TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY
The severity of a traumatic brain injury can range from a minor change in cognitive ability to a lengthy period of unconsciousness, coma or death.
If you or your loved one has suffered from a preventable traumatic brain or spine injury, you may want to call us for a free in-depth, One hour consultation at the Law Offices of Allen Farshi. Brain injuries are amongst the most severe types of injuries as they result in permanent disability or death. Due to the serious nature of your injuries, it would be within your best interests to secure immediate legal assistance from us. While you focus on your health and recovery, we will handle each legal aspect of your case. If your physician or healthcare provider failed to properly treat your injury, we will fight to hold them liable for damages. Call (310) 882-6500 today for a free completely confidential consultation in the privacy of our office. When the injury is recent and traumatic, and a trip to our office is not possible, we will be happy to meet you at your home or at the medical facility where you are receiving treatment.
Symptoms of brain injury
Any brain function can be disrupted by brain trauma: excessive sleepiness, inattention, difficulty concentrating, impaired memory, faulty judgment, depression, irritability, emotional outbursts, disturbed sleep, diminished libido, difficulty switching between two tasks, and slowed thinking. Sorting out bonafide brain damage from the effects of migraine headaches, pain elsewhere in the body, medications, depression, preoccupation with financial loss, job status, loss of status in the community, loss of status in the family, and any ongoing litigation can be a formidable task.
Proving Brain Injury
Unless there is objective evidence of brain injury on MRI or CT Scan, the insurance companies assume the individual is faking their injuries or the person has psychological problems that pre-existed the accident. The first order of business is to "objectify" as best as possible our clients' injuries. A patient's condition will be the focal point of any case. We know that juries are sympathetic to brain injuries that can be proved. Also, know that in pursuing a brain injury claim, you will be opening up your entire life history to examination. Grade school records, medical records from childhood and anything else through the years that the insurance companies can obtain is open game. Psychological and psychiatric records are obtainable and will be obtained.
Remember that many of these difficulties can be overcome and dealt with by an experienced brain injury litigation attorney.
New Technologies can help prove Brain Injury
In the past 20 years, we have learned a great deal about brain injury, especially that the brain is more vulnerable to injury than we previous thought. It was once thought that a person who did not lose consciousness could not have experienced a brain injury. We now know that this is not the case. Likewise, it was previously felt that none with a normal MRI or CT Scan could have suffered a permanent brain injury. That is no longer true. However, proving a brain injury is the best and quickest route to winning or settling a brain injury case. In that regard, we are fortunate that startling new sophisticated technologies have come forth in the past ten years which are more sensitive than MRIs or CT Scans in showing objective brain injury.
These are: MRI/DTI: This test done on a normal MRI machine with special software known as "Diffusion Tensor Imaging" and is particularly sensitive to damages in the white matter tracts of the brain. White matter is in the interior of the brain and serves as connection like telegraph wires which connect different parts or lobes of the brains gray matter. When these are injured , communication is diminished and impairment results. DTI tracks the movement of water molecules within white matter fibers. The results have been correlated to outcome, neuropsychological testing, and other factors consistent with known medical science. MRI/SWI: Another specialty version of the MRI is known as "susceptibility weighted imaging or SWI". This allows the radiologist to see very tiny bleeds in the brain known as micro hemorrhages. These can arise when the brain is shaken and are not normally seen on plain MRIs. The SWI can visualize iron molecules left over from tiny brain bleeds after a trauma. After a high speed collision there could be hundreds of these tiny micro hemorrhages in a client's brain. MRI/MRS: this technology known as "spectroscopy" looks at the balance and ratio of certain molecules in the brain matter. If the molecules are out of balance because of trauma, a MRS will pick up the inbalance. This technology is not widely available at the present time, but is gaining acceptance. (Similarly, "biomarkers" of the presence of traumatic brain injury are now known to get into the blood stream immediately after a trauma. Professor Hayes of the University of Florida has developed and is marketing a biomarker product that may be in use in emergency rooms across the nation shortly.)
