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Filing a Personal Injury Claim after a Dog Bite

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Pets have become a staple of modern life. Whether you love dogs, cats, birds, fish, reptiles, or exotic animals, these companions can motivate you to exercise, comfort you, and become members of the family. However, people sometimes forget that these pets still have animal instincts, which can lead to situations in which an animal, like a dog, bites a person.

When you suffer a small puncture or significant damage from a dog bite incident, the experience can be traumatic. In addition to dealing with medical bills and physical recovery, you could find yourself facing mental and emotional complications, including nightmares, anxiety, phobias, and more.

The last thing you need in these kinds of situations is a fight over whether or not the dog’s owner is liable for the costs associated with the bite. Unfortunately, owners may come up with all kinds of excuses, even blaming you — the victim — for the attack.

What can you do to ensure that your medical expenses are covered and you’re compensated for the trauma you suffered? Here’s what you need to know about filing a personal injury claim after a dog bite.

Understanding Strict Liability

In some states, you are required to prove negligence on the part of the dog’s owner, while other states have “one bite” rules that say an owner may not be liable if there’s no history of biting.

California, however, operates under “strict liability” standards. This means that a dog owner is automatically liable if their dog bites someone, provided that certain criteria are met. For example, the victim must have been in an area that they were legally allowed to be in and must not have provoked the dog.

It doesn’t matter if you’re walking down the street in Los Angeles or ringing a doorbell. If a dog attacks you unprovoked, the owner is likely to be liable for covering any resulting injury costs.

Statute of Limitations

In the state of California, you have two years from the date of the dog bite incident to file a personal injury complaint in court. Many victims will first try to work with the dog’s owners and their insurance providers to get medical and other costs covered.

If the owner fights your claim or the insurance provider gives you the runaround, you may have no choice but to take your claim to court. If you file a claim after the statute of limitations has expired, your case will likely be dismissed, so it’s crucial to know your deadlines and to seek the help of a qualified lawyer who is knowledgeable about California state laws.

Filing a Claim

Following a dog bite incident, you’ll want to take steps to solidify your claim, including filing a police report and seeking medical attention. It’s important to document what happened in order to secure the compensation necessary to cover medical expenses. It’s a good idea to take photographs and gather witness statements, too, if possible.

From there, you can file a claim with the dog owner’s insurance provider. Typically, this type of liability is covered by a homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. However, there are limits to what these policies will cover. The policy may fully cover incidents that occur on the owner’s property, but only partially cover incidents that occur at other locations (if the dog is being walked around the neighborhood or escapes the yard, for example).

Some policies also exclude certain dog breeds that are thought to be aggressive (like pit bulls), and often, they will only cover the first bite incident, so if the dog has a history of biting, they won’t continue to provide coverage after the first payout. All of these factors could mean that the dog owner is personally liable for costs, and many owners won’t want to pay out-of-pocket.

Fighting Owners and Insurance Providers

If you file a claim with an insurance provider and you find that the policy doesn’t cover your costs or they try to delay and deny your claim, it’s time to file a personal injury claim in court with the help of a qualified and experienced Los Angeles attorney.

When you’re recovering from the trauma and physical injury of a dog bite, the last thing you need is a court battle over who’s going to pay your medical bills and other expenses. You need a trusted law firm that offers personalized, compassionate care and has the expertise to secure the settlement you deserve. You want a results-driven firm that has a successful track record of wins. It’s also important to work with a firm that charges no fees unless you reach a settlement or a win.

If you’re the victim of a dog bite and the pet owner or insurance provider are giving you the runaround, it’s time to contact the experts at Law Brothers. You can reach us at 888-778-8888 or go online to schedule your free consultation. We Fight. You Win. They Pay.

What Our Clients Say

Honestly can't say enough positive things about the Law Brothers! I got into a severe car accident at the end of 2016 and they've been with me every step of the way ever since. Almost 4 years! I want to thank everyone there especially Caitlyn, Shawn, and Yasmeen. They have been responsive, helpful, and reassuring and I don't know what I would've done if I didn't have the legal support that I was able to get along the years. They are super professional and really helped me get through this hardship in my life. I would definitely recommend!!!

Ivonne K.

Last year I contacted your law firm when I got into a car accident. the gentleman that handled my case, his name was Cesar. Cesar was very helpful and compassionate about my situation. He helped me get my car fixed very quickly and was super patient with me. He answered all of my questions and ensured me that everything will be taken care of. Once my case was settled I ended up getting more than I was expecting, which was amazing. I highly recommended Cesar and this law firm to anyone that needs help.

