Newport Beach Dog Bite Injury Lawyers
Many individuals walk their dogs on the beaches, boardwalks, and other public areas in and around Newport Beach. However, when vicious dogs bite others—especially children and elderly individuals—serious and sometimes permanent injuries may result. Even if the dog does not bite a person, it may attack the person and knock them to the ground, causing them to experience serious injuries.
If a dangerous dog bit you or a family member in Newport Beach, the dog owner and their insurance company may be liable. Many homeowner insurance policies cover dog bites, and you can turn to the dog owner’s insurer for monetary compensation to pay your medical bills and other losses following the incident.
As soon as possible after a dog bite, you should speak with experienced legal counsel to represent you throughout your case. The skilled and compassionate Newport Beach dog bite injury lawyers at Bentley & More LLP can meet with you to discuss the incident and your physical injuries.
If you are eligible to file a strict liability or negligence claim against the dog owner, we can assist you with every step of the process. Moreover, if the dog owner’s insurance company refuses to offer you the fair monetary recovery you deserve, we can file a lawsuit for you.
Our experienced legal team has recovered millions of dollars in compensation for seriously injured dog bite victims and other accident victims. Let us review your case with you and help you pursue the monetary damages you need for your injuries.
For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with a Newport Beach dog bite injury attorney, please call us or contact us online to learn more.
Special note for other law firms: Our experienced legal team represents accident victims who suffer serious and catastrophic injuries. We do accept referrals from other law firms to help with complex and challenging matters. Please feel free to give us a call and let us know how a referral agreement with Bentley & More LLP can help you.
Dog Bite Law in California
Fortunately, dog bite laws in the State of California are favorable to dog bite victims. A bite victim can file a claim or lawsuit against a dog owner based on two theories of legal recovery: strict liability and negligence.
California’s strict liability dog bite statute makes dog owners automatically responsible for the injuries that their pets cause others. This liability exists even if the dog never showed any vicious propensities before and even if the dog never bit anyone before.
For a dog bite victim to prove their right to monetary recovery, the victim must demonstrate that:
- A particular individual (named as a defendant in the case) owned the dog that bit the victim.
- The dog bite incident occurred in a public place or while the victim was lawfully present on the dog owner’s private property.
- The victim suffered injuries as a result of the dog bite.
- The dog bite substantially caused the subject injuries.
In some situations, a dog owner may not be strictly liable for a bite victim’s injuries.
Exceptions exist when:
- A bite victim trespassed on someone’s private property when the dog attack occurred
- The bite victim provoked the animal or assumed the risk
- The dog that bit the victim was a law enforcement animal
- The victim partially caused or contributed to the incident
A dog bite victim may also recover monetary compensation from a dog owner if the dog owner was negligent in some way. For example, the bite victim can show that the dog owner negligently failed to prevent the harm from occurring—or that the dog owner knew about the dog’s vicious propensities ahead of time, such as when the dog attacked or bit someone previously.
The experienced Newport Beach dog bite injury lawyers at Bentley & More LLP can help you determine if you can file a dog bite claim based on either strict liability or negligence. In either instance, we can help you prove the necessary legal elements of your claim to recover the monetary compensation you need for your injuries.
Common Dog Bite Injuries
Whenever a dog bites a person, especially a helpless child or elderly individual, the bite can lead to serious and sometimes permanent injuries.
Some of the most common injuries associated with dog bites include:
- Teeth marks on the victim’s body
- Broken bones
- Puncture wounds
- Deep lacerations that require stitches
Moreover, if a dog attacks a person in addition to biting them, the person may fall to the ground and suffer a separate soft tissue injury, broken bone, or traumatic head injury.
As soon as possible after a dog bite incident, you should seek emergency medical treatment. You should also speak with a responding police officer or paramedic and tell them what happened during the attack.
By going to a hospital emergency room or urgent care facility immediately after your dog bite incident, you increase your chances of making a full recovery from your injuries. Moreover, you show the dog owner’s insurance company that you did indeed suffer serious injuries in the attack. If the insurance company determines that you sought prompt medical attention after the incident, they will be more likely to offer you fair monetary damages in your case.
While you focus your attention on getting the comprehensive medical treatment you need, the experienced Newport Beach dog bite injury attorneys at Bentley & More LLP can begin advocating for your legal interests. Our team can first obtain a copy of the police report or eyewitness statements from bystanders who saw the incident.
We can also obtain copies of your medical treatment records and bills to date to help support your dog bite claim. Finally, once you complete all of your medical treatment, we can assemble a settlement demand package on your behalf and send it to the dog owner’s insurance company for settlement negotiations in your case.
How Do You File a Prompt Dog Bite Claim?
A dog bite claim with the dog owner’s insurance company starts when your lawyer submits medical documentation and other potential evidence to the insurance company adjuster handling the claim. The adjuster will then review this documentation and might make an opening settlement offer to resolve the claim.
