Encino Dog Bite Injuries
You love your little apartment in Encino, especially since it’s right next to the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area, where you meet your friends for frisbee on most Sunday afternoons. You typically play for an hour or two and then you all go out for burgers and shakes at the local In-N-Out. Things went a little differently last time, though. You were running and reaching out for the frisbee when all of a sudden a large (and athletic) dog leapt in the air in front of you to catch the disc, knocking you off your feet.
It seemed funny at the time, but then you went to pull the frisbee away from the dog. Big mistake. As the owner came running toward the scene while you got a firm grip of the disc, the dog released its jaws and clamped them down on your arm instead. It was such a powerful bite that it punctured your skin, drew blood, and required stitches.
After getting emergency medical attention and taking pain medication, you decided to call an Encino dog bite injury lawyer at Walch Law to explore your legal options. We are dog lovers but we also know how dangerous these animals can be and how a single bite can cause a lifelong injury and scar. We take all our cases on a contingency fee basis so you don’t pay us a thing until we get you paid. Get in touch with Robert and Gary Walch today to learn more about how much your Encino dog bite is worth.Who’s Responsible for Your Encino Dog Bite Injury?
The dog’s owner should have had their pooch on a leash, per local ordinance. There are signs all over the park pointing this out (except for the designated off-leash area). But none of that matters, since California law applies strict liability to dog bite injuries. That means you don’t have to show that the owner was negligent or that the dog has a history of biting people. You simply need to file a claim that a dog owned by the defendant (the liable party) bit you and caused injury. Some states follow a “one bite” rule that holds them liable for bite-related injuries only if it has happened once before.
However, California’s strict liability for dog bite injuries does not apply in the following situations:
- Injuries that didn’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
Let’s say you were injured when the dog knocked you over. The owner wouldn’t be held strictly liable for your injury, but may be held liable if they failed to put their dog on a leash (more on that below). In any event, your Encino dog bite injury lawyer will know how best to proceed with your injury claim.Encino Dog Injuries and Negligence Per Se
Since the dog bit you, you don’t have to prove negligence for your dog bite injury. Had the frisbee-loving dog injured you when it knocked you over, however, you could have made the claim that the owner was “negligent per se” for your injuries because they didn’t have their dog on a leash. This would apply to other scenarios where the dog owner wasn’t properly controlling their dog. To prove negligence for these types of injuries, you’d have to show the existence of 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
There may be instances where you’d file a claim for both strict liability and negligence per se for a single dog bite injury, just to strengthen your case. These matters are best left to a trained legal professional, though.Encino Dog Bite Injuries: Claiming Damages
How much is your dog bite worth? When you claim damages, you’re asking for a certain amount of monetary compensation for your actual expenses and other, less-tangible setbacks that resulted from the defendant’s liability (whether it’s negligence or strict liability). Damages may include:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of a limb
- Lost wages
- Diminished future earning potential
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Whether your injuries came from dog bites or other mishaps, you may be able to recover your losses by filing an injury claim. It’s always advisable to work with a trained attorney who understands the process and can fully assess your injuries. If you’ve been injured by a dog, call the experienced legal experts at the Law Offices of Gary K. Walch, a Law Corporation today. We take all our cases on a contingency fee basis so you don’t pay us a penny until we get you paid.