Dog Bite Attorneys in San Luis Obispo, CA
Dog Bite Attorneys Seeking Justice for Animal Attacks
From Paso Robles to the Five Cities, the dog bite attorneys at James McKiernan Lawyers represent people throughout the Central Coast who have suffered a serious personal injury due to the negligent, reckless, or intentional misconduct of another.
Our firm is also well-versed in California law concerning the liability of pet owners and animal owners for injuries caused by dog bites and other animal attacks. These attacks can cause severe physical and psychological injury. Fortunately, the law provides a remedy for victims of attacks to receive compensation for their injuries. If you or your loved ones suffered an injury from dog bites, contact our knowledgeable lawyers at James McKiernan Lawyers today.
How To Prevent A Dog Bite
Like people, there are good pets that may sometimes snap. The fact that a dog has never displayed aggressive tendencies does not mean that it cannot happen if provoked. One of the most important aspects of preventing a dog attack is your own body language. Dogs can sense confidence and dominance from people the same way they can sense a threat. Follow these helpful tips to prevent dog bites:
- Do not approach an unfamiliar animal
- Do not run from the dog, panic or make loud noises
- Remain motionless if approached by an unfamiliar dog
- Do not disturb a dog while the dog is eating, sleeping or taking care of puppies
- Do not encourage aggressive play
- Report stray dogs to local animal control
- Do not leave children unattended around unfamiliar dogs
- Always ask for owners permission before approaching or petting a dog
Even if you follow all the tips, you may still suffer from dog bites and if that happens, contact the team at James McKiernan Lawyers. We will evaluate your case and will help you receive the compensation you deserve.
Another Dog Bites Your Dog
In California, a dog is considered property and the Civil Code 3342 does not extend protection to dogs the same way it protects humans. Under the law, liability occurs when the defendant damages the property which in this case is the animal as a result of negligence. The first step is to determine whether negligence was the reason for the incident. If it is determined that it was, that person would be responsible for veterinary bills, dog medications, and other applicable fees while the dog is recovering. Liability does not extend to the emotional trauma if the dog dies as a result of an attack.
If your dog was bitten by another dog, contact James McKiernan Lawyers today. Our team has extensive experience in dog bites cases and can help you recover the costs after your dog’s attack.
Dog Bites FAQs
Can I file a lawsuit if my neighbor's dog bit me on my property?
Yes, if you can prove that the dog injured you. Although the laws on owner responsibility differ between states, your neighbor is responsible for their dog’s behavior at all times in California, assuming the dog was not provoked. If their dog has managed to get onto your property, they are at fault for not properly restraining or leashing their dog. Most localities have strict leash laws to prevent dogs from entering other people’s properties at all. If the dog causes property damage or physical damage to you or a loved one, the dog’s owners are responsible.
Unlike other states, California does not require the victim to show that the dog’s owner knew about the dog’s possibly violent tendencies before the attack. As long as you can show that your neighbor’s dog is the one who attacked you, it does not matter whether they had any knowledge of the dog’s prior behavior or if the dog had ever even bitten anyone in the past.
We advise you to get your neighbor’s contact information but not discuss your injuries or the situation any further until you have spoken to a lawyer about your dog injury case.
What should I do if I was bit by a dog at work?
If you are bit by a dog on the job, you may be eligible to file for workers’ compensation and a legal claim against the owner, depending on the circumstances. However, workers’ compensation often has restrictions and may only apply if you were performing regular work duties at the time of the bite. If the dog’s owner is your employer, you may not be eligible for a legal claim against the owner.
If your work included visiting a client’s house for a meeting or to perform work and you were bitten, the owner would be at fault for not securing their dog and warning you about the possibility of a bite before you came.
At James McKiernan Lawyers, our experienced dog bite injury lawyers are happy to consult about your individual case. We understand how important it is to resolve personal injury claims as simply and quickly as possible while ensuring that you get the compensation you are entitled to.
A dog bit me, but I don't know who the owner is. What should I do?
The first thing you should do is always seek medical attention after a dog bite. Even pet dogs can carry diseases that your doctor will want to monitor you for. The bacteria in their mouths can also be dangerous in an open wound, and you will need medical treatment to avoid infection. You should then contact animal control about the incident and provide a description of the dog, so they can locate the animal.
