Taking a walk through your neighborhood may be how you distress after a long day at work or it may be how you start your day with a little exercise, but there are times when those simple joys can turn into pure terror when a dog comes out of nowhere with all intentions of doing you harm. Even a dog that has never before hurt a human can have the ability to attack without warning. When a dog attack does take place, you may wonder how to get the compensation you deserve from the dog owners. Sherwin Arzani, a personal injury attorney, wants you to know that a dog bite can happen, but you can do something about it and here is how.
Know the Law
It is vital that if you are pursuing a dog bit claim, that you know exactly what the law states. There are some laws that have a gray area associated with them, but the numbers of dog attack claims within the state of California have forced them to make certain that the law regarding such cases is completely clear. The law can be found within the California Civil Code in section 3342.
Where there are some cases in which there are grounds not to hold the dog owner responsible, cases that fall within the “strict liability” guidelines are held fast to. The law states that victims that are in a public place or lawfully on the property of the dog owner when the attack takes place can file a suit against the dog owner. The law further states that even if the dog owner made attempts to keep the dog in an area where they could not perceivably harm anyone, they are still liable for any damage the dog causes to another human being.
Responsibilities of the Owner
If you are attacked by a dog and need compensation, you may not understand what you are entitled to. The subject of medical expenses seems like an obvious compensation aspect, but many do not understand that there is more to compensation that just covering the medical expenses. When you are placed in the hospital for a dog attack, you cannot work and therefore the owner must cover your lost wages and the mental anguish that comes from the entire experience. They must also cover any physical rehabilitation, physical pain, and any property damage associated with the attack. More can be going on than just a bite and you are entitled to proper compensation.
Statute of Limitations
Upon being attacked, most people will seek immediate help, but sometimes the implications of the effects of the attack are not immediately evident. A bite could heal up quickly, but the tissue damage beneath the surface could impact the victim’s ability to lead a productive life. There may also be underlying psychological issues that arise such as fear of dogs or even nightmares of the event. You do not have to file directly after the attack, but it is highly encouraged. The statute of limitations on dog attacks is two years. After the two-year mark, the dog owner is not required to compensate the victim for anything.
Steps to File
Like most legal matters, there are steps in order to make a claim. First of all, you should make sure that you are away from the animal and safe from any further attacks. The second thing to do is to properly document what has happened. This includes taking pictures of the bite marks and any other marks on your body caused by the attack. The quicker you can take the pictures, the more valid your case will be. Remember to not just take one picture. Take many from multiple angles and ample light so there is no question about what actually happen. Apart from the physical injuries to your person, you need to get pictures of the dog as well as the area in which the attack took place. Again, the quicker the pictures can be taken, the better your claim will be.
In these instances, information is key, so take down the owner’s full name, homeowner’s insurance information, address, and phone number. You will also want to get information from anyone else who may have seen the attack. Having witnesses to the attack will add to the validity of your case. When seeking medical attention, be sure to document everything and keep records of all expenses. Once you have taken these steps, you will need the advice of an experienced attorney.
Sherwin Arzani has the experience you need to get the compensation you deserve. No one should be subjected to a dog attack without compensation and we want to help you get the right compensation so you do not have to suffer. Give us a call today so we can discuss your case further.