dog bites are children under the age of 14 years old.

Types Of Dog And Animal Injuries

The types of personal injury sustained vary, but the most common physical occurrences include:

  • Blood Loss
  • Broken Bones
  • Crushed Bones
  • Infection
  • Loss of Fingers, Toes or Limbs
  • Muscle Tissue Damage
  • Nerve Damage
  • Pierced Skin & Scarring

Severe injuries, maiming and even death can occur when the victim is not discovered immediately, or if they were unable to defend themselves in any capacity. In any case, the dog’s owner is responsible for the training and obedience of their dog. If they fail in this area, and someone is injured as a result, that person can be legally considered in dereliction of their responsibility, and our Los Angeles dog bite attorney team will help hold them responsible for your injuries.

Other personal injury types include:

  • Scarring
  • PTSD
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Decreased academic performance
  • Sleep problems & nightmares
  • Reduced creativity
  • Rabies

Understanding Los Angeles Dog Bite Injury Claims

All too often, as our Los Angeles dog bite lawyers can attest, victims may feel guilty for holding a friend or family member responsible for their dog’s aggression. 77% of Los Angeles dog bite cases occur from the pet of family or friends, and 50% of those attacks occur on the dog owner’s property. It is important for people to understand that there is often insurance companies coverage that is involved that can pay an injury claim when they are injured rather than payment coming out of the dog owner’s pocket.

While dogs are “man’s best friend”, dog bites are fairly commonplace. An attack can result in serious injuries such as scarring and disfigurement as well as emotional trauma and decreased earning capacity.

Los Angeles Dog Bite Cases Frequently Asked Questions

Do Dog Attacks Usually Happen Because A Dog Is Provoked?

There are times where a dog bite happens because a dog is provoked. If a dog bites occur because it is provoked, that could be a defense for the dog’s owner against the person that was bitten or attacked.

Do Dogs Attack Randomly? Do Dogs Just Snap And Attack People Sometimes?

Sometimes it’s because the dog is being provoked and that’s unfortunate. There are other times though, of course, where our Los Angeles dog bite lawyer team see that dogs will attack someone without warning. Sometimes a dog is happy to see someone and jumps on them and knocks them down as well.

What Are Some Common Misconceptions That People Have About Dog Bites In General?

Some people think that in California the dog owner had to have known that the dog had previously had a violent history – the “one bite rule” as some people call it. Actually, under California law, if the dog bites somebody, the dog owner can be held strictly liable unless there are certain defenses like if the dog was provoked for example. It’s important to make sure the dog is monitored and on a leash if it’s out in public.

Who’s Liable For A Dog Attack?

It depends. If it’s a dog bite, you look at California Civil Code Section 3342, which talks about dog bites. It makes the owner strictly liable if their pet bites someone, whether it’s in a public place or whether the person that’s bitten is lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog.

That’s regardless of whether or not the viciousness of the dog in the past is known or not. In other words, there does not have to be a prior dog attack by that dog for the owner to be strictly liable – subject to certain defenses, of course, like if the dog was provoked or if someone is trespassing – for a dog bite.

This California law applies to owners for bites. If an owner’s dog attacks somebody or bites somebody, then if the person that’s injured wants to pursue a dog bite claim against the landlord or the owner of the building, that’s a different standard against the landlord or building owner. Then the standard that would apply would be negligence. Against a landlord or building owner, you have to show that there was prior notice that the dog had dangerous propensities or that they should have known about that. A way to help show this is if the dog previously bit or attacked someone or if there was a prior complaint.

I’ve Been Bitten. What’s Going To Happen To That Animal?

If the dog hasn’t had any kind of a previous problems – attacks or bites – the owner will still be able to keep the dog, but they have to be careful and ensure that there are no further incidents with the dog. It’s a good idea to also report it to the local animal control board in that jurisdiction or city just so they’re aware of the situation.

If the dog has attacked someone before, or if the nature of the current attack is extremely violent and severe, then it could be a situation where the dog is taken away by animal control. If it’s a first attack or bite, generally speaking, the owner gets to keep the dog. If the dog has been doing this before, unfortunately for the owner the dog could be taken away.

If I’ve Been Attacked By A Dog And The Owner Tries To Contact Me, And I’m Already Working With An Attorney, Can I Talk To That Individual?

When a victim is contacted by the owner, they should direct the owner to their attorney, or at least inform them of that. If the dog victim doesn’t have the owner’s contact information, they should try to get that from them as well as their liability insurance information.

If insurance companies are trying to reach the dog bite victim they should be instructed to direct their call to the attorney if one has been hired or their information should be passed on to the attorney. Our experienced dog bite lawyers always send out a letter to the insurance company once we are hired notifying them of our representation and instructing them to only contact us and not our clients directly.