HIT & RUN ACCIDENTS
California Hit and Run law is defined by Vehicle Code Section 20002 VC. This section makes it a misdemeanor to leave the scene of an accident involving property damage to a third party, without first providing the other party with certain identifying information. Additionally, If bodily injury was involved, the responsible party, must call the paramedics or seek medical assistance for the injured. Fleeing or leaving the scene of an accident without doing so cause this crime to be charged as a felony, punishable by incarceration of one year or more in a State penitentiary.
In California, hit and run incidents are taken seriously. Legally, anytime you are in an auto collision you must pull over in a safe location, provide information or render aid if necessary. Anytime someone simply leaves without following these steps, it is considered a hit-and-run crime. When it comes to accidents where people suffer physical injuries, drivers are required by law to do what they can to help the injured person, including calling emergency medical services and police. However, if an injured person is not able to move, you should not try to move them as it could aggravate their physical injury or cause other physical injuries.
Victims of a hit-and-run collision may sometimes recover punitive damage when they pursue a civil injury lawsuit. A person can collect punitive damage when the defendant (the one who caused the accident) has done something to cause harm to the plaintiff (the one who is suing) whether the damage was intentional or not. Damage can be in the form of medical fees, physical or mental injury or harm, lost wages, etc. Punitive damages must be commensurate with the amount of harm caused and not reflective of how the defendant behaves. The purpose of punitive damages is to provide sufficient punishment to fit the crime and prevent such behavior in others in the future. The damages are calculated using these two measures: a defendant's lack of moral uprightness and how much of a payment would justifiably punish the defendant. the punitive damage is based on the size of the defendant's economic position. A person who commits a hit-and-run offense is always considered lacking in moral aptitude, because even in a collision that was unintentional, fleeing from the scene of an accident is intentional.
DRUNK DRIVING ACCIDENTS
Recent statistics indicate that past 1 a.m., no less than twenty percent of all drivers on the highways are intoxicated. In other words, driving under the influence. This translates to one in every five drivers you see driving on your sides or ahead of you on the highway are probably intoxicated. Among those, ten percent will cause accidents that may result in fatalities or life-threatening injuries. They may be returning from a bar, a friends home, a nightclub or a party, where alcohol is usually served.
Under California law, a homeowner serving alcohol at his party to a seemingly intoxicated guest, or the bartender continuing to serve alcohol to its patron, is liable and can be held liable for injuries sustained by the injured party in an auto accident regardless of the driver's fault. In most instances, the homeowner's insurance policy will come into play.
What if you are an uninsured driver and injured in an auto accident involving a DUI incident.
Although under proposition 213 (Civil Code section 3333.4) you are not entitled to non-economic damages (pain and suffering, disfigurement etc)
this falls under the DUI exception to proposition 213. As to the passengers, they were not driving and entitled to all injuries sustained.
Under the California Penal code, accidents resulting in bodily injury while intoxicated are charged with a felony DUI. If the accident results in a fatality, the crime is charged as vehicular manslaughter. For those reasons, the driver will sometimes panic and flee from the scene of the incident. In a recent case, an intoxicated driver was spotted on the highway while fleeing from the scene of the accident he had caused. He was given chase by a good Samaritan, who called in the CHP. The ensuing helicopter chase was broadcast live on channel 4 news. After the driver was apprehended it was discovered that he was returning from a friends house intoxicated. In the end, the host was also found liable and his home insurance policy paid damages.
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UBER & LYFT ACCIDENTS
Uber and Lyft are transportation network companies (TNC) that connect passengers with independent drivers. Also known as peer to peer ridesharing
Unlike taxi, limousine and public transportation the companies, Uber and Lyft don't use professional drivers. Consequently, Uber and Lyft drivers are generally not proficient in managing their time or following basic safety rules, such as getting enough sleep, making sure their car has been properly inspected and maintained and taking safety training classes. Professional drivers depend on having a clean driving record since, after all, it's their livelihood. It's silly to expect people who are only doing this on the side to practice the same level of precautions. Another issue is vehicle maintenance.
