Dog bites can leave you seriously injured and facing mounting medical debt. Fortunately, in California, if someone else's dog bit you, the state's strict liability laws mean you can seek compensation from the owner, even if the dog doesn't have a previous history of biting or aggression. This statement may seem simple, but actually, a dog bite case is much more complicated. One of the keys to a successful dog bite claim is to avoid these common mistakes so you can protect your right to a full and fair financial recovery.
Common Mistakes Made in a Dog Bite Law Suit
- Delaying medical attention. See a doctor as soon as possible, even if you're not sure your injuries are serious. If left untreated, dog bites can cause infections and other complications. An immediate medical evaluation also allows you to get your injuries on record. Records are evidence that are used in personal injury insurance claims or lawsuits.
- Not reporting the bite. Report all dog bites to local law enforcement or animal control, even if they seem minor. Having the incident on record with the appropriate authorities can help you establish liability.
- Not taking photos of the injuries. Take photos of your dog bite injuries right away, so you can better convey their severity to the at-fault party's insurance company, or at trial. Without photos, if your injuries have healed by the time you take legal action, the defense may deny that they were ever serious.
- Not collecting key evidence. The amount and quality of evidence can dramatically impact the outcome of your dog bite case. Write down names and contact information of witnesses, as well as a description of what they say they saw; photos of the dog that bit you; and information about where, when, and how the attack occurred.
- Giving a statement to the insurance company. Insurers will use the information you provide in a recorded statement against you. Decline to provide a recorded statement about the dog bite attack until you have talked to a knowledgeable attorney.
- Not hiring a lawyer right away. Don't wait to talk to an experienced attorney until a dog bite becomes a larger problem. Dog bite cases can turn into high-stakes litigation. Make sure you have skilled legal representation.
Request a Free Consultation from Our Top Rancho Cucamonga Attorneys
The Inland Empire Law Group helps dog bite victims recover compensation for injuries, losses, and trauma. Contact us today at (888) 694-3529 or (909) 481-0100 to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation to find out how we can assist you.