Why Hire a Dog Bite Attorney
While California has “strict liability” – meaning that the owner of a dog is liable for any dog bite injuries – the law is not that simple when it comes to many other issues concerning a dog bite case.
For example, in some cases under California law, a dog bite victim might be able to recover additional “punitive damages” that would make their award much higher. Punitive or “exemplary” damages are added to a victim’s compensation to punish a defendant who engages in particularly bad or outrageous behavior.
But to recover punitive damages the victim must prove by clear and convincing evidence that the dog owner’s behavior amounted to “malice” – showing a “willful and conscious disregard of the rights or safety of others.” Proving this is best accomplished by hiring a skilled and experienced dog bite attorney, who understands dog bite law, in order to obtain the maximum compensation.
Similarly, if the dog bite victim was a minor (child under age 18) they can only enter into an out-of-court settlement through a specific legal process called “compromise of a minor’s claim” which requires Court approval of the settlement. While this extra legal step is aimed at protecting the rights of the minor child, it is best handled by an experienced dog bite lawyer.
Hiring an aggressive and experienced dog bite attorney is the best way to fight the insurance companies, and ensure that you or your child obtain the maximum settlement or verdict. If you were the victim of a dog bite, the personal injury lawyers at California Trial Team P.C. will offer you a free consultation, to help you understand your rights.
We will fight for you to obtain the maximum compensation you deserve – and there is never a fee until we win.