Seek Medical Attention
Call 9-1-1 and wait for ambulance and emergency personnel to arrive at the scene to assess and address any injuries. No one should take any risks with their health. Many puncture wounds could cause severe injuries such as amputation, and often dogs carry various illnesses. Seek medical attention immediately following a dog bite.
Get The Owner’s Information
Get the information of the owner of the dog and any witnesses that saw the attack. In California, it is mandatory to exchange information.
Report The Dog Bite To The Police
A police report can be made at the nearest police station near you.
Report The Dog Bite To Animal Control
Some incidents are required to be reported to public law enforcement so that they can properly investigate the incident. The report can be incident to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health at http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/vet/biteintro.htm and/or the Los Angles County Department of Animal Care and Control at http://animalcare.lacounty.gov/.
Contact Your Insurance Company
The victim should check their homeowner’s insurance company to see if they cover dog bite attacks. It depends whether the dog bite happened on private or public property, and the breed of the dog.
A Lawsuit Can Be Filed To Recover Medical Expenses, Time Lost From Work, Pain & Suffering, And Other Damages
California Civil Code § 3281 states in pertinent part, “every person who suffers detriment from Personal Injury, the unlawful act or omission of another, may recover from the person in fault a compensation in money, which is called damages.” California law limits recovery to actual harm caused to the victim. Those damages are divided into two categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages include “objectively verifiable monetary losses” which includes past and future medical expenses, past and future lost earnings, lost earning capacity, and loss of use of real property. California Civil Code § 1431(b)(1). The amount recoverable for medical care and services must be reasonably and attributable to the injuries suffered from the incident. However, when determining future medical costs, the calculation can get difficult, since the medical treatment has not yet occurred. Typically, an attorney will consult with an expert in the field to evaluate your injuries to determine any future medical care and assign a reasonable value to the care.
Contrary to economic damages, non-economic damages include “subjective non-monetary losses” which includes pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental suffering, emotional distress, loss of companionship, injury to reputation, and humiliation. California Civil Code § 1431(b)(2). Emotional injuries include mental injuries such as fear, insomnia, grief, worry, inconvenience and the loss of enjoyment of life.
California Civil Procedure Code § 335 states that all claims for personal injuries must be brought within two years of the incident.
Consult with an attorney
Damages are limited but the type of damages is very case specific. Given the severity of an incident, a party may even recover for the lost earning capacity and loss of ability to provide household services. Others allow for the recovery of emotional distress, even when the party making the claim was not directly harmed by the incident.
It is important to understand the extent of your damages and what can be recovered based on the specific facts surrounding the claim. It is just as important to consult an attorney in your state immediately following an incident to better understand and protect your legal rights. Do not wait, never hesitate, and reach out to a professional who is ready to serve your needs.
Location: Los Angeles, CA 91403
Consultation: Free - 60 minutes
Tel: (310) 363-0551
Email: jonathan [ at ] ellisbakh.com
Jonathan Bakhsheshian , Esq.
is an associate attorney at Ellis & Bakh, LLP where he specializes in wrongful death and catastrophic injury litigation.
He obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy at the University of California, Los Angeles and earned his Juris Doctorate from Pepperdine University School of Law. At Pepperdine, Jonathan was the Lead Articles Editor of the Pepperdine Dispute Resolution Law Journal and a lead member of the negotiations and mediations Team. He competed in several nationwide and international negotiation and mediation competitions. Jonathan continued his studies at the number one, nationally-ranked Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution and obtained his Masters in Dispute Resolution.
In addition to his classroom training, Jonathan externed for the United States District Court, Central District of California; United States Attorney’s Office, Department of Justice; Honorable Judge Robert Kwan, Bankruptcy Judge of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California; Los Angeles Superior Court; and for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.
Jonathan is dedicated to the principal and philosophy that every injured victim is entitled to the best representation, regardless of their personal financial status or complexity of their case. Jonathan prides himself on being a tough, creative, and fair legal advocate for all of his clients.
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