Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I afford your services?
Yes, you certainly can. We are dog bite contingency lawyers. You pay no legal fees unless we win and obtain for you a recovery. We will invest our money, talent and time to obtain a recovery for you. If we succeed we are paid a percentage of the award or settlement and we are reimbursed for our out of pocket expenses. We have never lost a case for lack of resources or lack of time spent on your case by our lawyers. Yes, you can certainly afford our services.

2. How have you obtained so many favorable settlements?
Our success is based on one thing: strength, strength, strength; never give up, never give in. By hiring us, you do not hire the underdog. We will always be prepared. We have decades of experience. All the defendants will always know that. We always choose the best time for the best settlement possible.

3. Will I go to court?
Nearly all of our cases settle out of court before a trial begins. Sometimes cases settle on the eve of trial or at the start of trial. Either way, we will be with you the entire time – you will never be alone. We will be with you every step of the way. We want you to place your trust in us by looking at our website, talking to us, and reviewing the results we have obtained in the past. We promise you that your case will be very important to us and we will fight hard for you to get the best results possible – before, during or after trial.

4. What if I am referred to you by another law firm or lawyer?
Would you work with another law firm for me? The answer is yes. Either way, you will never pay a higher contingency fee if you are referred to us from another lawyer or if ewe are working with another law firm on your claim. You will pay the same contingency fee no matter what. It does not matter whether you were referred to us from another lawyer or we work on your case with another law firm. The lawyers or law firms share the contingency fee but our clients are never charged more for two law firms working on their case.

5. If we do go to trial will I have to take the witness stand?
Do not worry. If the case goes to trial, we will do what is right and so will the judge. You will never abused by any lawyer or be intimidated. You have our promise.

6. Who is liable for damage caused by a dog bite in California?
The law in California states that the owner of a dog is fully responsible for all damages to the victim who was bitten by a dog.

7. Can anyone other than the owner of a dog be responsible for damages?
The dog bite statute imposes liability solely on the dog owner. However, any person might be liable if he or she was negligent or maintained custody or control of the dog with knowledge that the dog was dangerous. In cities with a "leash law," violation of the leash law constitutes a form of negligence.

The victim can direct a claim to other possible defendants, including employers, landlords and breeders. It is even possible to make a claim against someone who negligently entrusted a dog to another person who could not control it, like a child. Claims against people other than the owner might be crucial under certain circumstances, such as when the dog owner lacks insurance. 

8. Are there any exceptions to liability?
Yes, under the following circumstances the owner of the dog could escape liability if:

  1. The victim was a trespasser;
  2. The victim was a veterinarian who was treating the dog at the time of the incident;
  3. The victim was committing a felony;
  4. The victim provoked the dog;
  5. The dog was assisting the police or the military at the time of the incident.

The victim can direct a claim to other possible defendants, including employers, landlords and breeders. It is even possible to make a claim against someone who negligently entrusted a dog to another person who could not control it, like a child. Claims against people other than the owner might be crucial under certain circumstances, such as when the dog owner lacks insurance.

9. What does a dog bite victim's attorney have to prove to secure damages for his client?
The attorney must prove at least the following things:

  1. The identity of the owner of the dog;
  2. That the dog bit the victim;
  3. That the victim, at the time of the bite, was in a public place or lawfully in a private place, which could also be the property of the dog owner;
  4. That the bite caused injury, suffering, loss or harm;
  5. That the attack could not be excused because of any of the exceptions listed in Question 8;
  6. If the defendant did not own the dog, then 1) the defendant was negligent and the negligence was the cause of the injury or 2) the defendant kept or harbored the dog with knowledge that it either previously bit someone or clearly behaved as thought it would bite someone someday.

10. How are damages calculated in dog bite cases?
If the conditions stated in Question #9 are met, the victim can receive money for all of the following things:

  1. Medical treatment such as first aid, emergency room, hospital and ambulance;
  2. Future medical treatment for scar reduction;
  3. Psychological counseling to overcome the emotional trauma of the attack; fear of dogs, fear of being outdoors, and dealing with disfigurement;
  4. Loss of earnings from work or the victim's business;
  5. Torn clothing and broken glasses;
  6. Medications.

11. Who actually pays the damages to dog bite victims?
Many serious dog attacks involve the dog of a friend or family member. Therefore, victims frequently worry about who will pay their damages because they don't want a friend or family member to feel the burden. There is no reason to worry. Even though the dog owner is technically liable, the damages usually are paid by:

  1. Homeowner's insurance,
  2. Renter's insurance;
  3. Landlord's insurance;
  4. Dog owner insurance;
  5. Insurance covering employers and breeders, if they are responsible.

Therefore, if you are a victim and the dog owner is a friend or family member who is covered by insurance, and if that insurance has a limit high enough to cover your needs, there is no possibility that your friend or family member will ever have to pay one cent toward your compensation.

