Agoura Hills Dog Bite Injury Lawyer
One of the things you love the most about Agoura Hills is the access to so many great hiking trails, with beautiful mountain vistas. Most of your weekends include at least one hike in the hills. But ever since last week’s run-in with an angry pooch, you haven’t felt like doing much hiking. The signs at your favorite hiking spot clear state “no dogs,” since it’s a sensitive habitat with protected plant and animal species, so you were surprised when you saw an off-leash shepherd mix out of the corner of your eye.
You were even more surprised when the dog seemed startled by your presence and bit you hard on the ankle, breaking the skin and also causing you to sprain your ankle as you tried to get away. The owner seemed shocked and said his dog had never acted like that before. But here you are, laid up and in pain, watching TV instead of getting outdoors where you belong.
Fortunately you have legal options, so you should definitely contact a winning Agoura Hills dog bite injury lawyer at Walch Law and pursue an injury claim. Not only did you need emergency help just to get out of the park and to the emergency room but you also missed some work and won’t be doing the things you love for quite some time. The following is an overview of liability for dog bites and other dog-related injuries.Agoura Hills Dog-Related Injuries: Who’s at Fault?
While the owner never should have brought their dog to this trail, and should have at least put it on a leash, you don’t have to prove negligence in order to collect for your injuries. California law holds dog owners strictly liable for any dog bite injuries to others, regardless of whether the dog has a history of violence or has never acted in such a way before.
There are some exceptions, however. Strict liability doesn’t apply to the following scenarios:
- Injuries that don’t result from bites (unless local ordinance states otherwise)
- Police or military dogs performing their official duties
- When trespassers are bitten
- When the dog is provoked or teased
- Individuals who are not the dog’s owner
Had you been trespassing on someone else’s property or teasing the dog, of course, you wouldn’t have a valid claim for a dog bite injury. And about that sprained ankle: it’s not a dog bite injury, but you still may have an option for seeking compensation.Agoura Hills Dog Injuries and Negligence per se
You were bitten, and it will take a little time to heal, but the more-serious injury may be the sprain. The owner isn’t strictly liable for your sprained ankle; however, you still may have a valid claim under negligence per se. The owner failed to keep their dog on a leash and was walking their dog where it was clearly marked that dogs weren’t allowed.
To prove negligence per se, you have to prove the following elements:
- Defendant (at-fault party) owed a duty of care to the plaintiff (injured party)
- Defendant breached that duty
- Plaintiff’s injuries were in fact caused by this breach
- Defendant’s actions were the proximate cause of the injury(ies), meaning the injuries would not have occurred if not for the defendant’s breach
- Plaintiff has suffered actual damages (legally recognized injuries), such as bodily injury
Since you suffered both a dog bite injury and another injury that may be attributable to negligence per se, your Agoura Hills dog bite injury lawyer may recommend filing claims under both legal theories.Claiming Damages and Your Dog-Related Agoura Hills Injuries
The monetary value of your losses resulting from an animal bite or other injury is referred to as damages. So when you claim damages, you approximate a dollar value for abstract losses (such as pain and suffering) in addition to more tangible losses such as medical expenses. Whether it’s a dog bite or that sprained ankle caused by the dog whose owner was negligent per se, damages may include but aren’t limited to:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of a limb
- Lost wages
- Diminished future earning potential
- Loss of enjoyment of life
You have the right to move about without fear of being attacked and injured by someone else’s pet, especially when the owner fails to properly secure their furry friends. If you’ve been injured by a dog bite or some other dog-related incident, call the Law Offices of Gary K. Walch, a Law Corporation to learn more about your legal options. We know this time is confusing and frustrating, let us help with those feelings by taking on your legal and financial concerns. We are ready to get started when you are, it only takes one call.