San Bernardino Dog Bite Injury Lawyer – Helping Clients Recover Damages
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The Centers for Disease Control estimates that there are nearly 4.5 million dog bites every year in the United States. Although there is a list of dog breeds that are more likely to exhibit aggressive behavior than others, the truth is that any type of dog may attack when he feels threatened. If you are ever bitten by a dog, it’s imperative that you contact a personal injury attorney right away to discuss your case. Dog bite victims may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Common Dog Bite Injuries According to San Bernardino Lawyers
It’s very common to sustain puncture wounds from a dog bite, but the severity of these wounds will vary. Some may not be very serious, in which case they can probably be treated with antibiotic ointment and a clean bandage. But, some dogs can do a great deal of damage with just one bite. Deep puncture wounds can cause nerve damage and may require surgery or stitches. All puncture wounds must be treated immediately and carefully cleaned until the wound has completely healed. If you fail to take care of your injuries, it’s possible that an infection will develop. General signs of an infection may include extreme pain, redness, and pus.
Minor puncture wounds may heal in a matter of weeks, but deep puncture wounds could leave permanent scarring. As a result, the victim may need plastic surgery to regain his confidence after an attack, especially if the scarring is on his face.
Sometimes, the emotional pain that victims experience is far worse than their physical injuries. Victims may experience flashbacks after a dog bite, and may be afraid of dogs for the rest of their lives. This is especially common in children who have suffered injuries caused by a dog bite, but it can happen to people of all ages.
Skilled Attorneys Explain Who is Liable For Dog Bites in San Bernardino
California is a strict liability state, meaning that the dog’s owner is automatically held liable for dog bite injuries. Some owners will try to argue that they shouldn’t be responsible because they had no idea that their dog would ever act aggressively towards another person. This defense won’t hold up in California. In this state, the owner is liable even if the dog does not have a history of displaying aggressive behavior.
It’s important to note that an owner is not held liable if the victim was trespassing on private property at the time of the incident.
When Should You Contact A Dog Bite Lawyer?
Dog bite victims often don’t know when it’s appropriate to get in touch with an attorney. Many of these victims attempt to handle the personal injury claim by themselves, and then only contact an attorney when they run into a problem or are unable to get anywhere with negotiations. You have two years from the date of the dog bite to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party. Technically, you can contact an attorney at any time within this two-year period to discuss your case. However, it’s strongly recommended that you contact an attorney as soon as possible after the attack.
If you wait to hire an attorney, evidence may be lost due to the passage of time. For instance, a bystander who witnessed the dog bite may no longer remember the details of what she saw if you wait months before contacting an attorney.
It’s in your best interests to hire a dog bite lawyer before you speak to the insurance company. The adjuster assigned to your case will ask for a recorded statement, but don’t give them one until you have consulted with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
How Experienced Personal Injury Law Firms Can Help Dog Bite Victims
In most dog bite cases, the victim will be recovering damages through the dog owner’s homeowners’ insurance policy. The dog’s owner will likely report the dog bite to his insurance company soon after it has happened. As soon as the company is notified, an insurance adjuster will be assigned to the case and may try to get in touch with you. Talking to an insurance adjuster about what happened may seem harmless, but it could actually affect the outcome of your case. Insurance adjusters are skilled negotiators and may get you to admit that you were partially at fault for the accident. Even worse, they may take something that you say in your statement out of context and use it to lower the value of your claim. For instance, if the adjuster asks how you are doing and you say “fine, thank you,” this could be interpreted as an admission that you are not injured.
How do we know what insurance adjusters are capable of? One of our attorneys worked as an insurance adjuster prior to becoming a lawyer, so he knows all of the tricks in the book. Let our law firm handle the insurance adjuster so you don’t make any mistakes that could affect the compensation that you are awarded.
Contact Our Top Law Firm Today to Schedule A Free Consultation
If you have sustained injuries caused by a dog bite, seek legal representation from a dog bite attorney at law as soon as possible. Some of our firm’s practice areas include animal attacks, pedestrian accidents, car accidents, slip and fall accidents, motorcycle accidents, wrongful death, and truck accidents. Our law offices represent clients throughout San Bernardino County and all of Southern California.
Please call the office of RM Law Group at (909) 453-2707 or (909) 740-7131 or fill out the form on our website to schedule a free consultation. During the consultation, an attorney will review your case and help you understand your legal options. You won’t have to pay any attorneys’ fees until we have helped you recover compensation.