Dog & Animal Attacks
Santa Rosa, CA Dog Bite Lawyer for Individuals with Severe Injuries
Our law firm brings over 20 years of legal experience to representing victims of vicious dog attacks and other harmful animal encounters in the Santa Rosa, CA area. Bites and other injuries can have lasting physical and emotional effects for individuals of all ages, and the financial consequences of animal attacks can be devastating for victims and their families.
As the victim of an animal attack, you deserve just compensation. But, to secure a financial recovery, you need a committed advocate who is willing to fight for your legal rights. Attorney Michael Henderson has secured millions of dollars for clients in animal attack and other injury cases. If you are entitled to compensation, Michael will work tirelessly to make sure you secure a maximum financial recovery. At Henderson Law, we understand what it means to suffer a traumatic injury. We know just how drastically an animal attack can change a family’s life, and this is why we fight for the largest possible settlement or verdict in every case that we handle.
“Michael and his staff were wonderfully supportive, knowledgeable and effective. . . . Everyone made the process less intimidating, and got a result that I was very happy with.”
Standing Up for Your Rights After an Animal Attack
Despite being domesticated, dogs and other pets remain unpredictable. An animal that has never exhibited aggressive tendencies can suddenly attack without warning. When dogs and other animals feel threatened or frightened, their survival instincts take control, and this often leads to unprovoked attacks and other incidents in which animals unknowingly and unintentionally cause harm to human beings.
While most animal attacks in Santa Rosa, CA and other urban and suburban areas involve dog bites, in Northern California we regularly see cases involving other dangerous animal encounters as well. Our firm represents individuals and parents whose children have been injured in cases involving:
- Vicious dog bites
- Dog attacks involving non-bite injuries
- Horse kicks and other horseback riding injuries
- Snakes and other domesticated animals
- Wild animals being kept as pets
California Dog & Animal Attack FAQs
Q: Does California have a “one free bite” rule?
No. While California used to follow a rule that allowed dog owners “one free bite” before they could be held liable for a bite victim’s injuries, this rule no longer applies. Under current law, dog owners can be held liable the first time their dog bites an innocent victim.
Q: What is the rule of “strict liability” and how does it apply to animal attacks?
Strict liability is an exception to the negligence standard that applies in most personal injury and wrongful death cases. In a typical, non-animal attack case, to recover compensation you must prove that someone else made a mistake leading to your injury (in legal terms, they were “negligent”).
Under the rule of strict liability, proof of negligence is not required. For example, in order to pursue a successful claim for a dog bite under California law, it is enough to show that:
- The person against whom you filed your claim is the dog’s owner;
- You were bitten by the dog;
- You were lawfully on the premises where you were bitten (in other words, you were not trespassing); and,
- The bite caused you physical or emotional injury.
California has similar strict liability rules that apply to animal attacks other than dog bites, as well.
Q: How long do I have to file a dog bite claim in California?
California has a two-year statute of limitations for most claims involving non-fatal dog bites. However, to make sure the evidence you need to pursue your claim gets preserved, it is important that you speak with an attorney as soon as possible.
Q: What if I don’t want to sue my neighbor?
This is a common question among dog attack victims. Many attacks involve animals owned by the victim’s friend or neighbor, and these victims are often concerned that filing a lawsuit will mean ruining their friend’s or neighbor’s life. However, most animal attack cases are resolved through insurance. Standard homeowner’s policies cover dog bite claims, and many dog owners have insurance specifically to cover unprovoked attacks.
Contact Us to Put Experience on Your Side
To learn more about your rights after an animal attack and the options you have available, contact Henderson Law in Santa Rosa, CA. Your initial consultation is free, and we do not charge any legal fees unless we help you win just compensation. What is your case worth? Find out. Call (707) 843-3743 or tell us what happened online today.