Call Us Today - It's Free! Text Us

Municipal Worker Dog Bite Attorney in LA

municipal worker dog bite lawyer
municipal worker dog bite lawyer

Los Angeles mail carriers, meter inspectors, sanitation workers, and other city personnel perform critical jobs daily to keep our neighborhoods safe, functional, and clean. In doing so, they often interact with residential canines. When negligent property owners fail to restrain aggressive dogs, serious bites and traumatic injuries result – inflicting immense suffering upon innocent, diligent workers carrying out vital civic duties.

The good news is that under California law, all fault resides with the property owner in “strict liability” for unleashed dog assaults. Workers also have protections ensuring safe conditions from public employers.

If you or a loved one endured a dog attack while working for the city, you have legal options to reclaim losses and justice. Our experienced municipal worker dog bite attorneys have helped hundreds of injured LA employees fight back after suffering these traumatic events. We stand ready to aggressively build an airtight case on your behalf. Just focusing on recovery should be your priority after violence from negligence upends lives. The law entitles you to full restitution through relentless legal advocacy – as we provide for suffering public protectors.

City Worker Dog Bite Cases in Los Angeles – An Occupational Hazard

The numbers don’t lie – dog bites come with the territory when you work for local governments in Los Angeles County. Over 4.5 million Americans suffer these attacks each year. And city and county employees make up a large share of victims – canines frequently bite these workers simply trying to do their job.

Of the over 300,000 postal service employees nationwide, over 6,000 will get bitten annually. Most occur when entering a yard that animals perceive as their territory. City meter readers face similar run-ins going door to door, while municipal park and public works personnel work close enough to residents’ homes to make them convenient targets.

Even police responding to calls aren’t immune, with K9 attacks a leading cause of lost time on the force due to injury.

Canine bites remain an unavoidable reality of public sector work because dogs nearly outnumber people in Southern California. A K9’s ability to inflict lasting harm places the burden on city employees to know their rights and government agencies not to infringe on them when injuries inevitably occur.

A personal injury attorney well-versed in California’s strict liability dog bite statutes, case law, and municipal codes can prove indispensable. Our Los Angelese dog bite lawyers make the process of seeking fair compensation smooth while you focus on recovery.

After the Dog Attack – Taking the Next Steps

In the aftermath of a dog attack, your instincts will likely pull you in multiple directions. Your initial focus may be to seek medical care, report what occurred to proper channels, and determine the dog’s fate. But remembering your rights is also critical during this stressful time.

Let’s explore some key steps our dog bite advocates advise all city employees to take when bitten on the job:

Get Those Wounds Checked Out

Bite-related injuries often look deceptively minor at first, masking nerve, muscle, or tissue trauma needing urgent care. See a physician immediately to clean wounds thoroughly, prescribe antibiotics to counter infection if necessary, apply bandages, and administer stitches. Rabies shots may even be required, so don’t delay. Many small punctures have grown into significant disability impairments because of a lack of prompt treatment.

Notify Your Supervisor

Every municipal agency has specific protocols employees must follow when injured on the job. Ensure you alert your superiors immediately so the agency can investigate and properly log the bite in your employment records. The latter act creates crucial evidence when questions later arise about whether the incident occurred. Don’t rely on anyone else to do the reporting for you.

Contact Animal Control

City animal control should be engaged to identify the dog and maintain records should further issues emerge. They may even determine the animal poses enough ongoing public safety risk to warrant seizure or euthanization. If the bite happened on private property, the owner could also face citations for failure to restrain their pet or violations of leash laws.

Call An Attorney Focusing on City Worker Dog Bite Claims

While not always on the top of your mind after a biting incident, connecting with counsel experienced in municipal liability is vital to protecting your long-term rights. An attorney in this field understands which evidence to gather, the deadlines for filing claims against government agencies, and how to build leverage in settlement negotiations when the time comes.

They also recognize common defenses employed to defeat or shift accountability and can systematically squash such attempts to secure favorable payouts for you. Don’t settle for low compensation or let the statutes of limitations expire. Bring Los Angeles dog bite experience to the table immediately.

California Canine Bite Strict Liability Laws

To gain the upper hand in any dog bite claim, one must first understand the State’s strict liability laws.

In California, Civil Code Section 3342 (Cal. Civ. Code §3442) applies “strict liability” on dog owners when their pets bite someone – even when it’s a first occurrence.

Accordingly, the dog owner is responsible for injuries and other damages regardless of whether they knew the animal to be dangerous. This contrasts with needing to prove negligence – that the owner failed to take reasonable precautions or that he knew or should have known precautions were necessary.

The legislative intent behind strict liability is to incentivize utmost care in people who choose to house dogs. However, some government agencies often try claiming strict liability immunity when their employees get injured.

City Government May Also Be Liable For Dog Bite Injuries

While exceptions exist, the courts have primarily rejected city immunity defenses. Only when the employee’s harm arises from an injury inside a prison or mental institution have the courts denied strict liability for California public sector workers.

Even then, other statutes may still render a municipality liable despite the exceptions to the law. For instance, the California Government Code stipulates that when public employees perform work on private land, the statutory protections extended to citizens also shield them.

Also, if the agency’s negligence contributed to a city worker’s harm (i.e., a dog bite), the municipality may be held partially accountable regardless of immunity status. A Los Angeles personal injury attorney well-versed in city immunity nuances can tell you about the most potent legal approach to undertake.