Cab and limousine companies generally budget for these expenses, because if their car breaks down it can potentially cause them to liability. Uber and Lyft, by contrast, may not properly maintain their vehicles. Uber and Lyft drivers also have an incentive to get their passengers to the destination as soon as possible. In the process, they may violate the traffic rules and get involved in an accident.
Since 2014, California has passed a law requiring ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft to provide supplemental drivers insurance, so the passengers have some source of insurance coverage in the event of an accident. This is important, especially if the Uber or Lyft driver has no insurance, or have inadequate, deficient coverage. Uber and Lyft now provide $1,000,000 both in terms of liability as well as for underinsured/uninsured coverage. However, TNC insurance coverage kicks in under three different scenarios, the explanation of which is not within the purview or scope of this article, as it gets complicated.
What if I am an Uber or Lyft driver and I'm injured:
Generally, the person who caused the accident will be responsible for your injuries. So whatever coverage they carry will be in effect. If you are not working yet (commercial activity) and haven’t turned on your Uber or Lyft app, your personal auto policy should be in effect. The situation can get complicated if you get involved in an accident as you turned on your app saw the ride offer but have not yet accepted the ride. Because you turned on your Uber app, you are considered as using your vehicle for commercial purposes. Your own insurance will deny coverage. Prior to year 2015 Uber provided no coverage. However, since 2015, Uber provides insurance coverage, and covers the driver even if the driver has not yet accepted the passenger. The extent of coverage however, depends on the four stages designated by ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft. An important distinction is made when the passenger is picked up on the street without an uber request.
At the Law Offices of Allen Farshi, we are experienced in litigating Uber and Lyft accidents. Call us for a free appointment. UBER & LYFT ACCIDENTS
TRUCK AND AUTO ACCIDENTS
Due to trucks sheer size and weight, commercial trucks crashes can be disastrous. At the Law Offices of Allen Farshi, we are committed to helping individuals who have been injured in such accidents. If you have been hurt or lost someone you love, we encourage you to contact us as soon as you can. We are ready to help you fight for your just compensation. No matter the cause of your accident or the circumstances surrounding it, our team of experienced accident attorneys can help protect your legal rights.
At the Law Offices of Allen Farshi, personal injury cases are taken on a contingency basis. That means you pay us nothing unless we recover all your damages and more. Injuries generally include specials covering all your medical expenses, general damages for your bodily pain and suffering, including damages occasioned by your mental anguish, lost wages or income, and compensation for any long-term disability.
Due to the severe nature of injuries generally sustained in a truck accident case, damages and settlement can be expected to be in the six figures or even millions. For those reasons, trucking companies are covered by policies with commercial policy limits. Often more than one commercial insurance policy will come into play, and may even include the injured parties own insurance policy. This is why you need to hire an experienced personal injury attorney with experience in truck accidents.
At the law offices of Allen Farshi, we understand the severe nature of the injuries sustained in these type of accidents. We are trial attorneys and will aggressively prosecute your case through trial. Were structured settlements are required our expertise in handling such matters will come into play.
The Most Common Types of Trucking Accidents
Jackknife: A jackknife occurs when the trailer portion of a truck skids and forms a 90-degree angle to the tractor (imagine a pocketknife closing). A jackknife causes the driver to lose control of the truck and creates a dangerous situation. The following conditions are contributing factors in a jackknife accident:
speeding at 55 mph or higher, as the length of the truck increases, so does the chances of a jackknife. Conversely, however, as the weight of the truck and its cargo increased, the odds of a jackknife actually decreased, although it did increase the odds when the truck became lighter.
