A dog attack can be an extremely traumatic experience. No matter what breed of dog attacks you, no matter who owns the dog, and no matter how seriously you are injured, it can be difficult to cope with being attacked by “man’s best friend.”
From public parks to neighborhood sidewalks, dogs are everywhere in Bakersfield. Once you have been attacked, you may begin to see danger everywhere you go.
For many people, the recovery process after a dog attack takes time. This applies not only to the physical effects of being bitten – which can be significant – but to the psychological effects as well.
As a result, in many cases, dog attack victims do not assert their legal rights immediately. Additionally, when a dog attack victim knows the dog’s owner, the possibility of seeking financial compensation might not come into consideration until the victim begins to feel the financial strain of his or her injuries.
Mickey Fine is an experienced dog bite attorney who has decades of experience serving clients in Bakersfield, and other areas of California. For a free case review, please call The Law Offices of Mickey Fine at (661) 333-3333 today.
Is It Ever Too Late to Seek Financial Compensation for a Dog Attack?
Like all personal injury claims, dog bite claims are subject to a statute of limitations in California. By law, in order to preserve your legal rights, you must file your claim within two years of the attack.
This is based on Section 335.1 of the California Code of Civil Procedure, which imposes a two-year statute of limitations for all claims involving “injury to . . . an individual caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another.” In Section 335.1, “another” refers to the dog’s owner.
Under California law, dog owners owe a legal duty to prevent their pets from attacking other people. Dog owners can be held “strictly liable” when their dogs attack, and they can be held liable based on various theories of negligence as well.
So, if you were attacked by someone else’s dog, the general rule is that you have two years from the date you were bitten in order to seek compensation for your injuries.
In order to comply with California’s two-year statute of limitations for dog bite claims, you must file a claim within the two-year limitations period. You do not have to resolve your claim within two years; you must simply ensure that you initiate your lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires.
Does California’s Two-Year Statute of Limitations for Dog Bites Apply to Children?
If your child was bitten by a dog in Bakersfield, the statute of limitations will not begin to run immediately. Instead, the statute of limitations is “tolled” until your child turns 18 years old. Essentially, this means that your child has until his or her 20th birthday to file a claim for damages.
Of course, you do not have to wait until your child turns 18, and there are various reasons why you should initiate a claim on your child’s behalf as soon as possible.
Is There Any Reason to Wait to Sue for a Dog Bite?
As a general rule, if you have a dog bite claim, you should get started on your claim as soon as possible. There is no reason to delay in speaking with an attorney. Once you hire an attorney, he will be able to take the following steps on your behalf:
- Conducting an investigation to prove liability
- Working with your doctors to understand the nature and extent of your injuries
- Calculating your current and future losses
- Helping you avoid mistakes that may impact your claim
- Filing your claim within the statute of limitations
If you or your child has been bitten, you should contact a dog bite attorney as soon as possible. Hiring legal counsel will enable you to focus on recovery while your lawyer gets started on your claim.
Contact Our Dog Bite Attorney Today
Your first priority after a dog bite injury is to seek medical attention. After receiving treatment, you should begin exploring your legal options. You may be entitled to significant compensation if the owner of the dog was negligent, but the only way to recover the full extent of the damages you deserve is to work with an experienced lawyer.
Attorney Mickey Fine has been serving clients in Bakersfield, and other areas of California for over 30 years. He has achieved significant verdicts and settlements on behalf of dog bite victims and their families.
For a free consultation, please call The Law Offices of Mickey Fine at (661) 333-3333 today. You pay nothing upfront, and only pay a fee if our dog bite attorney achieves a favorable result on your behalf.