While some dogs are more inclined to attack than others, every animal has the propensity to cause harm. In fact, roughly 1,000 people across the United States need emergency medical care following a dog bite every single day.
Thankfully, California holds pet owners strictly liable for any damages their dogs cause. That means victims don’t have to prove negligence on the part of the owner to secure compensation.
Of course, recovering a payout can still pose a challenge, so it’s wise to seek counsel before proceeding. If you were bit by someone else’s dog and you want to enlist help from a personal injury attorney, you can ensure your case gets off to a strong start by doing the following before your first meeting:
1. Record What Happened
As soon as possible after the incident, write down what happened in your own words. From the date, time, and precise location of the attack to the weather conditions and number of onlookers, no detail is too small to include.
You should also include any details you obtained from the dog’s owner or handler, including the animals’ vaccination status, breed, and age. Your personal injury lawyer will use this information to devise a starting point for their own investigation.
2. Gather Your Medical Records
If you saved any records from the care you received, compile them all in one place, and bring them to your initial consultation. Documentation your attorney will want to review includes hospital intake forms, nursing logs, diagnostic images, prescriptions, and health insurance statements.
If you photographed your wounds or the scars left in their wake, bring those images to your first meeting, as well. Your legal team will use them to help prove the extent of your non-economic damages. When a dog bite leaves someone permanently disfigured, it can have a major impact on their quality of life, and they deserve to be compensated for it.
3. Compile Proof of Damages
Under California tort law, virtually all injury-related expenses are recoverable. This includes both direct costs, like medical bills, and indirect costs, like lost wages.
Before you can secure a single dollar, however, you must prove that you actually incurred the losses you’re seeking. This is where documentation like receipts and invoices comes in handy.
Gather any and all paperwork you have that’s associated with the expenses you wouldn’t have incurred had you not gotten hurt. Your dog bite lawyer will use these records to determine the potential value of your claim, so you can decide whether proceeding is worthwhile.
Call (562) 206-1939 to Speak with a Dog Bite Lawyer in Long Beach
Your Injuries Are Personal to Me
At the Law Office of Michael D. Waks, we know how devastating dog bite injuries can be. If you or someone in your family was attacked by an animal that wasn’t yours, our resourceful team will help you take the steps needed to hold the owner accountable.
We have secured numerous six- and seven-figure settlements and judgements on behalf of injured parties and their families. Call (562) 206-1939 or submit the Contact Form on our website to set up a free initial consultation with a dog bite attorney in Long Beach.
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