Van Nuys Dog Bite Accident Lawyer
Your next door neighbor has one of the biggest, toughest-looking pit bulls in Van Nuys—but it’s actually the sweetest, friendliest dog you’ll ever meet. So you were taken by surprise during a walk through your neighborhood when a tiny white poodle bared its teeth, ran after you, and bit you hard on the ankle. Although you tried to care for the wound, it became infected and you had to get several rounds of antibiotics. It also left a nasty scar, not to mention a renewed fear of dogs you hadn’t experienced in a long time.
The owner was nearby but didn’t do much to stop the attack. Still, it was helpful to know who was responsible for letting their dog run around without a leash. Even if it had been on leash, you still would have had a valid claim for your injuries. After getting proper treatment, you’ll want to contact a skilled Van Nuys dog bite injury lawyer at Walch Law. The moment you hire us is the moment we get started on your case because we know that you need the money and closure that comes with a settlement check. Robert and Gary are the team of highly successful attorneys you want fighting for you following a vicious dog attack.
Since dogs are such popular pets, it’s a good idea to know how to respond in the event of a dog bite. The following is a legal primer on how liability is established for dog-related injuries in California, how to claim damages for your injuries, and the importance of working with legal counsel.Is the Owner at Fault for Your Van Nuys Dog Bite Injury?
You never expected to be put in the hospital by a tiny poodle with a fancy haircut and ribbons but any dog can cause injury if it isn’t properly handled. As mentioned above, the owner would be liable for your dog bite injury even if she had kept it on a leash or confined to her property. That’s because California recognizes strict liability for dog bite injuries. This means the owner is liable for your injuries just due to the fact that her dog bit you.
Still, there are a few exceptions; 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 her property or throwing rocks at the poodle, then you wouldn’t have a valid claim for your injuries. And if the poodle knocked you over and caused injury (highly unlikely, of course), you also wouldn’t be able to file a strict liability claim. However, non-bite injuries can be claimed under a different legal theory.Van Nuys Dog Injuries and Negligence Per Se
Let’s say the poodle didn’t bite you but rather approached you while growling, causing you to lose your balance, trip, and break your hip. Since your injury was the result of the approaching dog, although you weren’t bitten, you still may have a valid claim under negligence per se. To prove this, you 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
Even if your injury is from a dog bite, your Van Nuys dog bite injury lawyer may suggest filing claims under both strict liability and negligence per se theories just to strengthen your case.Damages and Your Van Nuys Dog Bite Injuries
When you calculate the monetary value of your losses resulting from an animal bite or other injury, including losses stemming from those injuries, they’re referred to as damages. Since injuries often affect multiple areas of our lives, not all damages are so obvious. Whether it’s a dog bite or another injury caused by a dog or another animal, you may claim the following types of damages (this isn’t a complete list):
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of a limb
- Lost wages
- Diminished future earning potential
- Loss of enjoyment of life
It certainly wasn’t a pit bull that bit you but now know that it really doesn’t matter what the breed is. Dogs can sometimes be unpredictable. If you’ve been injured as a result of being bitten or otherwise injured by a dog, you have the right to seek monetary compensation from the responsible party or parties. Contact the legal experts at the Law Offices of Gary K. Walch, a Law Corporation to learn more about your claim. Call us now to learn more about how we can help!