Consider the following statistics:
Adverse weather conditions make the odds of a jackknife accident 3.22 times higher
Jackknifes are 86% more likely to happen on a curved roadway as opposed to a straight one
Poor lighting conditions increases the chances of a jackknife by 43%
Speeding: Speeding, especially around a corner, may cause rollovers. Rollovers can also occur when a tire goes off the pavement and a driver tries to return to the road. Once a truck begins to roll, it is completely out of control.
Tire Blowout: If you have ever experienced a tire blowout, you know it can cause you to lose control of the vehicle. This danger is magnified when the vehicle is a large truck that weighs tens of thousands of pounds.
Underride Accidents: Underride accidents occur when a vehicle behind a truck smashes into the trailer and is carried underneath by its momentum. If there is enough force in the collision, the entire cab of the car can be completely obliterated.
WHAT IF IM NOT AT FAULT BUT HAD NO INSURANCE:
This can be a problem even if someone else hits you. In California, Proposition 213 (codified as Civil Code Section 3333.4) limits your recovery in car accident cases if you do not carry valid insurance.
If you are injured by a third party in a auto accident and did not carry valid insurance at the time of the incident, the California civil code only allows recovery for your specials, out of pocket or so called economic damages. This means out of pocket medical expenses and property damage. You are barred from recovery for pain, suffering, inconvenience, disability, loss of enjoyment of life, or any other non-economic damage.
Failure to carry auto insurance at the time of the incident significantly limits your recovery if you are severely injured. However, there is an exception.
Exceptions. A recognized exception is where the other driver causes the accident and or injury while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This is codified under sub sections (b) and (c) of civil code 3333.4. Under this exception, your attorney will still be able to recover for your pain and suffering from the at fault drivers insurance.
Criminal restitution: Assuming the other party was arrested at the scene of the accident for driving under the influence, and prosecuted, you would be entitle to restitution. Under such a scenario your recourse would be in a criminal DUI case, in which case you would be entitled to restitution from the driver under the influence.
At the law offices of Allen Farshi, we are experienced in trucking accidents and if necessary we stand ready to recover your damages through trial.
Some of the most common circumstances, resulting in pedestrian injuries in auto accidents are drunk driving, texting or using one's cellphone while driving, failing to stop for the pedestrian before clearing the walkway, and in some instances, even assaulting the pedestrian with the vehicle with criminal intent. At the Law Offices of Allen Farshi
we understand that the severity of your injuries can often prevent you from seeking immediate legal attention. In those matters we will come to you.
Needless to say, the injuries caused to a pedestrian in such instances can be catastrophic. In many cases, the injured party was simply old. In other cases inflicted with muscular skeletal or degenerative diseases, using a cane, simply fell while crossing, or dropped something. In every case, a driver of a motor vehicle will take the injured party as they found them. This means the driver will be responsible for all injuries occasioned by the driver's own negligence or fault.
The Insurance company's defense in pedestrian cases typically are; (1) the pedestrian was jaywalking, (2) running across the street in an unsafe manner, leaving the driver no time to respond.
The most common reasons cited for motor accidents are:
1. The car ahead of you veers in your lane.
2. A vehicle ahead of you suddenly breaks hard.
3. Your hit from behind.
4. A driver swings the door open.
5. A driver purposely pushes you off the road.
6. Your front brakes lock, causing you to skid
into the vehicle in front of you.
7. The rider was speeding down a tight opening
Except in the second and sixth example, the driver is generally at fault. The injuries sustained in motor accidents are generally severe and often result in serious neck, face, head or brain injuries. Often the driver panics and takes off without stopping. In other instances, particularly where the incident involves a truck or large SUV, the driver may not have realized the incident. In California, a hit and run involving bodily injury is charged as Felony.