Would It Make A Difference If A Dog Attack Happens To A Minor?

Yes. There are special considerations when a dog attacks or bites a minor.
In California, minors under the age of five are, as a matter of law, deemed not capable of negligent acts. The owner of the dog that bites or attacks a child under five cannot use a defense that the child didn’t act with due care.

In other words, they’re legally incapable of provoking a dog if the kid’s under five years old, so they can’t argue that. They don’t have sufficient means to understand what’s being careful and prudent and right from wrong. They’re too young to understand that. Minors acting in obedience to parents’ directions are, as a matter of law, deemed incapable of being found as negligent as well.

There are also some situations where there are dogs at daycare centers. Some daycare centers require parents to sign a release that aims to relieve this daycare center from its own negligence or failure to exercise due care. The courts have held that such agreements are not valid in court because they are against public policy.

What If The Owner Of The Dog Is A Minor Or Teenager?

If the person’s a minor, if they’re following the instructions of the adult, the responsibility goes to the adult as far as what ultimately happens if the dog bites or attacks somebody. In Los Angeles, CA, it’s pretty much the same process. If the dog bites somebody, the owner is liable, subject to certain defenses. If the dog attacks somebody, there’s still a defense that may come into play, but basically, if you can show that the owner should have known about the dangerous propensities of the dog or knew about it, they could also be held responsible.

What Should I Do After I Get Bitten By And Contacted An Attorney?

A victim of a dog bite or attack should, first, get the contact information of the owner if they are at all able to do so. Hopefully the owner has some kind of homeowners insurance or renters insurance. That’s very important to get that information if at all possible.

If the victim is in need of immediate medical attention, of course, that’s the first priority.
At that point, once the victim of a bit or attack is able to handle their immediate concerns, then yes, our Los Angeles dog bite injury attorney team would encourage them to speak to an attorney that is knowledgeable in the area of personal injury and in Los Angeles dog bite law specifically to go over their legal options and see if the attorney would be willing to take the case.

What Should I Bring For My Free Consultation?

What I do when I meet with someone that’s a victim is I want to get the contact information of the owner of the dog that attacked them or bit them and the owner’s homeowners, renters insurance or umbrella insurance information, if possible.

It is important that we understand the sequence of what exactly happened from the time before the bite or attack, during the time of the bite or attack, and what happened in the immediate aftermath.

We would also want to know what treatment the victim has received up to this point. Medical records or information about the medical facility should be provided. Photographs of the injured area to the body depicting bite marks, scarring, bruising, and/or bleeding should be taken and produced as well.

What Would A Victim Of A Dog Bite Or Doge Attack Be Entitled To?

The victim of a dog bite or dog attack may be entitled to their damages or their recover compensation just like any other accident victim would be entitled to if they can prove fault against the person or party that injured them. Recoverable items of damages range from medical bills incurred due to the bite or attack to future treatment costs, any lost earnings or time missed from work due to the injuries, any lost wages or harm caused by the attack, as well as pain and suffering which can be substantial for Los Angeles dog bite victims.

For example, if someone suffers scarring due to a dog bite, this could be very significant in determining lost wages, pain, and suffering damages, especially if the scarring cannot fully heal or be taken care of. This is especially the case if the person is

If A Dog Owner Doesn’t Have Insurance, What Happens Then?

Unfortunately, that can be an all too-common scenario. We’ve had situations where an injured person comes to us and they were bitten or attacked by a dog, but the dog owner doesn’t have homeowners or renters insurance.

If they don’t have homeowners or renters insurance, or some kind of insurance that would cover the damages or harm caused by the dog attack, we would have to look and see if the dog owner has significant assets like a house. Does that house have equity? In other words, is there value significantly above the value of any mortgages on the property or the house? If not, Los Angeles dog bite attorney team can always try an asset search to see if they own significant things of value.

If the dog owner does not have insurance to cover the dog bite or attack and they don’t own anything of significant value, that makes it difficult to proceed because any judgment for damages may not be effectively collectible against them.

How Long Could A Los Angeles Dog Bite Case Take?

A case can take several years. Typically, at least in Los Angeles County, once a lawsuit is filed, the trial date is assigned about 18 months out. Some cases settle faster and some settle right before trial while other cases have to go to trial. It just depends on the particular case including the dog bite injuries and damages that are involved as well as the nature of the dog bite or attack in that case.

Are There Any Instances In Which A Dog Owner Could Face Criminal Charges?

Yes. There have been cases where dog owners faced criminal charges where they owned dangerous dogs that they don’t keep any control over. For example, there was a case where somebody had a ton of pit bulls on their property, and they got out and started mauling somebody and killed them. It was shown that the owner did absolutely nothing to make sure the dogs were kept safely on their property.

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