Our Dog Bite Lawyers Los Angeles Are Ready to Help You!
Most dog owners acknowledge their responsibility to keep their animals under control. They take measures to ensure that an unruly or aggressive canine does not harm another. Unfortunately, this is not a rule adhered to by all such owners. If you have been attacked by one, then you should hold the owner accountable. Everyone has the right to walk down the street or enjoy a stroll in the park without getting attacked and bitten. If this has happened to you, then you should hire a dog attack lawyer in Los Angeles and take legal action.
According to recent statistics, nearly a million Americans seek medical treatment for dog bites each year. Unless a series of extraordinary circumstances led to the bite, owners are liable if their pets harm another person. Most dog owners are insured, and their insurance companies must settle such claims.
What You Can Claim After a Dog Attack
A dog attack can leave you seriously injured. It can cause a great deal of physical suffering, and it can also lead to unexpected and unwanted complications in your life. If you have been attacked, you can claim the following damages:
1. Medical Expenses
Injuries from your attack will generate a range of medical costs. If the attack was especially vicious and severe, you may need to undergo extensive treatment and a series of operations. The costs for such procedures add up, and you will also need to pay for the cost of recovery and rehabilitation. You can claim expenses for doctor and hospital services, medication, physical therapy, and psychological therapy.
If the attack aggravated a pre-existing medical condition, you may claim additional money for it. The general rule in tort law is that if you harm someone, you are responsible for all injuries that follow from your action, even if the injury is further complication of some condition the victim already had.
If you are the victim in this case, then you should press the matter in your lawsuit.
2. Pain and Suffering
A dog bite will cause physical pain. You will need to have the wound cleaned, treated, and bandaged. You will also need to undergo a course of shots to prevent a rabies infection. Such a mauling can also have devastating emotional effects. Victims have been known to suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome. You may experience a debilitating fear of dogs which may keep you indoors. Anxiety, sleeplessness, depression, lack of appetite, and other psychological symptoms may follow.
Although it is hard to measure emotional pain and suffering, jurors usually award high amounts for it. An experienced lawyer will be able to put a specific value on your emotional trauma based on past jury awards and settlements.
Other factors can contribute to the total amount you can claim. If you have been permanently disabled or disfigured as a result of the attack, you can get more money. Disfigurement especially can lead to long-term psychological effects such as loss of self-esteem and depression. It can also cause you to avoid social interactions. If your career or income is based on your appearance, this will also be factored into the final judgement.
If your child was mauled by a dog, they can receive compensation. In fact, juries tend to be more sympathetic to child victims. Such an attack can ruin the future of a child. They may be forced to go through life with permanent facial scars and emotional trauma that affects their mental and social development.
It is also possible to get money for future medical treatment. The surgeries needed to help you recover from the attack may need to be done years after it. You can get money to pay for such procedures when the time comes. You may also receive money for future pain and suffering, which may result from the surgeries you will need in the future.
3. Lost Income
If a dog attack puts you in the hospital, you will not be able to work and earn money. You can be compensated for this loss. You can also receive money if the injury impairs your ability to work. Indeed, you may be forced to work fewer hours or in a job that pays less money. In the worst case, you may need to give up your entire livelihood and start over again. The attorney you hire will help you get compensation for this loss.
4. Loss of Consortium
A severe injury can put strain on a relationship. The cascading effects of a dog attack—injury, loss of income, increase in bills, etc—can stress your marriage or partnership beyond the breaking point. You may receive compensation if you have lost companionship or the ability to be intimate with a loved one because of your injury. An attorney can help you press this point in a lawsuit.
5. Punitive Damage
You may also claim money in punitive damages. The court will award such damages if the dog owner acted in an especially reckless way. If, for example, the owner repeatedly allowed an aggressive and vicious pet loose in the neighborhood, in a park, or other public place, they may be forced to pay more money.
Getting the Legal Help You Need
If you have been attacked by a dog, it is your right to seek justice. You should not attempt to do so alone. As you heal and recover from the attack, you should contact a lawyer who has previous experience handling similar cases. They will have the knowledge and insight to help you get the justice you deserve. Your legal counsel will help you build the case against the person whose recklessness and irresponsibility has led to your pain and suffering.
Moreover, you should not have to deal with the financial consequences of the attack all on your own. A Los Angeles personal injury attorney will help you get the money you need to pay for your medical expenses. A lawyer well-versed in domestic animal injuries, will get you a settlement that is commensurate with all that you have suffered.