The problem however, is that due to the inherent risks associated with riding a motorcycle, the insurance industry is collectively biased. Motorcycle accidents and the related injury claims are viewed with suspicion. Claims are typically first denied. The most common orthopedic injuries involve the tibia, spine and forearm. The most common non-orthopedic injuries include concussions, facial fractures and skull fractures. Many injured in motor accidents develop post-traumatic stress symptoms that can become chronic.Evaluation and treatment by a qualified professional can help a motor cycle accident victim deal with PTSD.
The severity of injuries in a motorcycle accident often results in the injured person's failure to seek immediate legal attention. We are aware of this matter and will be happy to come to you. Our low contingency rate of 25% is among the lowest in the industry.
If you were involved in a motor accident call the Law Offices of Allen Farshi, immediately at 310 882 6500
We are aggressive personal injury attorneys and will recover all your damages.
DOG BITE INJURY
It may seem unfair, but in California, a dog owner is responsible for all damages caused by their dog should it attack someone, regardless of a lack of previous vicious behavior. The statue, applies to all situations when someone is injured by a dog including when it occurs on either private or public property. At the law offices of Allen Farshi, we understand that the severity or nature of your injuries can often prevent you from seeking immediate legal counsel. As a such, we will always be happy to come to you.
EXCEPTIONS AND DEFENSES
There are a few exceptions where a dog owner can defend their case by demonstrating that the victim assumed the risk of being attacked. Some situations which are commonly defendable include when the victim was either trespassing on the owners’ property, in the process of committing a crime or somehow aggravated the dog into attacking them. This provision allows dogs to maintain their role as a protector for their owners’ homes from burglars and vandals without the fear of incurring a lawsuit.
Dog Bite Attorney in Sherman Oaks Truck Accident Attorney in Sherman Oaks
While ownership of a dog classified as “potentially dangerous” or “vicious” by the state is not illegal, it does carry additional responsibilities which owners are accountable for being aware of. Dogs with these classifications are required to be kept in an enclosure which must both keep the dog from escaping as well as prevent children from entering. These types of dogs are only allowed outside of the enclosure when restrained by a leash and/or muzzle and under the control of a responsible adult. Cities also retain the ability to prohibit the ownership of a vicious dog at any time should they find it not being properly restrained or kept away from the public.
Should you be involved in an unprovoked attack by a dog, it is crucial for your settlement that you seek legal counsel immediately. Call the Law Offices of Allen Farshi at (310) 882 6500 Now. We are skilled California dog bite lawyers and know the steps that must be taken in order to have you compensated for medical bills, your damages as well as your emotional trauma. We take these cases on a contingency basis. You owe us nothing unless we win.
UNDERSTANDING CIVIL CODE §2243
Per California law, an owner of a dog is to be held liable should their pet cause damages by biting another person either in public or when they are lawfully on private property. Unlike other states, this liability is not dependent on the previous behavior of the animal; even if the dog had never exhibited vicious behavior prior to the attack, even of the owner had no prior knowledge of the animal's behavior, they are still liable. So, for example, a completely peaceful pet could become frightened and bite a guest; even if the dog had never reacted in such a way, the owner should be liable.
An important section of this law centers on the phrase "lawfully in a private place." This means that should a person be trespassing and be bitten by a dog, the owner would not be held liable. That being said, the owner is liable in situations where they have to go onto private property while operating in the capacity of the United States government – for example, performing a duty imposed by state or federal law. It also means owners are liable should their dog bite guests which received expressed or implied invitation onto the land.
California Code §3342(b) also specifies that the liability of this law does not extend to cases where military or police dogs bit during the course of their official work when reacting to "annoying, harassing, or provoking act(s)." For example, should a police officer legally bring their dog onto private property, and should their dog react to harassment by biting – the police officer would not be liable.
RESOURCES FOR DAMAGE RECOVERY
Generally coverage should be available under either the dog owner's homeowner policy, or renters policy. Be aware however, that many policies nowadays exclude coverage for certain breeds such as Dobermanns, Pit bulls, Rottweilers, German Shepard's, Alaskan Huskies and wolf breed species. Furthermore, nowadays many policies exclude coverage for cosmetic remedial surgery. In such cases any umbrella insurance policy is also a potential source of coverage. However if none are available the homeowners equity and even employment income will be the case of last resort.
