When we are invited into someone’s home we are usually focused on dozens of other things rather than our own safety. It’s important to remember that when we enter someone else’s property, they owe us a duty of care to keep us safe throughout our visit.
That can include protection from a frightening dog attack. The resulting wounds may be serious and medical care could be very expensive and the victim should receive help with these and other costs associated with recovery.
The good news for victims is that in California, pet owners are held fully liable for these bites, even if the dog hasn’t had prior issues.
Contact a Bay Area Dog Bite Lawyer
The Law Offices of Matthew J. Quinlan has handled dog bite cases and secured the money victims need to heal and rebuild their lives. As one of the top dog bite law firms in the Bay Area, we build strong cases for our clients and make sure dog owners are held fully accountable for their negligence.
If you have questions about the California laws and benefits that apply to your case, contact our offices for a free and confidential case evaluation.
California Dog Bite Legal Protections
In some states, dog bite victims can only seek financial support from a homeowner or pet owner if a dog is shown to have a history of aggressive behavior. In California, the law works differently.
California follows a strict liablity dog bite statute. This means that any dog owner can face a lawsuit over a bite injury, no matter if the dog has been threatening in the past or has bitten someone before.
This statute does not protect people who are unlawfully on private property or who are attempting to commit a crime. Visitors on public property or visitors who have been invited into a home are protected.
This statute does not apply to people who weren’t actually bitten. However, the legal concept of a bite can include victims who are bitten but the skin is not broken.
In the case of being invited into someone’s home, victims are generally covered by the law and should expect financial assistance when they are injured. Pet owners have a legal responsibility to control and restrain a pet and protect their visitors from harm.
California Dog Bites and Homeowner’s Insurance
Proving dog owners were negligent in their duty to safeguard visitors can open up their homeowner’s insurance policies to liability. A strong case can earn victims compensation for every physical, emotional, and financial hardship they face.
A dog bite insurance settlement or judgment would include support for all damages including:
- Every medical cost, including support for any future rehabilitation care required to restore hands, arms, and legs back to full function.
- Money for victims left to cope with life with a permanent disability. Support for a disfigurement, including the costs for plastic surgery when victims are left with visible scars.
- Chronic Pain. The struggle to cope with long-term pain and the costs of expensive prescription medicine.
- Replacement of lost wages while victims have been out of work.
- Emotional Distress. The difficulty of overcoming anxiety and fear after an attack. Depression may also be a side effect of victims being unable to return to certain physical activities and participate in the hobbies they enjoy.
You could feel conflicted about filing an insurance claim against a friend or family member responsible for a dog bite. There are a few things you should consider in these cases.
First, a claim or lawsuit generally targets the dog owner’s homeowner’s policy and not the person’s own money or savings. Second, this is the reason homeowners pay their premiums, in case of accidents. They should want a loved one or friend to receive the best medical care available if they are hurt in their home. They wouldn’t want you to go into bankruptcy attempting to pay off your own hospital bills.
After You’ve Been Injured in a Dog Bite Incident in the Bay Area…
If you or a loved one has suffered a dog bite injury, don’t trust your recovery to an insurance company. Allow The Law Offices of Matthew J. Quinlan to intercept the stress and burden of your injury insurance claim so you can focus on getting better.
That means we handle the annoying and sometimes aggressive calls from insurance adjusters and reject their “bad faith” business practices to earn you the most compensation possible.
Contact our offices for a free case consultation that comes with no obligation to you or your family. Let us safeguard your rights as a victim and help you secure the support you need to get you back on your feet again.