If you cannot find the owner or it is a stray dog, you will likely not have a legal claim. In general, localities are not legally responsible for the actions of stray dogs. If you can show that the dog had escaped from a humane society or adoption shelter before attacking you, you might have grounds for a legal case against the shelter. Depending on the circumstances, the shelter may have been negligent in their housing and containment of the dog.
Your claim may also involve the dog’s history as it may have bitten other people in the past. If so, the shelter may have been responsible for housing the dog somewhere away from humans until properly controlled or retrained.
What if someone else's dog bit my dog?
Depending on the severity of your dog’s injuries, you might be entitled to a legal claim against the other dog’s owner. The claim often covers costs like hospital bills, funerary fees, the price for a pet of similar quality (if your dog was a purebred), and sometimes shots and training for your new pet. Your legal claim can also include compensation for mental anguish if your dog dies as a direct result of the attack.
If you can show that the attacking dog has a history of past attacks, the owner may be at risk for government fines and possibly jail time. The laws are very strict in California about knowingly allowing a dangerous or violently inclined dog outside where it may attack people or other dogs. This is also the case when a fight ensues between your dog and another dog injuring you. Get in touch with a California dog bite lawyer to learn more about your locality’s laws regarding claims for injuries to your pet.
How can a California dog bite lawyer help me?
At James McKiernan Lawyers, we make it our mission to handle all our cases professionally and compassionately. We know that a dog bite can be a traumatic event that leaves you with some serious financial worries. We have the experience necessary to guide you through the legal process of receiving the compensation you deserve. In over 30,000 cases, our lawyers have obtained over $315 million in verdicts and settlements in personal injury cases.
Don’t worry if English isn’t your first language; we also speak Spanish and can assist you with all your legal needs. We seek to explain and expedite the legal process for our clients thoroughly. Contact us at (805) 222-7654">(805) 222-7654 today!
At James McKiernan Lawyers, we have been representing victims as dog-bite lawyers for over 40 years. We believe that you deserve compensation for your injuries, whether physical or emotional, resulting from other people’s negligence. Legal claims for dog bites can include compensation for various things, such as:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages (depending on the severity of the bite or attack)
- Mental anguish or trauma
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent loss of a limb
- And more
If a dog bit my child, can we still collect compensation?
Yes. If your child is a minor, as their guardian, you are entitled to advocate on their behalf and file a claim against the dog’s owner under California law. The claim may vary depending on the circumstances of the attack and the severity of the injuries your child sustained, but your dog bite lawyer can help you figure out how to proceed. If your child is a legal adult, they will be responsible for advocating on their own behalf.
The one exception to the legal responsibility is if the injured party provoked the dog into biting them. For adults, this can cover situations like animal cruelty if the dog was simply defending itself. However, young children may not understand the difference between provoking a dog and interacting with it. Depending on the situation, your child may not have initiated the attack, and you may still file a claim. Talk to a lawyer about the scenario to learn more.
Who is legally responsible for my dog bite injury?
Under California’s strict liability laws, dog owners are responsible for all damage resulting from dog-related injuries, except when the dog is employed by the local authorities. Depending on the situation, a police dog bite may not result in the police or handler being legally responsible for your injuries.
The police are authorized to use reasonable force when conducting an arrest, and that applies to K-9 units as well. If you were placed under arrest and bitten while resisting arrest, the police may not be liable for injuries resulting from the dog bite. In some circumstances, the dog bite may be an example of unreasonable force during the arrest. This may entitle you to compensation from the police force for your injuries and any other damage resulting from the attack. Contact us, your local dog bite attorney, for more information about your potential dog injury case. James McKiernan Lawyers will handle your property damage claim at no charge.
Does insurance cover dog bite claims?
Both homeowners' and renters' insurance cover dog bite liability claims, but some insurers take steps to limit their exposure to such losses. Some insurance companies go as far as not insuring certain breeds of dogs that are historically known to be more aggressive than other breeds. The typical coverage ranges from $100,000 to $300,000 and if the claim exceeds the limit, it becomes the owner’s responsibility. Keep in mind that the insurance cant may try to settle things with you outside of court, which may actually result in less compensation.
Do you think you have a dog injury case? One of the most important steps you should take if you or your dog suffers from another dog’s bites is to call James McKiernan Lawyers at (805) 222-7654">(805) 222-7654. We specialize in dog bites and will provide you with the representation you deserve. Dealing with insurance companies can be very difficult and time-consuming so leave it up to the experienced and knowledgeable team.
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