At the Law Office of Nikolaus W. Reed, my team will be there to support you if you get bitten by a dog in San Pablo. Many of these unfortunate incidents happen at one of the city’s dog parks. While a dog park provides the opportunity for fun and socialization with your dog, it can also lead to dog bite injuries. If this has happened to you or someone you know, contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your options.
Should You Hire a Lawyer?
The answer here depends on the circumstances. In some dog bites, your injuries may be minor. However, in cases where your injuries are more severe and traumatic, or when it happens at a dog park, you should consider reaching out to my team. Here’s what we can do for you:
- Legal assistance – Drawing on our experience, we have a deep understanding of dog bite laws and regulations in California, making sure you have the necessary support and guidance.
- Case evaluation – We’ll break down the details of your situation to determine its strength and potential for a successful outcome.
- Negotiation – My experience allows my team and I to negotiate effectively with insurance companies. We’ll strive to secure a fair settlement for your dog bite injuries without the need for court involvement.
- Court representation – If necessary, we are prepared to represent you in court, advocating for your rights and the financial support you deserve.
- Evidence collection – We know how to properly gather and present evidence, including medical records and witness testimony, to strengthen your case.
- Simplifying the process – Our primary goal is to provide you peace of mind during a challenging time, assuring you that your legal matters are in capable hands.
Again, we understand just how difficult it can be when you’re bitten by a dog. Not only do you have to deal with physical injuries and mental anguish, but also trying to deal with an insurance company or defense lawyer can make the process extremely difficult. With us on your side, you can focus on your physical recovery and getting back to normal.
Measures to Take If You’re Bitten by a Dog
A dog bite isn’t just about what we can do for you, but about what you do in the aftermath to protect your health and legal rights. Regardless of where it happens, you need to take certain steps to do this:
- Seek immediate medical care – First and foremost, get to safety and make sure your dog is also safe. Then, you’ll want to get medical care right away. This can prevent severe injuries and potential infections, even for seemingly minor wounds.
- Identify the dog’s owner – If possible, get the owner’s name, contact details, and gather information from witnesses. This is crucial for establishing liability.
- Report the incident to authorities – Notify the local animal control agency or police about the dog bite. They can help locate the dog and assess its history of aggressive behavior. You’ll also want to report the bite to the management of the dog park.
- Document the incident – Take photos of your injuries and the attack location. Provide a detailed description, including the date, time, and location, along with information about the dog and its owner.
Following these steps safeguards both your health and legal rights after a dog bite at a dog park in San Pablo. With that said, this is typically only the starting point of your claim. In order to get what you need to recover, you’re going to need to file an injury claim–and enter the claims process.
Liability in a Dog Bite Claim
The starting point of any legal claim is establishing liability, and a dog bite is no different. Fortunately, California law makes it fairly easy to establish liability when you’re bitten by a dog.
Dog owners are:
- Strictly liable for injuries or damages caused by their dogs when they bite someone, regardless of the dog’s history.
This law applies whether the bite occurs on public property, like a dog park, or private property. That said, though, if the bite happens at a dog park, you’ll need to show the following:
- The dog owner’s responsibility for the dog.
- You were allowed in the dog park.
- That the bite resulted in your injuries or other damages.
The Dog Park’s Liability
In a dog bite incident at a dog park, the dog owner is primarily responsible for covering your injuries. However, the dog park will also bear some responsibility. Businesses and public spaces in California have a legal duty to ensure the public’s safety by maintaining a hazard-free environment. This duty includes taking measures to prevent dog bites, and taking steps to deal with unleashed or aggressive dogs.
Filing a Claim After Being Injured by a Dog
When pursuing a dog bite claim, understanding the claims process is crucial for recovering benefits and support available to you under California law. Here are the typical steps in the claims process:
- Filing a claim with the dog owner’s insurance company – Initiate the process by filing a claim with the homeowner’s insurance company. Our team can assist with this, providing evidence and submitting a formal demand for payment.
- Negotiating with the insurance company – The insurance company will investigate and assess the claim, usually offering a settlement. Our experienced team can negotiate to ensure fair coverage for all your damages.
- Filing a lawsuit – If a settlement isn’t reached, filing a personal injury lawsuit against the dog owner may be necessary to recover benefits for your injuries. Our team will represent you in court, defending your rights and ensuring comprehensive coverage.
The goal of any injury claim is to recover “damages,” referring to your injuries and losses. While each case is unique, the following damages are generally available in a dog bite claim:
- Medical expenses – These cover any costs of medical treatment, surgeries, medications, and all healthcare expenses resulting from the dog bite.
- Future medical needs – These are for anticipated long-term or ongoing medical care, including therapy sessions or follow-up treatments.
- Lost income – These damages take into account any wages lost during the recovery period if injuries keep you away from work.
- Pain and suffering – These damages cover physical pain and mental discomfort caused by the dog bite.
- Emotional distress – These damages relate specifically to the psychological impact of the dog bite incident, such as anxiety, fear, or PTSD.
- Scarring and disfigurement – If there are physical and emotional effects of visible scarring or disfigurement resulting from the dog bite, you can recover damages for them.
- Loss of quality of life – These damages are meant to support the impact of the dog bite on your ability to enjoy daily activities, hobbies, or aspects of life.
Even when it happens in a dog park, every dog bite claim has its own set of unique circumstances. More to the point, there’s no guarantee of a positive outcome in any claim. However, partnering with my experienced and dedicated team can ease the burden on you and your family. We handle the day-to-day responsibilities of your claim, and will work tirelessly to get you the support you need.
NWR Law Can Help You After Being Bitten at a Dog Park in San Pablo
Going to a dog park in San Pablo should not result in the trauma and damage from a dog bite. While responsibility for your injuries is usually clear, NWR Law will be there to make sure your rights are protected. We provide every opportunity to access the benefits and support available to you under the law.
If you’ve experienced a dog bite at a dog park or anywhere else in San Pablo, contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.