What to Do If You’re Bitten by A Dog

Dogs are a staple in many American households and not just as pets, but beloved family members. Dogs are trained around the world for emotional support and therapy, providing comfort to grieving and injured people. Man’s best friend is a very appropriate statement, but untrained dogs with poor or inattentive owners have risks. Over 4 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year and most of the bites happen to young children. We don’t like to think about dogs biting people, but it does occur, and California happens to have some the strictest laws in the country regarding these incidents. If you’ve been bitten by a dog, or if your own dog has acted up and hurt someone, Rush Injury Law can answer any questions you may have.

California Civil Code section 3342 covers dog attacks. States in America have two policies regarding dog bites – strict liability or negligence. California is a strict liability state, meaning owners of dogs who bite rarely escape liability. The law says that a dog’s owner is responsible for any person’s injuries inflicted by the dog in public space or while the person was lawfully on private property. “Lawfully on private property” refers to postal workers, firefighters, police, or emergency personnel. If a police officer chases a suspect into your backyard and your dog bites the officer, you could be on the hook for damages and more. Same goes for anyone invited into your home or property – if they get bit, it’s on you.

The law has protections in place for police or military animals. If a police dog bites someone during the pursuit of a suspect or if the dog was agitated or bothered, a lawsuit won’t fly. These laws aren’t absolute though – a police dog can still get in trouble if it bites in a setting where police are not doing work.

Dog owners aren’t helpless against fraudulent or suspect claims. If the owner can prove that the victim was unlawfully on their property, they may escape blame for dog bites. If the owner can prove that the dog was provoked to the point of being in pain, the victim may lose their case as well.

If you’re bitten by a dog, be sure to immediately sterilize the wounds with soap and water and then apply an antibiotic ointment daily to prevent infection. If bleeding, be sure to elevate the affected area and apply pressure to the area with a clean towel to stop the flow. Be sure to seek medical attention immediately if the bleeding doesn’t subside or if an infection is feared. Your first call should always be to medical personnel, not your attorney. Only discuss legal options once the immediate danger of the injury subsides.

Dog bite victims are often entitled to payment of the medical expenses, lost wages, and personal pain and suffering. Rush Injury Law has attorneys that specialize in getting dog bite victims the compensation they deserve. Contact them today to see if you have a legitimate claim.

Slip and Falls on Icy Roads and Walkways

February is one of the coldest months of the year and with it comes snow, ice, and other nasty weather that can make outdoor trips treacherous. Slip and fall accidents (obviously) increase this time of year and business owners have an obligation to keep walkways and stairs clear of ice and snow. Personal injury claims in slip and fall accidents do have to meet several criteria for a settlement to be issued in the state of California. The experts at Rush Injury Law can help determine if your fall is the fault of someone else and collect the compensation you deserve.

Slip and Fall Law in California

California Civil Code 1714 (a) states:

“Everyone is responsible, not only for the result of his or her willful acts, but also for an injury occasioned to another by his or her want of ordinary care or skill in the management of his or her property or person, except so far as the latter has, willfully or by want of ordinary care, brought the injury upon himself or herself.

What does this mean? Property owners must make sure to prevent injuries to passersby by taking care of their surroundings in a reasonable manner. This means clearing ice and snow, laying down salt to prevent slips, and cleaning up wet areas. Most people think of ice and snow, but moisture tracked indoors to supermarkets or other places with tile floors are also hazardous.

The word “reasonable” appears in the law for a specific cause – slip and fall victims must prove they were injured as a result of negligence on the part of the property owner and not because of their own actions.

Comparative Negligence

Slip and fall claims will be denied if the person who fell did so because of their own actions. If the person slipping was inebriated, ignored warning signs, entered a blocked off area, or was distracted by their phone, insurance companies aren’t going to bend over backward to pay you.

In California, comparative negligence is a concept where blame is divvied up between the two conflicting parties. A percentage of fault is placed on the head of both plaintiff and defendant. For example, say a person slips on an icy walkway, but they were distracted watching a video on their phone. The property owner is at fault for not clearing the walkway, but the victim will also share some blame due to their own carelessness. In this case, the property owner might be hit with $20,000 in damages, but only have to pay $15,000 if it’s deemed the accident was 25% the fault of the person who slipped.

Rush Injury Law handles all sorts of personal injury and slip and fall claims, whether it’s from an icy walkway in front of a business or a slippery floor in a movie theater. Our attorneys will help maximize your compensation so that you can account for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.