Montebello Dog Attack Attorney | Animal Attack Lawyer in California
Injured by a gog bite in Montebello, to schedule a consultation for a potential dog bite claim, contact a Montebello dog attack attorney with The Hayes Law Firm.
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Montebello Dog Attack Attorney

According to Montebello Municipal Code, dog bites and dog attacks are required to be reported to Southeast Area Animal Control Authority (‘SEAACA‘). SEEACA reports that there are approximately 4.7 million dog bites per year in the United States and approximately 50% of those attacks involve children 12 years old and younger. Montebello dog attack attorneys know that injuries as a result of a dog attack can be devastating and very costly for people of any age.

California strict liability for dog bites

California law provides for strict liability in dog bite cases meaning that the dog owner is liable for resulting injuries and damages under the following circumstances:

  • The victim was on public property or lawfully on private property when the dog attack occurred. Trespassers are generally prohibited from recovering, although there may be exceptions.
  • The victim sustained actual injuries as a result of the dog attack.
  • The victim did not provoke the dog prior to the attack. Provocation may include taunting, teasing, or abusing a dog.
  • The dog was not a military or police dog.

Recoverable damages for dog attack victim

Depending on the victim’s injuries, recoverable damages may include, but are not limited to past and future medical expenses, past and future lost earnings, and pain and suffering. When injuries are severe, multiple surgeries and substantial future medical care may be required to repair damage to skin, tendons, ligaments, and muscles.

Bystander recovery

Under California law, in some dog attack cases, bystander witnesses to the dog attack may be entitled to recover for emotional distress that they have suffered as a result of witnessing the attack. A bystander may be entitled to recover when the following elements exist:

  • The plaintiff was present at the time of the dog attack.
  • The plaintiff was aware that the dog was attacking the victim.
  • The plaintiff and victim have a sufficiently close relationship, which generally means that they are related by blood or marriage.
  • The plaintiff suffered severe emotional distress as a result of being present and aware of the dog attack.

Insurance companies

Insurance companies represent the defendant in the majority of dog bite claims. An insurance company’s single goal is to pay out as little as possible in exchange for a waiver of liability. It is important to consult with an attorney before accepting any settlement to make sure that you are being fully compensated for injuries and damages.

SEEACA recommendations

In order to reduce instances of dog bites, SEAACA recommends dog owners take the following actions:

  • Spay or neuter dogs to reduce aggression.
  • Restrain dogs in the yard or on a leash when off the owners’ property. 24% of dog bites occur when dogs are off leash and off the owners’ property.
  • Socialize and train dogs. Training should be done when a puppy is between 8 and 16 weeks.

To schedule a consultation for a potential dog bite claim, contact a Montebello dog attack attorney with The Hayes Law Firm. Our attorneys are experienced insurance negotiators and trial attorneys who will advocate for a full and fair recovery for you and your family.

FAQs for Montebello Dog Attack Attorney

It may seem that California law allows all victims of dog attacks – without exception – to recover damages from the dog owner, but this is not true.

Yes, under California law, you have a right to pursue compensation from the owner of the dog that bit you even if that dog has no previous record of bites or aggressive tendencies. But, at the same time, you are required to prove that you did not provoke or harass the dog.

You may be able to sue a dog owner for allowing the dog to roam freely without a leash, but, at the same time, you must prove that you were not trespassing at the time of the attack nor did you assume the risk of a dog attack.

California’s dog bite laws can be complicated, which is why it is advisable to consult with a Montebello dog attack attorney from The Hayes Law Firm.

Is the ‘One Free Bite’ Rule a Myth?

In California, it is a myth, though in many other states a dog owner can escape liability if his or her dog has never shown signs of aggressive behavior or bitten anyone before the first bite, or the so-called “one free bite.”

California law entitles you to pursue compensation regardless of whether the dog had shown any aggressive behavior previously. People also believe that you cannot get compensated if no actual bite took place, and your injury was caused when you tried to avoid an attack.

With a skilled Montebello dog attack lawyer by your side, you will most likely be able to seek compensation if your injury was caused by being knocked down or you fell and injured yourself when trying to run away from the dog.

What Type of Insurance Covers Dog Attacks in California?

People who have been bitten by dogs are often confused as to what kind of insurance will cover their damages and losses. Typically, the dog owner’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy will cover the victim’s medical bills and other losses.

If a dog owner does not have such coverage, he or she must pay out of pocket. Also, keep in mind that many insurance companies in California exclude certain dog breeds, including pit bulls, from coverage.

In that case, the only way to pursue compensation could be to file a personal injury lawsuit against the dog owner, though this is usually a more expensive, tiresome, and long process. Let our Montebello dog attack attorney review your case and do our best to negotiate a settlement out of court.

Are Any Special Laws Apply to Dog Attacks Involving Children?

When children suffer injuries in dog attacks, California law has a special statute of limitations. An adult who has been bitten by a dog in California has two years to file a claim. Children, meanwhile, have two years after their 18th birthday to pursue damages.

Meaning, if a child suffered an injury at the age of 14, he or she would have six years to bring a claim and recover damages. Another special law for children that many people are not aware of is that children below the age of five cannot be blamed for a dog attack regardless of how it occurred.

How Can a Montebello Dog Attack Attorney Help?

Although it is advised to hire a dog bite lawyer under any circumstances, these are some of the top reasons why you should be represented by an attorney to pursue compensation:

  • The dog’s owner cannot be identified or found
  • You suffered serious injuries and/or require long-term or life-long medical treatment
  • The owner or possessor of the dog is not willing to negotiate
  • The insurance company is refusing to pay your medical bills
  • The owner or possessor of the dog is trying to shift the blame onto you
  • The dog has a history of bites and aggressive behavior

If you have found yourself in one of the situations that we have mentioned above, do not hesitate to schedule a free consultation. Call our lawyers from The Hayes Law Firm at 323-477-1415 or fill out the contact form at the bottom of this page.

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At The Hayes Law Firm, APC, we serve all of Los Angeles and the Inland Empire, so whether you need a personal injury attorney in Montebello or a premises liability attorney in San Bernardino, we are here to serve you. Unlike other attorneys who view clients as cases, we understand that your experience has a human story behind it, and when you are in our offices, you are like a member of the family. We are ethical and compassionate, and we will take the time to find the best solution for your unique case and will work together with you every step along the way. Contact us today for a free consultation.