Keeping Kids Safe from Dog Bites
Children are at a particularly high risk of dog bites, simply because they tend to speak loudly and yell, run around, and wave their arms around. This energetic behavior can be misinterpreted by an otherwise well-behaved pup. Personal injury lawyers near Riverside can help parents in the aftermath of an attack by someone else’s dog , but parents are also encouraged to teach their kids about dog safety early in life.
Watch this featured video to hear from a dog behavioral expert. She and her young daughter demonstrate how kids should behave when a strange, unleashed dog approaches them, and when a friendly, leashed dog approaches. You’ll also get some tips on reading a dog’s body language, which can tell you if an attack is more likely. If an attack does occur, getting your child medical attention is your top priority. When he or she has been treated, it’s time to call a personal injury lawyer.
Environmental Hazards: How Victims Got Justice
If someone’s spouse dies as a result of acute toxicity from pesticides or chemicals, the surviving victim may have legal recourse. This could include a wrongful death claim that falls under the category of toxic torts. Toxic torts are claims filed by a personal injury lawyer in Riverside. They seek compensation for the victims based on the defendant’s negligence in causing the decedent to be exposed to deadly environmental hazards. A personal injury lawsuit won’t bring the decedent back, but it can allow the surviving family members to attain a sense of justice. It’s also possible to file a toxic tort in the absence of a wrongful death, as long as the injuries were directly caused by the negligent act.
Legal Concepts Regarding Toxic Torts
Like other personal injury lawsuits, a toxic tort claim is based on the legal concepts of liability and negligence. Negligence refers to any careless behavior that leads to the plaintiff’s injury or the decedent’s wrongful death. Liability means that the defendant has been found responsible. In order to win a favorable jury verdict for the plaintiff, the lawyer must prove the following:
- The defendant owed a duty to act with reasonable care toward the public or a specific person.
- The defendant’s careless behavior failed to meet this duty of reasonable care.
- The defendant’s careless behavior caused the plaintiff to suffer harm.
Hypothetically, assume that the defendant is the owner of a farm that grows peppers, and he or she uses pesticides on the fields. The plaintiff is a farmworker who was exposed to toxic levels of pesticides after being instructed to apply the chemicals. The plaintiff may sue the defendant for these injuries if the defendant failed to provide the worker with the necessary safety equipment.
Examples of Toxic Torts
Toxic torts can be based on a wide range of allegations. For instance, plaintiffs may claim that a landfill or manufacturing plant polluted their groundwater, causing cancers and birth defects. One of the most well-known toxic torts is the Love Canal case. In the mid-1900s, Hooker Chemicals & Plastics Corp. used a dump site at Love Canal, New York to bury 22,000 tons of hazardous chemicals. During the next two decades, the chemicals seeped into the pipes and into the air. More than 1,000 families had to leave their homes permanently, and more than 600 personal injury lawsuits were filed. The cases resulted in multi-million dollar settlements.
Common Questions About Dog Bite Claims
Most dogs are friendly, lovable family pets. Unfortunately, even dogs that are normally mild-mannered can inexplicably attack people. If you were bitten by someone else’s dog, you may be eligible to file an accident lawsuit in a Riverside-area court. Speak with a lawyer who handles accident cases to find out what you need to do to protect your legal rights and options.
What is strict liability?
California is a strict liability state with regard to dog bite cases. This means that defendants cannot successfully argue that they are not liable because the dog did not have a history of aggressive behavior. Defendants also cannot argue that they took all reasonable precautions to prevent injury to others. Regardless of these factors, the dog’s owner may still be held liable for the plaintiff’s losses.
Does it matter where the incident occurred?
Sometimes, yes. Dog attacks often occur in public places, such as when the owner is walking the dog. In this case, the injured party can usually file an accident lawsuit. If the dog attack occurred on private property, then your accident attorney will need to consider whether you were lawfully on that property. If so, you may have a claim.
Why does California have criminal and civil dog bite laws?
