Los Angeles Dog Bite Attorneys


Image of attacking dog.

[Information Updated August 19, 2021] – Since the dawn of time, dogs (descendants of wolves) have been considered man’s best friend. Make no mistake; this is not always true. Our experienced Los Angeles dog bite attorneys at Ehline Law Firm have successfully won dog bite cases for a combined 30 plus years. We can help make your life better with our dedicated team of lawyers, paralegals, mediators, and other law firm staff after someone was bitten by a dog.

If someone’s dog bites you or a loved one, it can be hard to know whether the victim can receive money damages. Unlike typical crime cases, a California lawyer specializing in dog bite law will file an insurance claim. We will file your dog bite case as a civil action in a Los Angeles trial court if unsuccessful.

This is filed by a lawyer who will first inform you of the applicable laws after explaining the details of your instant case. These professionals can help you decide if claiming compensation for your injuries is a wise choice, in your best interest.

If your dog bite case doesn’t result in an insurance settlement or dog bite lawsuit verdict, you owe our office zero attorney’s fee. This is known as our no risk, no win, no fee promise. Pick up your phone and call (213) 596-9642 to ask questions and learn more about your rights today. We’ll explain everything during your free consultation.

Los Angeles, California Dog Bite Case Resources:

  • Why pick Ehline Law Firm for help?
  • Understanding California state’s strict liability law.
  • How does a dog bite lawyer get victim results?
  • How do dog bite injury attorneys identify at-fault parties?
  • Are exceptions and defenses available?
  • Do common injuries Americans face?
  • Is compensation available for your situation?
  • Reasons why insurance companies cover charges or a loss.
  • A Look at some statistics.
  • Common attacks.
  • Statute to sue.
  • Prevention tips.
  • Post-accident tips.
  • Free legal consultations after an accident?

Why Choose Our Top Los Angeles Dog Bite Attorney?

All animal attack injuries are bad. But for a close loved one, like innocent infants or a woman, a seemingly friendly dog can turn deadly in an instant. Are you a dog bite victim?

Our highly trained, charismatic team has a storied history of helping the victim after suffering injuries and related property damage.

  • Our office’s award-winning Los Angeles injury attorneys have won dog bite victims over $150 million since 2005.
  • We charge no upfront attorneys fees to explore attorney-client relationship complexities through a free case evaluation.
  • Our experienced Los Angeles, CA law office works on a contingency fee.
  • We can come to your home, emergency room hospital, or office 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
  • We’ll review evidence like witness statements and hear your complaints about the incident.
  • Our experienced Los Angeles dog bite lawyers practice law in California counties and cities with vast litigation experience and knowledge.
  • We take actions to help arrange transportation on your behalf to one of our over 20 convenient law offices throughout California state.
  • After forming an attorney-client relationship, we’ll handle insurance company settlement negotiations to cover expenses on you or your loved one’s behalf.
  • We won’t let our clients accept a lowball settlement offer or get their rights trampled in the courts.

Peer Recognition and Client Accolades

  • We’re recognized by major news outlets, including ABC News, CNN, LA Times, Newsweek, and Forbes Magazine, for our proven expertise and responsibility.
  • We have received vast peer accolades and client recognition from SuperLawyers, Martindale-Hubbell, and more.
  • Our law office has represented thousands of satisfied clients with a proven reputation for happy case outcomes.

Tell Us More About Your Dog Bite Injuries

Did someone sick their dog on you or let it wound you? Our team will review the records and give you the legal advice you need to hold the defendant and others accountable for putting you through this life-altering process.

Dog bites don’t just include broken bones or scars. These incidents can cause lifelong emotional trauma. We possess a wealth of knowledge and experience handling severe dog attack cases.

Our experienced dog bite attorneys have helped many United States dog bite victims receive money. In addition, we maintain an outstanding success rate. Our superior team can help you obtain information about compensation for damages.

Call our very best Los Angeles dog bite lawyer to discuss your legal options by dialing our phone number at (213) 596-9642! Let our lawyer’s headquarters hold those responsible for bad pets accountable for their actions and neglect.

California Dog Bite Statute Strict Liability?