During settlement negotiations, you should have skilled legal representation in your corner every step of the way. Legal representation is necessary because insurance companies routinely try to take advantage of self-represented dog bite victims. In fact, insurance companies are not looking to compensate you fairly for your dog bite injuries. Rather, they will offer you as little monetary compensation as possible to make your case go away.
The experienced Newport Beach dog bite injury lawyers at Bentley & More LLP can negotiate with insurance company adjusters on your behalf and point out the strengths of your case. If the insurance company adjuster does not fairly compensate you for all of your dog bite injuries, we can draft a lawsuit and threaten the insurance company with courtroom litigation in the California state court system.
Litigating a Newport Beach Dog Bite Case
Most dog bite cases resolve outside of the courtroom. This is especially true when medical evidence in the case is strong. However, a dog bite lawyer may need to file a lawsuit on your behalf if the insurance company will not offer you the favorable damages you deserve for your injuries. For example, the insurance company might contend that pre-existing injuries or medical conditions account for your current symptoms.
Dog bite victims have two years from their accident date to file a lawsuit seeking monetary compensation. If the accident victim does not file a lawsuit within that time frame, they forever waive their right to receive any monetary damages for their injuries. Therefore, you should get a skilled dog bite attorney on board in your case as quickly as possible.
Once your case is in litigation, the experienced Newport Beach dog bite injury attorneys at Bentley & More LLP can:
- Answer written questions from the defense attorney about your case
- Prepare you for your discovery deposition with the defense lawyer
- Attend all settlement or pretrial conferences that the court schedules in your case
- If necessary, litigate your case in court at a civil jury trial or advocate for you at a binding arbitration proceeding
Our skilled legal team can also help you make intelligent, informed decisions throughout litigation, increasing your chances of recovering fair monetary damages for your injuries.
Recoverable Monetary Damages for Dog Bite Victims
Dog bite victims frequently suffer permanent injuries that affect them for the rest of their lives. These injuries may also lead to unsightly scarring or disfigurement. Fortunately, all of these losses are legally compensable in California.
The monetary damages that a dog bite victim recovers will depend primarily on the severity of their injuries, as well as the circumstances surrounding the dog attack.
First, dog bite victims can recover monetary damages for their related medical expenses. Not only can bite victims recover their past medical expenses, but they can recover anticipated medical costs if a medical provider believes they may need treatment in the future. For example, a dog bite victim who suffers a disfiguring injury may need to undergo future surgery.
In addition, if a dog bite victim’s injuries prevent them from working for a period of time, they can make a claim for lost income. If they can no longer use their hands or other body parts for their work, and they have to switch jobs or entire careers (and take pay cuts) due to their injuries, they can bring a claim for loss of earning capacity.
In addition to these economic damages, dog bite victims may recover various non-economic damages for their intangible losses.
Those damages include compensation for their:
- Past and anticipated pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Loss of the ability to use a hand, arm, or another body part
- Loss of feeling in a body part (such as from paralysis)
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Permanent disfigurement or disability
- Humiliation from visible scarring
If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries in a dog attack, the experienced Newport Beach dog bite injury lawyers at Bentley & More LLP can hold dog owners accountable for the injuries their dog caused. Our legal team can choose the appropriate claim for strict liability or negligence against the dog owner and work to maximize your total monetary recovery. If the insurance company does not offer you the full damages you deserve, we can litigate your case in the court system and pursue monetary damages via a favorable jury verdict or binding arbitration award.
Our legal team can also help you determine the types of damages you may recover, given the severity of your injuries and the overall circumstances surrounding the dog attack incident.
No matter how your dog bite happened or the types of injuries you suffered, our team will be here to support you. You can rely on us to protect your legal rights and fight for your full compensation.
Call a Newport Beach Dog Bite Injury Attorney Today
Dog bite injuries can be extremely painful and may require ongoing medical treatment. Moreover, accident victims often experience mounting medical costs, as well as lost income, following the incident. Fortunately, injured dog bite victims can take legal action through the courts if necessary. Reach out to a Newport Beach personal injury lawyer.
At Bentley & More LLP, our legal team welcomes the opportunity to settle or litigate your case thoroughly and efficiently. We pride ourselves on thoughtful, result-oriented legal representation for our injured clients. Therefore, we will do everything we can to maximize the total monetary recovery you receive in your dog bite case.
For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with a Newport Beach dog bite injury attorney, please call us at (949) 617-0938 or contact us online.
“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Bentley & More for the past 5-6 years. Their drive and compassion to earn great results for their clients is obvious to everyone who works with them.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to partner with the firm to help serve their clients.”
– Nicole S. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Read more of our Google reviews.
Bentley & More LLP – Newport Beach Office
4931 Birch Street
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Phone: (949) 617-0938