William Charlton

I was a client to the Law Brothers firm for about a year, the staff is really nice and professional. I would get updates on the case status and when I did call I would usually get a call back within 24 hours. I really appreciate the work that was done for me. I got the most out of my settlement and when I called to have a break down of the costs, Genesis was very patient and gave me a break down on all of it. I will definitely recommend this law firm to friends and family, as well as call them in the future if needed (hopefully not soon).

Erendira Landa

I had gotten into an accident and had no idea what to do. Friends and family recommended I get a lawyer since I was not at fault. I found this firm and I was beyond impressed. They handled everything for me from car insurance questions to finding doctors for me to visit. After my accident all I had to do was make appointments with various doctors to help with my pain. I give five stars because this firm went above and beyond and continued to follow up with me. I highly recommend if you are in need of a lawyer to use them.

Jacqueline D.

The team at the Law Brothers we’re amazing! I am not the kind of person to seek legal counsel, but I was hit by a car while riding a motorcycle and the driver’s insurance was avoiding my attempts to get reimbursed. They were able to not only get a settlement that replaced my motorcycle, but they found me physical therapy which was close to my work. Now I am back to where I was physically before the accident and I am able to ride a motorcycle again. They were always responsive to my texts, calls, and emails. They even would systematically check to see how I was healing and if the support they linked me to was satisfactory.

Charles Mortensen

This law firm is a team of miracle workers! The Law Brothers Law Firm saved me from suffering at another law firm from Century City. My case manager Jonathan was able to gather all the details from my accident ( literally within a week! ) and keeping me updated consistenty to keep me at ease. They work diligently and keep at it until your case is completed. I went through a car accident that almost took my life away but thanks to the higher power and the Law Brothers, you won't even hesitate to choose them because I felt trust and integrity throughout my case and I feel happier in my life, which in my opinion, matters the most at the end of the day.

Jason Avelar

What Our Clients Say

Honestly can't say enough positive things about the Law Brothers! I got into a severe car accident at the end of 2016 and they've been with me every step of the way ever since. Almost 4 years! I want to thank everyone there especially Caitlyn, Shawn, and Yasmeen. They have been responsive, helpful, and reassuring and I don't know what I would've done if I didn't have the legal support that I was able to get along the years. They are super professional and really helped me get through this hardship in my life. I would definitely recommend!!!

Ivonne K.

Last year I contacted your law firm when I got into a car accident. the gentleman that handled my case, his name was Cesar. Cesar was very helpful and compassionate about my situation. He helped me get my car fixed very quickly and was super patient with me. He answered all of my questions and ensured me that everything will be taken care of. Once my case was settled I ended up getting more than I was expecting, which was amazing. I highly recommended Cesar and this law firm to anyone that needs help.

William Charlton

I was a client to the Law Brothers firm for about a year, the staff is really nice and professional. I would get updates on the case status and when I did call I would usually get a call back within 24 hours. I really appreciate the work that was done for me. I got the most out of my settlement and when I called to have a break down of the costs, Genesis was very patient and gave me a break down on all of it. I will definitely recommend this law firm to friends and family, as well as call them in the future if needed (hopefully not soon).

Erendira Landa

I had gotten into an accident and had no idea what to do. Friends and family recommended I get a lawyer since I was not at fault. I found this firm and I was beyond impressed. They handled everything for me from car insurance questions to finding doctors for me to visit. After my accident all I had to do was make appointments with various doctors to help with my pain. I give five stars because this firm went above and beyond and continued to follow up with me. I highly recommend if you are in need of a lawyer to use them.

Jacqueline D.

The team at the Law Brothers we’re amazing! I am not the kind of person to seek legal counsel, but I was hit by a car while riding a motorcycle and the driver’s insurance was avoiding my attempts to get reimbursed. They were able to not only get a settlement that replaced my motorcycle, but they found me physical therapy which was close to my work. Now I am back to where I was physically before the accident and I am able to ride a motorcycle again. They were always responsive to my texts, calls, and emails. They even would systematically check to see how I was healing and if the support they linked me to was satisfactory.

Charles Mortensen

This law firm is a team of miracle workers! The Law Brothers Law Firm saved me from suffering at another law firm from Century City. My case manager Jonathan was able to gather all the details from my accident ( literally within a week! ) and keeping me updated consistenty to keep me at ease. They work diligently and keep at it until your case is completed. I went through a car accident that almost took my life away but thanks to the higher power and the Law Brothers, you won't even hesitate to choose them because I felt trust and integrity throughout my case and I feel happier in my life, which in my opinion, matters the most at the end of the day.

Jason Avelar

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