Although the strict liability statute does not require dogs to be considered vicious in order to hold owners liable, California does still have statutes that apply to dangerous and vicious dogs. In this state, a dangerous dog is one that has bitten another person in an unprovoked incident and caused an injury labeled as “non-severe.” A dangerous dog might have injured, bitten, or killed another domestic pet twice within 36 consecutive months while away from the dog’s owner’s property. Two separate acts of aggression toward humans within 36 months while away from the owner’s property also fit this category. A dog that is legally considered vicious has severely injured or killed a person, or is owned by someone with an illegal dog fighting conviction. If the owner of a dog legally considered dangerous or vicious fails to exercise reasonable care and the dog causes serious injuries or death, then the owner may be charged with a misdemeanor or felony. However, criminal charges proceed separately from civil accident lawsuits. Even if the owner is facing criminal charges, he or she may still be held liable in civil court.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Dog Attacks
If you are injured by a dog bite, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your medical costs and pain and suffering. To file an accident lawsuit in Riverside , contact an attorney with experience in personal injury lawsuits, who can evaluate your case and determine if negligence was to blame. If you are the victim of a dog attack, these tips will help you cope with the incident itself and the aftermath.
Don’t Run Away
If you think a dog is about to attack, resist the urge to run away. When you start running, the dog will begin to chase you, especially if you are running with your back towards the dog. It is better to stand perfectly still and keep your arms down by your side, even if the dog is approaching. Avoid eye contact and remain still. This could cause the dog to lose interest in you. If the dog appears to have diverted its attention to something else, back away slowly, still facing the dog. If your movement causes renewed aggression, stop again and remain still for longer.
Do Put Something Between You and the Dog
If a dog is biting you, grab anything you can to put between yourself and the dog. A jacket, purse, backpack, shoe, or even a stick could all work. Continue to try to do so until the dog stops biting you and latches on to something else. If you are knocked to the ground during the process, try to avoid excessive movement and noises, which will cause the dog to escalate the attack.
Do Protect Your Rights
After a dog attack, getting medical attention is the most important step to take. If your injuries allow, get the names and contact information of witnesses of the attack and of the dog owner. Photograph everything you can about the scene and the attack. Never speak with an insurance company or an attorney for the dog owner without your own lawyer. Contact an accident lawyer as soon as possible to determine if you have a case against the dog owner.
Understanding Catastrophic Injury Cases
Injuries caused by a negligent party can range from minor to serious to life-threatening. Some victims require ongoing medical attention for the rest of their lives. If you or a loved one has sustained a catastrophic injury, it’s important to contact an accident lawyer in Riverside promptly. Catastrophic injuries can lead to exorbitant medical bills and other expenses. By contacting an accident lawyer right away, you can preserve your right to file an accident lawsuit to seek just compensation.
Identifying Catastrophic Injuries
Many types of injuries could be classified as catastrophic injuries. Generally, this category of injury includes any that inflict severe, long-term or permanent consequences on the individual. These consequences may refer to disability or disfigurement. An example is a spinal cord injury that leaves the victim permanently paralyzed. Another might be a dog attack that causes vision loss and major facial disfigurement. Severe burns, amputations, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and similar injuries are all examples of catastrophic injuries.
Catastrophic injury cases are the most likely to lead to substantial compensation. However, it’s important not to rely on the insurance carrier to offer a just settlement. Quite often, victims with catastrophic injuries will need to file an accident lawsuit with the help of a seasoned attorney. The attorney will calculate the damages, gather together evidence, and file the necessary paperwork. Evidence that proves neglect or intentional wrongdoing in catastrophic injury cases might include traffic camera footage, photographs of crash sites, eyewitness testimony, and medical records.
Calculating damages is often a straightforward process for simple accident lawsuits, but in catastrophic injury cases, complex factors must be considered. Survivors of these injuries are typically unable to work after the accident. The attorney may need to hire an expert to develop an estimate of the survivor’s anticipated lifetime earnings that he or she would have been able to receive were it not for the injuries. A life care planner may be needed to thoroughly assess all of the survivor’s future medical and personal care needs. All past damages, such as hospitalizations and pharmacy expenses, will also be added to the total. Finally, damages may include non-economic damages like compensation for mental anguish and pain.
