Experienced Dog Bite & Animal Attacks Lawyers
Many of our animal injury cases have been dog bites, but there are many ways of being hurt by an animal that can lead to a financial recovery. We have handled cases where a dog jumped up and knocked a person down, for example. In another successful case, our client was bitten by his own cat. In that case, the vet’s insurance paid the claim, as it was careless for the vet’s assistant to encourage the client to help hold the cat during a procedure. If you need a dog bite attorney in San Francisco, or have been the victim of an animal attack in the Bay Area contact Callaway & Wolf today for a free consultation.
*PLEASE NOTE: We do NOT handle cases involving injured dogs or pets. We only handle cases involving people who were bitten & injured by dogs or other animals.
Know What Your Case is Worth if Attacked by a Dog
Like other injury cases, dog and animal attack claims are valued in comparison to other case jury decisions and settlements. Unlike most injury claims, these claims usually involve much more emotional distress from the attack. Also, animal bites often leave permanent scarring, which is especially hurtful if it’s on a person’s face or highly visible place. To know the full value of your case, you will have to have healed up enough that the extent of scarring and recovery is known.
What’s California’s Law on Animal Bites?
California has a no “one bite” rule. California’s law provides strict legal liability against the owner of a dog for the harm caused by another person bitten by that dog. Liability is imposed whether the bite happens in a public place or in a private place, including on the property of the dog’s owner. Depending upon the facts of your case, if you are injured by a dog you receive compensation for your injuries from the dog owner, or someone who has kept a dog knowing that the dog had vicious propensities.
Who’s Responsible if I’m Bitten by an Animal?
Of course the animal’s owner is typically the primary person responsible. Often, though, a significant financial recovery is impossible without insurance. Homeowner’s insurance is the typical coverage which applies. When the dog owner is a tenant, the landlord might be responsible if he/she knew about the dog’s dangerousness.
For example, if the landlord or his representatives had actual knowledge of the dog’s viciousness prior to the attack and could have had the dog removed before it injured the victim, or if a dog is able to escape from the premises because the landlord has failed to properly maintain a gate or fence. Knowledge of prior incidents with a dog are another way landlords become liable.
Also, the local authorities and animal control officers will often investigate the circumstances of an animal attack and take action against the animal and/or its owner.
What Will They Do to Try to Avoid Paying My Injury Claim?
As in any injury claim, defendants and insurance companies will look for any means to avoid responsibility that they can find. Usually this means pointing the finger of blame at you, either by claiming that you provoked the animal in some way, or that you ignored a warning about a dangerous animal. Many dog bites happen when a person’s own dog is attacked first. This sometimes leads to a defense claim that it was unreasonable to try to break up a dog fight.
Does Insurance Cover Injuries from Dog and Animal Attacks?
Oftentimes, the homeowner’s insurance company for the owner of a dog will be liable for injuries. If the dog owner does not have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, then collecting any compensation can be more difficult.
California Statute of Limitations on Animal Bite Injuries
California has a two-year statute of limitations for dog and animal bite injuries. This is the time in which your case must be settled, or filed in court. This time limit shrinks to six months if the state or a city is responsible. Even though you may have plenty of time before your time limit is up, we can help guide you through the process from day one, helping to insure that the proper groundwork is done for your claim.
Whenever someone is attacked or injured by a dog or other animal, after reporting the incident to the police and getting medical attention, a lawyer should be contacted right away so evidence may be gathered and an investigation started. Callaway & Wolf has handled cases where people have been bitten by dogs, as well as knocked over by dogs running loose.