Riverside Animal Bites Lawyer
The Mellor Law Firm
California Dog Bite Attorney
At the Mellor Law Firm, our experienced California attorney will use his understanding of personal injury law to guide you through the legal process, and ensure that you are fairly compensated at a level that will enable you to put the pieces of your life back together after your injuries.
Have you, one of your family members (husband, wife, mother, father, grandparent, grandmother, grandfather), or one of your children (infant, toddler, teenager) been bitten by a dog? Has your child’s face been forever scarred or otherwise seriously injured because of a Rottweiler attack, Pit Bull mauling, or other type of attack by a wild or dangerous animal?
The Mellor Law Firm, located in Riverside, California serves as an advocate for animal or dog bite victims throughout Riverside County, San Bernardino County, and Orange County. The firm’s animal bite attorney is an experienced California trial lawyer who works to bring justice and the compensation you deserve after a debilitating animal attack.
The following animal bite information is not intended to address your particular legal concerns regarding your child’s dog bite trauma. Contact the California dog bite attorney at Mellor Law Firm to schedule a consultation.
The Mellor Law Firm, Riverside, CA family law firm, represents clients in Riverside County, San Bernardino County, Orange County, and the Inland Empire including the California communities of Riverside, Moreno Valley, Temecula, Norco, Murrieta, Hemet, Fontana, Victorville, Barstow, Indio, San Bernardino, Corona, Rancho Cucamonga, Irvine, Newport Beach, Santa Ana, and Orange.
Animal Bites – An Overview
According to the Centers for Disease Control, millions of people are bitten by animals each year. Animal bites can have serious consequences, including scarring, disfigurement, infection and in the worst cases, even death. If you or a loved one has been injured by an animal bite, contact an attorney in your area to learn more about your legal rights. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Causes of Action for Animal Bites
The applicable law for animal bite cases depends on where you live and the type of animal that injured you. The information below is provided as a general guideline only. To learn more about your jurisdiction’s laws, contact a lawyer in your area.
In response to media attention and the public outcry over dog bites, most states have enacted dog bite statutes. These laws generally hold owners liable for any injury or damage caused by their pets in public places. In addition, owners also can be held liable for any injury their pets cause on their private property, if the injured person was lawfully on their property i.e. meaning he or she was not trespassing.In states without dog bite statutes, the majority apply standard rules of negligence. This means that the injured person must prove that the owner knew or should have known that the dog was dangerous and might hurt someone, meaning that the dog possessed “dangerous propensities.” Evidence of dangerous propensities can include previous bites, jumping on people, chasing cars, biting or growling at strangers and other behaviors that would lead a reasonable person to conclude the animal could injure someone.
- Other domestic animals
Most states do not have specific laws governing actions for bites by domestic animals other than dogs. The standard in these cases is negligence. The injured person must show that the owner knew or should have known of the animal’s dangerous propensities and took appropriate actions to protect others from any foreseeable harm the animal could cause. Thus, if an owner knows his horse kicks strangers, the owner has a duty to protect people from the horse.
- Wild animals
People who keep wild animals on their property are held to the highest standard of care. Due to the inherently dangerous and unpredictable nature of wild animals, owners are held to a standard of absolute liability for any injury or damage caused by them. This means that even if the owner took all reasonable and available measures to protect the public from the wild animal, such as building a fence or applying mesh netting to the animal’s cage, the owner still will be liable for any injury caused by the animal. It is important to note that zoos and other licensed institutions that keep wild animals for public education and entertainment purposes generally are not strictly liable for injuries caused by wild animals. In these cases, negligence standards normally apply.
Who is responsible for your injury?
There are several parties who may be responsible for your injury from an animal bite, including.
- Animal owner: in most cases, the animal owner will be the party primarily responsible for your injury. In some cases, the fact that the person owns the animal that injured you is enough to prove fault. In other cases, you will have to prove the owner knew or had reason to know his or her animal was dangerous and could harm someone.
- Animal keeper or harborer: in some cases, a person who was watching or otherwise caring for the animal can be held liable. This can include animal shelters, animal control, kennels and even friends or family members pet-sitting for a weekend. In determining who is responsible, the court will consider who exercised control over the animal during the relevant time period.
- Landlord: in most jurisdictions, landlords are only liable for injuries caused by animals on leased premises if they knew the animal was being kept on the property; knew the animal had dangerous propensities; and exercised control over the leased premises insofar as they could have taken reasonable measures to protect third parties from the animal. These measures could include having the animal removed from the property or requiring the owner to keep the animal confined.
- Government: in some situations, the government may be named as a defendant in a dog bite case. For example, if a police dog attacked someone and it was found to be an unreasonable use of force, the victim may have a case against the police.
Sources of compensation
If the owner is found liable for your animal bite injury, you may receive compensation for your losses, including:
- Medical expenses
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
The owner may pay you directly for these losses, or may have a homeowner’s or other insurance policy that will pay your damages. An attorney experienced in animal bite litigation can determine which damages you may be entitled to and whether the animal owner has an insurance policy that covers animal bites.
Animal bites need to be treated seriously. If you have been bitten or injured by an animal, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention for your injuries. Contact a personal injury attorney in your area to learn more about your state’s animal bite laws and your available legal remedies.
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