Dog Attacks and Personal Injuries
How to Handle a Dog Attack and File a Personal Injury Claim
Dog attacks happen unexpectedly. How you respond when a dog attacks can affect you physically, financially, and legally. However, according to California Dog Bite Law, the dog owner is responsible for the actions of their pet. If an aggressive dog is in the position to bite you, it is typically due to the owner’s negligence.
Our expert dog bite attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers understand dog bite law in Los Angeles and surrounding areas. If you have been attacked by a dog, be sure to contact us to learn how you can earn the highest level of compensation.
Why Do Dogs Attack?
Dogs may differ in temperament and personality, so there is no true or exact reason for a dog to attack. Runners, bikers, and pedestrians are often attacked because their movement triggers the dog’s predatory instinct. Naturally, many dogs will chase a figure that is in motion, but it is because of human negligence that they did not learn appropriate behavior, which makes the owner liable for their actions.
A dog could bite for the following reasons:
- It believes it is protecting its territory or members of the pack
- It is afraid
- It is prone to aggressive behaviors
How to Avoid Being Bitten
In many cases, dog bites happen because of human negligence, whether it is the fault of the dog owner or the person getting bit. If an aggressive dog attacks, the first thing to remember is to remain calm. Avoid eye contact with the aggressive dog while keeping it in your peripheral vision. Claim your space by standing firmly in position while refraining from making loud noises or drastic movements. This instinctually lets the dog know that you are not threatening it nor are you afraid of it.
What to Do if You Are Attacked
For most people, a dog bite or attack happens unexpectedly. Though you may not be prepared for a dog attack, you still have your defenses. If attacked by a dog, the first thing you should do is create a barrier. Anything you are holding or wearing could potentially be a barrier or distraction that the dog could bite instead of grabbing onto your skin. At the very least, throwing your shoe or hat could distract an attacking dog long enough for you to escape.
Though a bite to the thigh can cause a fatal wound, be sure to guard your face, chest, and throat as they are places a dog tends to aim for. If you are bitten, instead of retracting, keep the dog latched on until you are able to lift it from the back of its legs. Ripping yourself from the dog will only cause tissue damage.
Accidents happen. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Below is a brief explanation of damages. Damages are a type of monetary award that is determined by a court of law to help compensate an aggrieved individual for any losses or injuries sustained as a result of someone’s negligence.
Economic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to. Economic damages are calculated by determining the amount of out-of-pocket losses an aggrieved individual has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries.
A few examples of economic losses include:
- Loss of Earning Capacity
- Medical Bills
- Lost Wages
Non-economic damages are essentially intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out-of-pocket losses. Non-economic damages may include compensation for:
- Emotional Distress
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
The third type of damages a California court may award are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended as punishment and are only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful. Punitive damages are relatively rare and in fact were only incorporated in 5 percent of all verdicts.
Furthermore, there is no real set standard for calculating and awarding punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded at the court’s discretion and will vary depending on the specific circumstances of a case.
Limitations for Damages in California
For the most part, there is no real cap on compensatory damages following a personal injury claim. This means that courts are able to award any amount they feel is appropriate and reasonable.
However, the only exception is regarding medical malpractice cases. In these cases, the limit for pain and suffering and other non-economic losses is $250,000.
West Coast Trial Lawyer Is Here to Help
If you have sustained injuries in the city of Los Angeles as a result of a dog bite, our experienced dog bite attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers can help you recover financial compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call us today at (213) 927-3700 or email [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our knowledgeable, caring, and compassionate legal team.