CAN I RECOVER FOR DOG BITE INJURIES WHILE ON THE JOB
California law makes workman's comp the exclusive statutory remedy for injuries sustained while operating in the course and scope of employment. A common example is postal worker dog bite injuries. There are exceptions however such as when the dog owner orders the dog to attack you while you are lawfully there. Police dog attacks are generally excluded.
LET US HELP YOU!
At the Law Offices of Allen Farshi, we have the expertise and capability to handle a dog bite, auto accident, personal injury, truck accident, car accident, or wrongful death case. We accept these cases on a contingency basis. That means you will pay nothing unless we recover your damages and more.
Client satisfaction is our top priority, and that’s why we will leave no stone unturned to please our clients. Our dog bite attorneys take care of everything from getting paperwork done to contacting insurance companies. We completely understand the trauma and injuries a dog bite can cause. The worst part about animal attacks is that often times because someone else was not following safety rules, you may have to pay the price.
Our dog bite attorneys work very hard to make sure your dog bite claim is quickly processed and you get the largest benefit possible. Dog bites can shake up anyone, and our dog bite attorneys completely realize this.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU'VE BEEN BITTEN
• See a Doctor IMMEDIATELY - Your injury could be more SERIOUS than you realize.
. Immediately call your local animal control department. Animal control is required to quarantine the dog and should have access to the dogs vaccination records, such as rabbie's shots history, prior complaints and owners information. If your are the dog owner you also have a duty to report the dog bite. Under California law the dog should be quarantined for at least 10 days. The quarantine will take place either at the owners premises, or at the county animal control center.
. Take photos, videos and contact information for witnesses.
. If you don't have a Doctor, we'll help you find one.
• Call IMMEDIATELY if the Adjuster asks you to see a "Company Doctor".
• DO NOT accept an "OFFER" unless you get a "FREE SECOND OPINION" from us.
• DO NOT give a STATEMENT to anyone - it's EVIDENCE and can be used AGAINST YOU!
• DO NOT SIGN Anything without Our Advice - it could be a RELEASE (which ends your right
to collect in the future even if your injury is more serious than you realize) or an AUTHORIZATION (which allows them to get ALL your Confidential Records, even old ones that have nothing to do with the accident!).
• We can find out if you are entitled to BENEFITS from "COLLATERAL SOURCES" and if a
"STRUCTURED SETTLEMENT" is right for you.
• "SPECIAL NEED TRUSTS" for the seriously injured.
COMPENSATION YOU MAY RECEIVE
Medical/health-related expenses (hospital, therapy, special meds/treatments, etc.)
Lost income; missed work
Diminished future-earning capacity (if disabled)
Pain, emotional trauma & suffering
Missed school/educational opportunity Time/incurred expenses
Incidental expenses (childcare, car rental, taxi fares, etc.). Be aware that stitches, scars and required remedial surgery always add to the value of the case.
Other important factors include the victims sex, age and the cite of the injury. A leg bite in a young female victim for example is nearly always worth more than the same injury in her male counterpart. Also hand bites, face injuries, infections and potential nerve damage all add to the recovery. Damages could easily exceed six digits.
WHAT IS THE TYPICAL SETTLEMENT
As in all injury cases, each case is unique. However settlement negotiations factor in the victims medical bills, pain and suffering, sex, age, severity of the injury including potential nerve damage, location of the injury, loss of present income and future income when there is a long term disability. Post-traumatic emotional disorders are also recoverable.
Punitive damages are available when there is evidence to support intentional conduct by either the dog owner or dog handler. In cases where the insurance policy excludes remedial plastic surgery, refuses to accept plaintiffs reasonable settlement offer and looses at trial the dog owner will now become personally liable to the victim for the excess liability. We can even negotiate with the defendant dog owner to assign his bad faith case against his own insurance company. Punitive damages will now be within reach.
