You know the old saying: “dogs are man’s best friend.” Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Even if a dog is well-trained, under certain circumstances it can still bite. If you or a loved one have been bitten by a dog, you could recover a generous settlement with the help of a dog bite lawyer from Jacoby and Meyers, capable of defending clients from any location within the state of California.
Should I Call a Dog Bite Lawyer if the Dog was Small?
Whether you were bitten by a tiny dog, or something that resembles Cujo, all dog bites are capable of causing permanent nerve damage, scarring, and even life-long pain. That said, regardless of the bite, you should seek immediate medical attention and call one of our experienced dog bite lawyers.
Regardless of the dog’s size, it is also highly advantageous to call a dog bite lawyer, as the owner’s insurance company and lawyer will try to show that part of the responsibility falls on you, the victim. They may say you agitated the dog (teasing it, etc) and if they are successful, you will lose a significant amount of money in your claim. For example, if they argue that a certain percentage of the fault rests on your shoulders, then that same percentage rate can be withheld from your potential settlement amount. By calling a Jacoby and Meyers dog bite attorney, you can prevent such tactics by letting a skilled expert ensure you get the full compensation you deserve.
Why Do Dogs Bite People?
Dogs bite people for a number of reasons. Establishing this will help strengthen your case, and this is where your dog bite attorney will step in with their experienced team of experts to uncover that cause and use it to strengthen your case. Furthermore, some people may want to argue a reason for the bite that wouldn’t help their case, so it is imperative to have a dog bite lawyer on their side to keep them on the right track. For example, many people believe that dogs can be racist and bite people for the color of their skin. However, studies prove that dogs can bite people if their body’s natural skin oils are vastly different from their owners, so claiming a hate crime took place can weaken one’s credibility. Instead, a dog bite attorney would likely argue that the canine’s owner refused to control his dog, knowing full well of the risk.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, here are some common reasons for dog bites:
- Stress - If the dog is in a stressful situation, it may bite people. Whether they just got back from the vet and are still upset, or they become panicked when their owner is mowing the lawn, it is up to that person to ensure the dog is kept away from others when it is under stress.
- Startled - Dogs can also bite people when they are startled, and any dog owner will know their animal well enough to identify this as ongoing behavior. If you try to play “got your nose” with your neighbor’s doberman, or you jump out and yell “boo” at a beagle, it may bite you simply because it is stunned. Its owner is responsible to keep nervous dogs away from visitors.
- Sickness - Dogs can also bite people if they are sick. Just as we tend to get cranky when we are confined to bed with an illness, dogs get agitated by feeling unwell too. Their owner needs to keep them away from other people until they are healed.
- Playing - A gentle bite is normal to experience when playing with dogs and cats. However, some dogs can get carried away and bite too hard, whether or not it was intentional. Owners know if their dogs bite during play, and it is their responsibility to keep people safe from their pooch’s aggressive playing styles.
- Lack of socialization or training - If dogs are not properly socialized or trained, they can lash out and bite people. There have been cases where failing to train dogs has resulted in injured people seeking compensation from the owner.
- Trespassers - People who enter another person’s property can wind up getting bitten by a dog. For example, if your child and his friends hit a baseball into the neighbor’s yard, and they go to retrieve it only to get injured by a dog, the homeowner may be liable under certain circumstances. Was there a “beware of dog” sign posted in full view? A dog bite lawyer will be able to examine a case like this, to see where the liability rests.
How a Dog Bite Attorney Determines Liability in California
According to the state of California, anyone owning a dog can be held liable in a case if these statements are true: (1) the victim’s injury was caused by a dog bite and (2) the victim was in a public place or lawfully on private property when the dog bite took place.
California is a “strict liability” state, which means that the dog’s history of attacking people is, for the most part, irrelevant. It is important to work with a dog bite lawyer who knows these laws inside and out, as insurance companies can be misleading and manipulate victims into waiving their rights to pursue action upon accepting a settlement that is a mere fraction of what they deserve.
What Jacoby and Meyers Dog Bite Lawyers Tell Clients to do After a Canine Injury
Our Jacoby and Meyers dog bite lawyers advise victims to first get to a safe place away from the dog, as one never knows their behaviour or intentions. Some dogs are driven by their scent, and as they are likely full of adrenaline, they could look for the person to attack a second time. This can especially hold true for dogs that have been victimized in illegal fighting rings.
Once you are safe from the dog, seek medical treatment right away. You never know how severe the injury is until a doctor can examine you. If the injury is really bad, call 911 for an ambulance. Then call the police. They may take the report before the ambulance gets there, or they may take it while you are in the hospital. Once you have been examined in the ER, call our Jacoby and Meyers dog bite attorneys and we will begin collecting evidence, going through police and medical reports, as well as any evidence you might have.
Call Jacoby and Meyers Dog Bite Lawyers Today, and Secure Your Future
Your goal is to be and stay healthy, not incur any medical bills, and get the maximum compensation for your pain and suffering. Our Jacoby and Meyers dog bite lawyers are part of the best personal injury attorneys in California specializing in canine attacks. Call us today, and let our experts remove your stress, and fight to get you the outcome you deserve.