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Dog Bites in Menifee
Dogs have a well-deserved reputation as man’s best friend due to their loyalty, affection, and general good temperament towards humans; however, unfortunately dogs don’t always live up to that name. The CDC estimates 4.5 million bites occur annually and nearly 750,000 of those require medical treatment. Dogs can bite on a moment’s notice and inflict both severe injuries and long-term emotional trauma in unprovoked attacks – they have even been responsible for numerous human fatalities. If you suffered injury due to a dog bite, you may be able to hold the owner responsible and recover compensation for your injuries; it is wise to contact a knowledgeable Menifee dog bite attorney today to learn more.Menifee Dog Bite Facts
California has the highest rate of dog bites in the country; close to 14 percent of the nation’s dog bites occurred within its borders in 2017. Menifee is a growing town of over 90,000 and has a population density 687% higher than the California average with an average of 1,829 people per square mile living in the city limits. This will only rise as the number of residents continues to increase, and the high density in combination with numerous parks, outdoor recreation spaces, yards, and city sidewalks where dogs can be present put Menifee residents at a higher risk for dog bites than even most California residents.Are Dog Owners Responsible for Dogs That Bite?
In California, dog owners are usually held to a strict liability standard if their dog bites someone. This is a low bar for incurring liability. Even if a Menifee dog owner was not negligent and the dog has shown no vicious behavior and has not bitten before, under strict liability they may still be responsible for the victim’s injuries.How Do I Recover for My Dog Bite Injuries in Menifee?
There are many arguments a dog bite victim can use to try and recover compensation for their injuries in court. Here is a brief overview of the most likely avenues to prove owner liability.
It should also be noted that defendants may present valid defenses during a lawsuit to avoid liability, including provoking the dog, comparative negligence, and assuming the risk. To handle complex legal theories of liability and circumvent legal defenses asserted by defendants, it is advisable to utilize the experience and skill of a knowledgeable dog bite attorney in Menifee.Strict Liability
Unlike negligence, where a victim must show the owner breached their legal duty of care to the victim and caused their injury, strict liability only requires a victim show that the defendant owned the dog accused of biting and that a bite in fact occurred. If these can be proven, an owner will usually be liable for damages to the victim.
There are exceptions to strict liability applying, however – the victim must have been on public property or else lawfully present on private property at the time of the bite. Therefore, strict liability does not apply to trespassers. Additionally, a victim bitten by a police or military dog during the appropriate performance of its duties is also barred from recovering under strict liability.One Bite Rule
The “one bite rule” in California may be used as an alternate argument for recovery. Under this theory, an owner may be liable for any injuries results from dog bites if they knew or had reason to know their dog was vicious or had dangerous tendencies before it bit the victim.Negligence
In California, a general argument of negligence may also be asserted against a dog owner or other party believed to be responsible the victim’s injuries. To recover here, it must be shown that the accused party had a legal duty of care to the victim, they breached their duty through either an act or an omission when they ought to have acted, and that breach subsequently caused the victim’s injuries.Negligence Per Se
Negligence per se looks very similar to a negligence argument for liability. However, with negligence per se, if a law or statute has been violated and results in the victim’s injury then the defendant is presumed negligent. For example, if a dog bites and injures someone while off leash in violation of Menifee’s leash ordinances, the owner is presumed to have acted negligently.How Much Is My Case Worth?
It is normal to wonder how much you can recover for your injuries. If you can prove the owner was negligent, you may receive an award of compensatory damages for injuries you can prove in court. These damages are intended to make you whole. Some compensatory damages are concrete and can be substantiated by records such as receipts – these can include hospital bills, medical equipment expenses, funeral expenses, and property damages. Other damages are subjective; it is hard to put a price tag on emotional and psychological trauma. In these cases, victims may receive awards for things like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and disfigurement.
You should consult with a Menifee dog bite attorney, as proving these damages can be a complex process. Additionally, your attorney may be able to prove circumstances exist warranting additional damages to punish the wrongdoer.What Should I Do If I Am Bitten by a Dog?
Once you have been bitten by a dog, there are several critical steps you should take as soon as possible. Though it may seem overwhelming due to your injuries and the trauma you suffered, it is important to act to protect your health and safeguard your potential legal case.
- Get prompt medical attention and be checked for rabies.
- If possible, identify the dog and the dog’s owner.
- Identify and collect information from any witnesses.
- Collect all medical records and official reports pertaining to the incident.
- Keep records of all expenses incurred because of the dog bite injury.
- Report the bite to local authorities and animal control.
- Contact a dog bite attorney to discuss the situation.
- Speak with a Dog Bite Attorney in Menifee Today
If you have been the victim of a dog bite, it is advisable you speak to the experienced Menifee dog bite attorneys at Walton Law as soon as possible. Our skilled team of attorneys has spent years delivering personalized, aggressive representation for victims just like you. We advocate vigorously for victims and have recovered millions of dollars in damages for our clients’ injuries. Contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (866)-338-7079 or via through our online Contact Page to set up a risk-free, no obligation initial case review today. The evaluation is completely confidential, and you pay nothing until we win your case. Let our attorneys review your case and help you secure the best possible result from an unfortunate incident.