There have been cases where a defendant in a lawsuit had to pay for damages out of his or her pocket because:

  1. The insurance was inadequate;
  2. There was no insurance
  3. The defendant acted with actual malice and intentionally caused the injury, and the damages were designed to punish him or her.

However, the victim has complete control as to whether to ask for or collect such compensation. If the victim decides against pursuing certain damages, there is no possibility that the dog owner will have to pay them.

12. How do you ind out whether the person liable for the dog bite is insured?
If you can speak to the dog owner, ask whether he or she has any of the insurance policies listed in Question #11.

People frequently do not know whether their insurance covers a particular type of loss, including a dog bite. Furthermore, some people deny they have insurance when in fact they do have it. Therefore, do not rely on the dog owner's statement that he or she does not have insurance. Rather, contact us. We will find out the true insurance status of the dog owner. Furthermore, we will also discover whether there are additional persons who might be liable for your damages.

13. What will happen to the dog?
In most cases, absolutely nothing happens to the dog except that it might be quarantined for a few days (frequently at the dog owner's home). If the attack is brutal or other conditions are met, however, the local animal control authority or court may issue orders requiring that the dog be confined or destroyed.

CALIFORNIA DOG BITE INJURY FAQ'S

If you have been bitten or attacked by a dog in California, you need the assistance of a dog bite injury lawyer that knows the California dog bite law as it applies to your case. To speak with a dog bite injury attorney immediately, call 1-800-718-4658. You can also e-mail us for an immediate response at [email protected].

SHOULD I REPORT THE DOG BITE?

Yes. The dog attack or dog bite should be reported to your local animal control center and/or police department as soon as you seek medical attention. Make sure to note the date of the report and the name of the person you spoke with.

SHOULD I TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS?

Yes. If it is at all possible, please take photographs of your injuries and the accident location. The first thing we do as dog bite lawyers is to take photographs of our victims’ injuries to properly document the full extent of the injuries and wounds. Of course, if it is possible, take pictures of the attacking dog, but never place yourself in danger.

DOES IT MATTER WHERE THE DOG BITE OCCURRED?

A dog owner is required to control/restrain his or her animal in order to ensure public safety. The dog owner may be held responsible if you are on public property or if you are legally on private property.

HOW LONG WILL MY CASE TAKE?

The length of an average dog bite case is directly related to the nature and extent of the injuries and how long they take to heal. For example, if a victim has severe wounds and they become scars, we have to wait approximately six to nine months to send our clients to a plastic surgeon to determine the extent of permanent scars and the costs of scar revision. There is therefore no fixed time limit how long a dog bite case will take to a successful conclusion. However, the Law Offices of Nadrich & Cohen, LLP prides itself in obtaining for its clients the largest settlements in the shortest period of time.

WHAT IS THE LEASH LAW?

Most communities have leash laws that require dog owners to have their dog on a leash unless the dog is confined to the house or a fenced yard. If a dog bites someone and his owner has failed to follow the leash law, the penalties may be increased.

WHAT IS THE AVERAGE SETTLEMENT OF A DOG BITE CASE?

It is not possible to state an average settlement because the amount of the settlement depends on various factors such as medical bills, loss of wages, pain and suffering, plastic surgery costs, and possibly psychological counseling.

WHICH BREEDS ARE MOST LIKELY TO BITE?

At least 25 different dog breeds have been responsible for dog-bite-related fatalities, although more than half have been caused by pit bulls and rottweilers. German Shepherds and Huskies are also responsible for a large percentage of dog bites. We have seen many different breeds of animals causing dog bite injuries.

WHY DO I NEED A LAWYER IF I HAVE BEEN BITTEN BY A DOG?

Animal bites can have serious consequences for which the law permits compensation. If you have been bitten by a dog, it is important to seek medical attention and consult an attorney after the injuries have been evaluated. A personal injury lawyer is able to tell you whether you should seek legal action against the animal's owner, based on your doctor's evaluation.

You need to hire a law firm which emphasizes dog bite cases such as the Law Offices of Nadrich & Cohen, LLP. We will immediately send out a qualified investigator to document the injuries, immediately take all witness statements, assist our clients in obtaining the best medical attention if they cannot do so on their own and investigate the ownership and insurance of the dog’s owner."

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE BITTEN BY A DOG:

  • Report the attack to the police and you local animal control center.
  • Seek medical attention immediately
  • Take photographs of the injury
  • Get the contact information of the owner and anyone who witnessed the animal attack
  • Immediately contact the Law Offices of Nadrich & Cohen, LLP to assist you in preserving the evidence, obtaining insurance information, obtaining the best medical doctors and presenting your claim.

Do I Have a Case?