California is a strict liability state. Under California Civil Code § 3342, dog owners are liable for most dog bite incidents, even when unaware of their dog’s propensity for violence or history of past aggressive behavior.

A dog’s owner is personally responsible for damages suffered by any person bitten by the owner’s dog while:

  • In a public space
  • Lawfully in a private place
  • Legally residing on the property of the dog’s owner.

Parties Dog Bite Attack Lawyers Hold Liable to Pay Damages?

Anyone responsible for the care or custody of the dog, including:

  • Dog walker service
  • Police department
  • Animal shelter
  • Homeowners
  • Dog pound
  • Landlord
  • Kennel
  • Renters.

Whatever the circumstances, clients can rest assured their liability questions will be answered by the foremost experts in the field of dog bite law. Each step you take today can affect your settlement or court results tomorrow.

Are There Animal Attack Defenses Against Liability?

Yes. The victim must not behave in a manner that provokes, teases. Never act mean towards the dog. If so, California’s pure comparative negligence law may reduce or defense your case.

What Is My Burden of Proof In Such A Dog Attack Personal Injury Case?

Under California’s dog bite statute, the victim of a dog bite has no burden to prove negligence by the dog owner to recover on compensation claims.

But proving things like ownership, control, and damage potential is no walk in the park. This is why individual legal representation, information, and evidence gathering remain crucial factors from the beginning of your case to win maximum compensation.

What Are Some Common Dog Bite Injuries For Which We Seek Money Damages?

Unlike typical car accident damages, dog bites involve intentionally attacking a person. The costs to individuals in trauma, including medical bills, can be great, often insurmountable.

This attack aggression can last for seconds or minutes. The pain and suffering, including the emotional trauma of the event for you or close family members, can cost you everything.

Here are some common dog bite injuries:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Mental and physical scars
  • Rabies (Signs of rabies infecting the neurological system may be delayed for a period of time)
  • Puncture wounds
  • Wrongful death
  • Crush injuries
  • Fear of dogs
  • Depression
  • Nightmares
  • Lacerations
  • Anxiety

Before settling with the insurance company, be sure to know the full extent of your injury. Be it an infection, deformity, or surgery-related claim, seek more information and top-notch representation. After your free consultation, you can be fully aware of what will happen next in terms of treatment and long-term recovery.

Further facts to consider include:

  • Of all dog bites, 86% result in harm to the victim.
  • 42% of those hospitalized received skin laceration treatments for underlying tissue infection.
  • Out of 100 people bitten, 22% had leg and arm damage.
  • 5% of victims had wounds on their heads, necks, and torsos.
  • The remaining patients had bone fractures and blood poisoning.

Our peer and client reviews don’t lie. Our highly experienced dog bite lawyers have obtained proven results to help with any insurance company claim against the dog’s owner or another defendant.

What Types Of Compensation Can You Win In Most Dog Bite Cases?

In California, bonafide victims of dog bites are entitled to maximum financial compensation. If strict liability is met, adults and children can seek reimbursement for costs from the pet owner or seller-even if there was just one instance of a bite or viciousness.

Many factors exist indicating what damages you can receive, including the way you were injured, the severity of your injuries, and whether you contributed to the pet’s behavior.

Special Damages (financial losses)

You are entitled to receive tangible, special economic damages as follows:

  • Lost past, present, and future contracts, wages, and livelihood
  • Medical expenses for physician attention, including related future surgical treatments. (Ex: reconstructive surgery for disfigurement, etc.)

Wrongful death or a loved one or close family member.

  • Job retraining and physical rehabilitation
  • Physical therapy rehabilitation
  • Property damage

General Damages (intangible losses)

You can also win non-economic damages from the dog’s owner, including:

  • Loss of love and affection (consortium)
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress

Some groups of victims can receive punitive damages, but these cases are rare and never covered by insurance. Even if they remain on the hook, liability insurance companies don’t like paying California dog owner liability compensation.

Dog Bite Insurance?

Thankfully, many dog bites in Los Angeles, California, are covered by the dog owner through a tenant, landlord, or other party’s “homeowners insurance” policy. (If coverage exists).

1/3 of all homeowner insurance liability claims dollars are the result of a dog bite. State Farm paid out more than 3,550 dog bites in 2010, with an average payout per incident at $25,714.