Overcoming Government Defenses Against Liability

Unlike private citizens who readily acknowledge strict liability after their dog attacks someone, government agencies contrarily fight such allegations. Common defenses that city attorneys assert when filing motions to dismiss include:

Assumption of Risk

Arguments that by choosing particular work roles like city landscaper or garbage collector, employees assumed the inherent risk of dog bites as an ‘occupational hazard.’ However, California law is clear – strict liability exists unless one knowingly and voluntarily enters a space holding a dangerous animal. Merely walking onto a property while performing job duties doesn’t satisfy this exclusion.

Contributory Negligence

Claims that the employee’s negligence contributed to the bite occurring – like reaching through a fence or entering a yard with visible ‘Beware of Dog’ signage. Yet, short of intentionally attempting to pet or agitate an unrestrained, vicious-appearing animal, such defenses rarely prevail.

Failure to Exhaust Administrative Remedies

Contention that the employee initiated court or formal legal proceedings without properly bringing an internal administrative claim first. Or asserting the claimant did not allow reasonable time for the government entity to review and resolve the matter. Dog bite attorneys well-versed in the state’s strict liability codes understand this argument holds no water. If anything, it demonstrates the agency’s intentional stalling and bad-faith tactics.

A seasoned city liability attorney has routinely seen these boilerplate defenses and knows how to dispute them swiftly. Their familiarity with dog bite laws and government sovereign immunity claims allows them to call out “foul play” on city agencies trying to diminish fair settlement outcomes.

Gathering Evidence to Prove Your Injury Claim

While strict liability legally favors bite victims, assigning liability and assessing compensation can’t happen without diligent evidence gathering. Government agencies will refuse to pay employee claims or negotiate settlements without it.

To build the most robust case possible, a Los Angeles dog bite attorney will work methodically to substantively document every dimension of the incident.

This diligence includes:

Obtaining Animal Control Records

Animal control documents can verify whether the dog had prior complaints lodged against it, the city cited the owner previously for related offenses, or other contributory information exists. Local agencies vary in how readily they release such information. A Los Angeles dog attack attorney experienced in submitting official requests and subpoenas can properly secure these records for you.

Collecting Witness Statements

If people observed the bite occur, securing sworn declarations from them recounting what they saw would be critical. Their account can corroborate essential facts. Even speaking with others familiar with the animal’s past tendencies can be helpful.

Assembling Medical Records

Compiling doctor and hospital documentation chronologically substantiates bite-related injuries and treatment in the most transparent way possible. When bills or workers’ compensation claims eventually arise, having these records readily accessible in one place for reference is invaluable.

Photographing Injuries Over Time

Because the severity of dog bite wounds changes as healing progresses, visually evidencing this through dated pictures validates the medical reports. They also show mauling proof that claims adjusters and juries can examine directly.

Identifying Prior Incidents

Southern California dog bite lawyers perform intensive background research to determine if authorities had previously warned city agencies or dog owners about the animal. Establishing these parties failed to address a known hazard bolsters a claimant’s dog bite case claims and payout values.

Navigating Los Angeles Animal Attack Settlement Negotiations with City and County Governments

Once assembled, compelling evidence puts victims in commanding negotiating positions to press for a sizable settlement or court-awarded compensation. However, public entity defendants often use leverage tactics to delay settlement proceedings.

Budgeting Cycles

City and county governments payout injury claims from annual budget appropriations. Knowing budgeting cycles and when funds will be exhausted or expire assists in making time-sensitive settlement demands.

Re-election Pressures

Politicians who control municipal purse strings are aware of public perception about how tax dollars get spent. Generous injury settlements could spark voter backlash. Los Angeles personal injury attorneys selectively use media advocacy to apply political pressure for fast settlements.

Choosing the Right Los Angeles Dog Bite Attorney for Your Municipal Worker Case

With so many intricate legal and practical dimensions to securing fair outcomes in public sector dog attacks, having an attorney intimately versed in these matters is almost mandatory.

Find a Los Angeles personal injury attorney with a proven track record of resolving dog bite attacks on city workers, and look for these credentials during your search:

Subject Matter Experience

Have they handled numerous government liability cases? Do past clients include municipal employees across an array of agencies and positions? Your Los Angeles dog bite attorney should have vast experience rebutting stubborn government immunity defense tactics and have excellent settlement negotiation skills.

Resources & Resolution

Does the attorney’s law practice employ a dog bite team to gather evidence or conduct further investigations? You’ll also want to retain a lawyer who has the financial resources to win your case and go the distance.

Results and Reputation

Finally, find an attorney with positive client reviews that note the firm’s responsiveness and prompt communication.

If a dog bite on the job has you asking what comes next, our team invites you to make an appointment to discuss your options.

Having helped many employees secure fair compensation for many years, our law firm is positioned to provide counsel tailored to your particular circumstances whether you’re in Southern California or beyond.

Contact us to discuss your situation in complete confidence at no charge.

How to Report a Dog Bite Near You

Our reach extends throughout California, from the sunny streets of San Diego to the bustling cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco, and beyond. We’re here to help victims across the state report dog bites, find the legal support they need, and ensure that justice is served. By reporting dog bites and seeking assistance, we’re all doing our part in making our communities safer while helping victims get back on their feet.

Book your FREE case review now.
There’s NEVER a FEE until We win.

"*" indicates required fields