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Berkeley Dog Bite Lawyer


You should know your legal rights when you suffer a dog bite injury. Those who are bitten by a dog or injured by being pushed down by a canine in California can seek fair compensation for their injuries. Selecting a top-rated animal bite attorney in Berkeley is crucial if you or someone you love has been bitten by a dog. Our goal is to help you get the compensation you deserve for the trauma and pain you’ve been through.

Injured by a California Dog Bite? State Law Protects You

California is a strict liability state, unlike other states that require the animal to show previous aggression to claim compensation if the dog bites you or a related injury occurs. Unless the injured person was teasing or taunting the animal or was trespassing, in California, the dog owner is responsible for their pet’s injuries to others under Article 2, Section 3342. A dog attack or injury caused by one would be the owner’s responsibility in most cases, even if they tried to prevent it. Exemptions apply to animals working for the military or police.

Dog Bite Claims: Is it Worth the Effort?

In addition to the impact on one’s physical and psychological well-being, dog bites can lead to high economic losses. The number of dog bite claims increases every year. According to the Insurance Information Institute, there were 797 million liability claims in 2019 related to dog bite injuries across the country. That represents a 14.7 percent increase from 2018 over the previous year. There are several reasons for this. A substantial increase in medical bills leads to higher settlements, jury awards, and court costs.

California Dog Bite Claims: How Many?

California ranked first in the country regarding cases resulting from dog bites in 2020, with 16,991 insurance claims. Despite a decline in the number of insurance claims, awards made to injured parties nationwide totaled around $854 million. According to the California State Insurance Department, the average payout for a dog-related injury claim was $64,662.

Dog Injury Claims Are Not Limited to Bites

In some cases, an individual was knocked down and injured by a dog. In many of these claims, the dog was off-leash and roaming loose. This makes dog owners liable for other types of accidents involving dogs. While you focus on getting better, your Berkeley dog bite attorney can negotiate on your behalf to help resolve your case successfully.

Dog Attacks and Injuries – What to Do

Canine bites are not the only cause of dog injuries. Jumping on an elderly person can cause injury, especially when the dog is aggressive. Older people can suffer trauma such as hip fractures or traumatic brain injuries. You must know what to do after a dog bite to ensure your compensation case is upheld. The following should be done right away if you or someone you love has been injured:

  • Get in touch with the dog owner and exchange contact information. Check out the dog’s vaccination record to determine if it’s up-to-date. Contact animal control if you are unsure of the dog’s owner.
  • Consult a physician. You should seek medical attention if you have broken skin from a dog bite, even if the wound is minor. It is possible to contract frightening and dangerous diseases such as rabies and tetanus from dog bites. Follow your physician’s instructions, including any follow-up visits.
  • It is still a good idea to notify local animal control or the police if you are bitten, even if it doesn’t seem too severe. Your case will be stronger if you notify them.
  • Don’t forget to take pictures of your injuries. Record what happened, and snap a photo of your injuries while the wound is fresh.
  • Please get the contact information of anyone who witnessed the dog attack.
  • If you are dealing with this kind of case, you might want to contact a Berkeley dog bite attorney. In addition to communicating with the animal’s owner, the lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. To ensure you receive the compensation you are entitled to, the lawyer can collect the evidence to support your claim and strengthen your case.
What Makes Some People Hesitate to File a Claim

Following a dog bite injury, people may hesitate to file a compensation claim, especially if they do not consider it severe. The attack could result from medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional turmoil. A dog owner who does not take responsibility may see their pet attack someone else, resulting in far worse consequences. It is possible to incur significant financial losses without compensation. People may not want to file a claim for the following reasons:

  • A homeowner’s insurance policy can cover this type of injury, which may not be known to the injured person.
  • There was no serious injury caused by the bite. An infection can result in severe damage if the bite gets infected.
  • This animal is owned by a loved one, friend, or neighbor. In this case, homeowner’s insurance covers all costs.
Dog Bite Injuries and Compensation

The following compensation may be claimed by anyone who has been injured by a dog:

  • Costs of medical care from now on and into the future, if necessary
  • Lost earnings from being unable to work, even for those who are self-employed
  • The loss of earning capacity that results from being unable to return to work or inability to perform present duties
  • The inability to enjoy life because of mental suffering, depression, and anguish
  • Loss of consortium due to your injuries
Investigation of Dog Bite Incidents

It is a frightening and painful experience to be bitten or attacked by a dog. We strongly believe that no one should go through this type of situation and be held financially liable for the consequences. You can count on our investigators to gather the evidence you need for a fair settlement. The following are some elements of an investigation to collect evidence in a dog attack:

  • Investigations are conducted at the accident site, where witnesses are interviewed.
  • They interview neighbors and others, such as postal workers and UPS drivers, to determine whether the animal is aggressive.
  • Investigators examine the dog’s veterinary records to see if the canine is fully vaccinated and if any problems have been reported.
Most Cases Are Settled Through Insurance Payouts

In many cases, a financial settlement can often be worked out with the insurance company. You may need to take your case to civil court if you have suffered severe injuries, including emotional trauma, scarring, and disfigurement. However, we always prepare a case in the event it has to go to court if the insurance company refuses to settle for a fair amount.

The YouTube video below explains why hiring a lawyer for your dog bite claim is essential.

Dog Bite Lawyers in Berkeley

Your injuries may be compensated if you are injured by a dog owned by a negligent owner. You are invited to contact us for free and friendly advice at (510) 631-0200 or (800) 404-5400. We would be honored to answer your questions, review your case and tell you about options to recover damages. Please look at some of the cases our injury lawyers have handled on our Settlements and Verdicts.

Editor’s Note: updated [cha 10.2.23] Photo attributions: Image by Esteban Paniagua from Pixabay cd llo [1234] bw