Is There An Insurance Coverage Exclusion For Dangerous Animals?

Fact. Insurance companies hate paying dog bite victims despite their vast financial resources. An insurance company exception/exclusion may exist.

The reasons can include signs of aggression. Hence, our furry friends get branded as dangerous breeds despite no record of aggression, even with obedience training. (Pitbulls, Rottweilers, etc.)

As noted, the amount of physical and emotional pain resulting from a dog bite injury includes permanent disfigurement and psychological issues. Dog bite lawyers at our personal injury law firm factor these damages into any settlement damages calculations.

Personal injury lawyers experienced in dog bites have the ability to represent your interests through all stages of the legal process, directing any favorable course of action.

Only a team of qualified attorneys, paralegals, and law clerks can research the evidence and coverage exceptions. After, we can fully explain your matter and rights to compensation damages or some other obligation.

The U.S. And CA Dog Bite Statistics

Imagine walking or riding your bike down the street when a dog comes up, completely unexpected, and attacks. What are some ways this happens?

Fatalities:

  • By breed: On average, Pit Bull and Rottie breeds accounted for three-quarters of all dog attacks that resulted in severe personal injury and death between 2005 and 2014. Pit bulls killed 203 people, while Rottweiler breeds killed 38 lives, on average.
  • By percentage of attack: In the 1980s, fatal dog attacks against humans increased 82% from the 1970s. Thirty-nine people in the United States died as a result of dog bites in 2017. Pit bulls were responsible for 74% of canine-related fatalities, even though this particular breed only makes up 6.5% of America’s total domesticated dog population.
  • By dog packs: According to data from 2014, more than half of all dog-bite fatalities in that year were caused by more than one dog: eight out of 26 deaths involved a pack (defined as four or more dogs).

It’s dangerous to assume that all dogs, including Labrador or Golden Retrievers, are friendly. Police K9s can be intimidating and even deadly, especially if they’re been trained guard canines under poor supervision by the dog handler.

Child Injury Cases

Many dog owners let their dogs loose near little ones, assuming the canine will provide companionship with little attack risk.

Unfortunately, any dog attack can be fatal to the victim, including kids of all ages. Most of the harm to children comes from bites occurring on their head, face or neck areas.

There are some things you can do to prevent this type of pain.

First of all, you must never allow a child or any party for that matter to pet a dog without permission and supervision from the owner.

  • Dog bites are the ninth largest cause of injury in children both on and off private property.
  • Nearly half of all dog bite fatalities are children, many of whom are under the age of 13 years.
  • More than 1/3 of all fatal dog bites are against children under four years old.
  • More than half of the kids who suffer a serious bite in the U.S. don’t qualify for financial compensation. Sadly, they don’t meet the strict criteria set by their state’s laws (Ex: State “one bite rule” negligence laws).
  • Approximately 66% of all children bitten by dogs are bitten by either the family pet or their neighbor’s dog.

Adults As Attack Victims?

  • Among those individuals over the age of 50, 73% of fatalities from dog attacks remain plentiful.

Dog Bite Victims By Gender and Age?

  • Dog bites can be more tragic for women and elderly persons than they tend to be for men.

Victims By Place?

  • Los Angeles has a disproportionate number of dog bite attacks on people compared to other California cities, including private and publicly owned canines.

Victims By Employment Type?

Mail-man/woman: United States postal carriers (USPS) are the most likely to have a dog bite claim. Los Angeles ranked number one with 69 reported attacks on postal workers in 2012 alone.

Common Types of Dog Attack Defendants?

A large percentage of dog bites result in a civil lawsuit against private and public dog owners, including:

  • Police departments/agencies: Los Angeles police dogs have attacked civilians twice as often in the same period of time as any other California city, with 6 out of 100,000 residents being bitten in 2020 alone.
  • Landlords: California has one of the highest rates of dog bite claims filed with home insurers, and almost one out of every five bites is severe enough to warrant medical attention.
  • Pet shops
  • Veterinarians, etc.

In 2014, approximately 1/4 of fatal skirmishes result in criminal charges against dog owners. The pain and suffering of families and friends can put you in a dark place. Sadly, the cause of your individual case in question may have to be determined with facts in a courtroom.