Potential Catastrophic Injuries
A car accident lawsuit filed in Riverside can help victims obtain compensation for all sorts of related losses-from medical bills and lost wages to psychological injuries and disfigurement. In the case of catastrophic injuries , it’s even more important to contact a car accident lawyer as quickly as possible. Individuals who sustain catastrophic injuries tend to accrue significant medical bills very quickly. A car accident attorney can assist individuals who have catastrophic injuries such as extensive third-degree burns that cover much of the body. Burn injuries may require multiple skin grafts and reconstructive surgeries, and they tend to result in lasting disfigurement.
Traumatic brain injuries are another common type of injury caused by car accidents. Since brain injuries can result in lifelong disability, the car accident lawyer may have the victim undergo independent evaluations to develop an estimate of the damages. Other examples of catastrophic injuries include the amputation of a limb, paralysis caused by a spinal cord injury, and the loss of vision or hearing.
Understanding the Process Behind Personal Injury Cases
If you have been injured in an accident, a personal injury attorney serving Riverside, CA, is your best resource when seeking reparations for your losses. Understanding how personal injury law works and how you can expect a personal injury case to proceed can reduce stress and uncertainty associated with your situation.
When a personal injury claim is made, the parties involved have the opportunity to settle the claim outside of court. During a settlement, you and your personal injury lawyer will determine whether the offers made by the party at fault for your accident are adequate to close the case. The person or party responsible for your accident may offer an out-of-court settlement before or after you have filed a personal injury claim; the option to settle remains after your case has gone to court and even while the jury is deliberating, provided no final verdict has been made. However, once you have accepted a settlement for your injury, you may no longer file further legal claims for additional reparations.
If the personal injury case cannot be settled out of court to the satisfaction of both parties and their accident attorneys, or a settlement is not offered at all, your personal injury claim will go to court and proceed through the civil trial process. During a civil lawsuit, both parties and their accident lawyers will appear in court and make their cases to a judge and jury. The trial process may include the submission of evidence, such as accident reports and tickets served, as well as the examination of eyewitness accounts and the testimony of any law enforcement offices that handled the situation, such as during an auto accident. Finally, a judge or jury will determine the validity of the claims and whether the defendant was at fault for the accident, as well as assign the final monetary value of any reparations the plaintiff receives.
Seeking Compensation for Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bites are a common type of personal injury—each year, thousands of dog bites occur across America that often lead to pain and infection, and may even result in lost work and other consequences. If you have been bitten by a dog, a personal injury lawyer in Riverside, CA , can help you seek monetary compensation for medical treatment, lost work, and other pain or suffering you may have experienced.
Dog owners are responsible for their pet’s behavior and ensuring that others are safe from their pet in public spaces. Following a dog bite injury, your injury lawyer will clarify the details of the situation to ensure the owner is responsible for your bite under California personal injury law. He will examine the circumstances of the case, including your actions, the owner’s actions, and the results of any medical evaluation you have received for the bite. Once the facts have been established, your personal injury attorney will determine the type of compensation for which you are eligible, including recompense for property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional trauma surrounding the bite or its impact on your life.
Are You Entitled to Compensation After a Dog Bite?
Dogs may be man’s best friends, but they have also been known to attack people and inflict serious injuries. If you’ve been attacked by someone else’s dog , you should contact a personal injury lawyer in Riverside that specializes in dog bite claims, after you receive medical care. Personal injury law in California may allow you to recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and related costs. To determine if you’re eligible to seek compensation, your personal injury attorney must know the exact location of the attack.
Under California dog bite laws, victims may only seek compensation if the dog attacked in a public place or while the victim was lawfully on private property. This caveat protects dog owners whose pets bite unlawful intruders. As your personal injury attorney can explain to you, California follows the strict liability concept for dog bite cases. This means that your injury lawyer can pursue compensation on your behalf regardless of whether the dog had never previously displayed a “vicious nature.” It also means that the dog’s owner cannot try to dispute the claim based on fault.
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