INJURIES SUSTAINED IN DOG BITE CASES
THE PROVOCATION DEFENSE
The provocation defense is inapplicable to a child under the age of 5 years because provocation is the equivalent of negligence and a child of tender years cannot be regarded as negligent. Special rules apply where the Victim Is a Child.). The provocation defense is inapplicable to a child who was following his parents' instructions. Special rules apply when the victim is a child. "Provocation" refers to legal provocation, not factual or philosophical provocation (in other words, the defense is based on conduct by the victim such as inflicting pain on the dog which legally justifies the dog's aggressive behavior). The victim's monetary damages may be reduced by his degree of negligence if he is 5 years of age or older. If the statute does not apply (for example, if a person is knocked down rather than bitten, or if the target defendant is the landlord of the dog owner), his claim can be based on other causes of action such as negligence, or on a strict liability established by local ordinance. If the victim is an employee of the dog owner and is bitten on the job, the victim's remedy is found under the Labor Code not the dog bite statute, but the victim can sue the employer if the latter does not have workers compensation insurance. (See Liability Based on Other Grounds in California: Employer Liability When Employee Bitten by Dog.). When pleading a dog bite case, there are important strategies that the plaintiff's lawyer must employ in order to avoid a loss by summary judgment or at the time of trial.
Some municipalities in California and elsewhere have enacted their own laws of strict liability. Here is an example from the Beverly Hills Municipal Code:
5-2-111: Liability for Injury or Damages:
A. Any person owning, controlling, or having care or custody of any animal shall be liable for any injury caused by such animal, and for any damage caused to any public property, or to any private property.
B. Any person owning, controlling or having care or custody of any animal shall take such reasonable and necessary precautions as required to protect all persons from physical harm from such animal, and to protect the private property of any other person. (1962 Code §§ 5-1.108, 5-1.207; amd. Ord. 09-O-2560, eff. 2-6-2009)
Note the advantages of proceeding under a law like the above quoted Beverly Hills code section:
It is not restricted to just the owner of the dog
It applies to any injury, not just dog bites
It applies to property damage as well as personal injuries
Statutory liability based on ownership of the dog begins the moment one becomes the owner. Menches v. Inglewood Humane Society (1942) 51 Cal. App. 2d 415, 418. In Menches, the court held that the victim who purchased the dog from the local humane society only 10 minutes before being bitten could not sue the former owner because ownership became absolute upon delivery of the animal to plaintiffs and the payment by them of the impounding fee. The court also said, “The fact that the ownership had been vested in plaintiffs only ten minutes does not minimize or alter the significance of the acts of the acceptance of the dog and the payment of the required fee. Their title to the dog became vested in plaintiffs just as conclusively as though they had housed him for more than three years and had asserted adverse title to him.”
The statute is "designed...to prevent dogs from being a hazard to the community." Davis v. Glaschler (1992) 11 Cal.App.4th 1392, 1399. It does this by unequivocally placing the burden of dog bites upon those who choose to have dogs. Because "the owner is virtually an insurer of the dog's conduct" (Massey v. Colaric (1986) 151 Ariz. 65, 725 P.2d 1099, 1100, interpreting Arizona's identically worded dog bite statute), a responsible dog owner is expected to be vigilant in preventing his dog from biting anyone.
The statute also benefits the public by reducing the conflict that otherwise could follow a dog attack. Because liability is automatic, the dog owner and the victim can maintain their personal relationship unharmed by the threat of litigation, accusations of wrongdoing, or a drawn out claims process. This is important because 75% of the time, the victim is a family member, neighbor or friend of the dog owner.
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
Like any other injury, dog bite injuries in California are also subject to a statute of limitations. In California you have two (2) years from the date of injury to file a complaint. After two years the statute of limitations will bar recovery for all damages.
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