Normally, once your Los Angeles dog bite injury lawyer establishes liability, a financial recovery offer will cover these new bills. If the amount doesn’t cover your needs, a court or jury will decide your fate.

Statute of Limitations for Dog Bites

The statute of limitations is a deadline by which someone must take steps to preserve their rights to file a lawsuit. Under California Code of Civil Procedure 335.1, you have two years from the time you’re bitten to file a personal injury claim. There might be an exception extending time to sue in your case if you or your loved one was a minor, in jail, or in a coma, for example.

Because it can take a while to investigate a claim, you should call for the services of an experienced Los Angeles injury attorney if you’re bitten. We’ll look at the case, including the reasons for injuries to clients and other information.

Next, we can determine who we must name to pay our clients, including their families, for the damage. This is the reason why an immediate legal consultation for advice remains important.

When Do Workers’ Compensation Policies Apply to California Dog Bite Cases?

Some injured workers can sue the person with ownership and file work comp claims. These people include the private delivery profession and U.S. Mail carriers.

Any worker required to enter private property to complete their job could have a workers’ comp claim and a third-party insurance claim. It’s not their fault; they have implied consent to enter private property. They’re not trespassing.

Thwarting Dog Assaults?

It would be best to stay away from dog beaches, recreational parks, running paths, etc.) If you are unfamiliar with a dog, you mustn’t make eye contact or run away.

Remain calm and turn to the side away from the animal, walking backward. If approached aggressively, say “no!” in a firm voice. Use your bicycle or skateboard as a barrier between you and the dog to escape safely.

Post Attack Dog Bite Lawyer Tips

If you are bitten by a dog in the Los Angeles area, certain steps immediately following the incident will help build the most solid case possible, including:

  • Call 9-1-1: After the attack, calling the cops assures the loose dog will be hunted down and quarantined and documented by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
  • Receive medical care: To ensure you are properly taken care of, the best option is to seek medical attention. Aside from ensuring that your injuries are adequately treated, a doctor will document how the bite occurred. This provides proof for any insurance claim in the future.
  • Contact Animal Control: The owner of the dog should take this step and often does. However, they don’t. It’s necessary to determine whether the dog has rabies threatening the public at large.
  • Shoot images with your smartphone: Take photos showing the bite and your injuries if you are able. These photos will be helpful if the lawyer decides to file a lawsuit on the part of the plaintiff at a later date.
  • Gather evidence: In addition, try to get any witnesses’ names and contact information near the place the attack occurred.
  • Contact Los Angeles dog bite lawyers for an immediate consultation: You have a right not to worry about the high cost of medical treatment and lost work surrounding this sad event. An experienced Los Angeles CA lawyer will deal with your dog bite damages case while you recover from your PTSD and other altered emotional behavior. You need space to breathe, treat and heal. Our top personal injury attorneys can take care of your claims with the same devotion as a close family member.

Immediately after being bitten by a dog, it remains imperative that you call a Los Angeles dog bite attacks attorney. Michael Ehline of Ehline Law Firm Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC, has over 20 years of combined experience as a litigation paralegal and a lawyer. Our very best attorney will help clients get the money they deserve for all dog bites.

Receive A Free Consultation From A Los Angeles Dog Bite Attorney?

Our best Los Angeles dog bite attorney offers victims and their families and others a chance for a free consultation for all types of dog attacks. You deserve to be compensated for any kind of financial, physical suffering and time off work. We never take a fee unless we win you or your family’s cause.

This is more than enough reason to get the personal injury legal process started. Would you like a free consultation about your injury case with an experienced dog bite lawyer today?

You can call or text an attorney today by phone at (213) 596-9642, or enter your email, name, and information into our easy-to-use website contact form or live chat feature. Get quick information about our superior legal services today.

Ehline Law Firm - Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC
Attorney at Law

Michael P. Ehline Esq,

Downtown Los Angeles Corporate Offices


Downtown Los Angeles Office
633 West 5th Street #2890
Los Angeles, CA 90071
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Ehline Law Firm - Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC
Attorney at Law

Michael P. Ehline Esq,

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