Dog Attacks & Personal Injury
Personal injury is defined as an injury to body, mind or emotions. Dog attacks fall under the personal injury category, as the owner of the dog may be legally responsible for the harm the animal caused. Dog attacks can cause serious physical and emotionally injury, leaving the attacked with medical bills similar to those endured during any other physical accident, including a vehicle collision.
Dog Attacks: Treatment & Compensation
In the eyes of the law, dog attacks resulting in injury can require compensation for medical expenses, physical therapy, medications and follow up treatments to insure the victim’s full recovery.
Some dog attacks can be severe, leaving the attacked permanently injured as a result. In these cases, the dog owner may be responsible for more than medical treatment, but also the pain and suffering of the victim’s scarring or limited mobility that keeps him or her from enjoying the quality of life they had before the attack.
Based on the extent of the injuries, and their necessary length of treatment or permanent impairment, the victim may be eligible for compensation from the pet owner and/or their insurance company.
Is Emotional Trauma Considered Personal Injury?
In a word, yes. However, the recovery compensation will be based on the age of the victim, their state of emotional trauma after the attack and how vicious the attack was. For instance, if a child or person is attacked by a vicious breed – or even more than one dog at a time – the emotional trauma can be significant and require damages to be paid in an effort to recover fully over time.
Proving the Dog’s Owner is at Fault
Dog ownership comes with liability. Owners are responsible for their dogs and their behavior, which means they are required to keep the public safe from negligent circumstances. For instance, California has a leash law, which means any dog that is either outside of a home or fenced area must be on a leash. If not, the owner is violating the law and is negligent in the victim’s safety as a result.
Proving negligence can be challenging, especially if a dog does not have a history of biting or attacking anyone. However, if the dog has a proven history of violent behavior, and it attacks again, it can be legally viewed as strict liability.
For instance, if the dog has bitten someone before, or is known for jumping its owner’s fence or running away and attacking strangers, negligence of the owner can be established based on the dog’s previous behavior and the owner’s inability to stop it going forward.
Contacting an Attorney After a Dog Attack
Most people consider their dogs to be family members and because this is true, it is hard for owners to admit their dog’s behavioral issues can harm another person. Likewise, dog owners may not understand that their actions are considered negligent when it comes to an attack.
At Triebsch & Frampton, APC, our attorneys can help define the law clearly so that dog attack victims can receive the recovery and compensation they deserve for their injuries. Contact our accomplished attorneys today at (209) 667-2300 to discuss your claim without obligation.