Dog Bite Injuries

If you intend to sue someone for a dog bite or other injury caused by someone else’s dog, you must first understand your state’s statute of limitations and its application to your situation. This also goes to dog owners who may be held liable for injuries caused by their dogs.

Understanding Your Options If You Are Injured Or Bitten By a Dog

if you are bitten or injured by a dog, regardless of how minor or severe the injuries are, the dog’s owner is most likely liable for what happened. This means you have the legal right to seek legal action and compensation for your injuries.

However, whether the owner of the dog will be held liable for the bite ultimately depends on the laws in your state. Therefore, the best thing you can do for yourself is to hire a dog bite attorney.

Your lawyer will evaluate your case (usually for free) and advise you whether to file a claim or a lawsuit. Having an experienced attorney on your side will also help you cope with the stress of being bitten by a dog.

Finding the Deadlines in Your State

The statute of limitations for dog bite cases in each state is generally the same as the statute of limitations for most personal injury lawsuits filed in that state’s civil court system. These deadlines range from one to six years after the injury occurred, with two or three years being the most common. In rare circumstances dictated by state law, the time limit may pause (or “toll” in legalese). For example, if the dog owner leaves the state for any reason after the injury, the statute of limitations may be tolled until the owner returns.

When the Owner Is Liable

In some states, you can only sue if the dog bit you. However, most states allow lawsuits for most dog bite injuries, such as when a dog knocks someone over or chases a bicycle and causes an accident. Moreover, under “strict liability” dog bite laws, many states hold owners liable for injuries caused by their dogs (particularly bites), even if the owner did nothing wrong.

What Happens If You Miss the Deadline?

If you file your lawsuit after the deadline has passed, expect the dog owner to request that the case be dismissed. The court will almost certainly dismiss the case unless an exception is granted. If this occurs, you will be left without a legal remedy for your injuries, lost income, and other damages.

Even if you believe you’ll be able to settle the case without filing a lawsuit (for example, if you’re negotiating a settlement with the dog owner’s homeowners’ insurance carrier), give yourself plenty of time in case you need to file a lawsuit.

If you’re concerned that your state’s filing deadline is approaching or if settlement talks have stalled, it may be time to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to ensure your rights are protected. Even if the deadline has passed, a lawyer will be able to determine whether your situation qualifies for an exemption that would allow the statute of limitations to be extended.

How much can victims sue for in a dog bite case?

Victims of dog bites can sue for monetary compensation to cover their legal damages. This goes beyond simply paying for the victim’s medical care. The dog owner’s insurance company will cover the verdict or settlement in some cases. However, recovering the total amount often necessitates the legal counsel of a personal injury attorney.

Victims of dog bites face legal consequences. These are all of the ways they have suffered as a result of the dog attack, whether physical, mental, emotional, or financial. A victim’s legal damages include:

  • medical bills,
  • lost wages,
  • lost earning capacity, if the injury is disabling enough to cause a professional setback,
  • pain and suffering,
  • emotional distress,
  •  loss of consortium for the victim’s family and loved ones, and
  • property damage.

Victims are entitled to financial compensation for all legal damages. Even if the dog attack was caused solely by the dog owner’s error, this is true. In the case of an innocent victim and a negligent defendant, the negligent defendant is liable for the accident and the injuries it caused.

The total amount of compensation varies depending on the circumstances. For example, victims may only be able to recover a few hundred dollars if their injuries were minor. However, if the victim suffered severe injuries, he or she might be able to sue for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Punitive damages are another type of legal damages. These damages are intended to punish the dog owner, despite the fact that they would overcompensate the victim. On the other hand, punitive damages are rarely awarded in dog bite cases. Punitive damages would have had to be awarded if the dog owner had behaved particularly badly.

The dog owner’s insurance coverage will heavily influence the victim’s ability to recover any of this compensation. Both homeowners’ and renters’ insurance provide liability coverage for dog bites. However, not every dog owner has this type of insurance.

Contact an experienced dog bite injuries lawyer for legal help!

Khashan Law Firm is a full-service general practice law center representing clients throughout Southern California on a variety of legal matters.

A win for you means a win for us. Our goal is to successfully recover your losses and bring proper closure to your case.

Reach dog bite injuries lawyers at Khashan Law at 951.461.2387 for a free, confidential consultation.