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Utility Worker Dog Bite Attorney in LA

utility worker dog bite lawyer
utility worker dog bite lawyer

Entering a backyard on a service call sometimes brings utility workers face-to-face with the family dog. Such encounters expose these employees and meter readers alike to potential dog bite attacks, which have been increasing in Los Angeles at an alarming rate.

Under California law, dog owners are strictly liable when their animals bite another person. Utility companies also have a legal duty to protect their employees from dog attacks. As experienced dog bite attorneys, we’ll unpack what these laws mean for victims’ rights to hold negligent parties accountable.

Performing Work Duties Often Leads to Unprovoked Dog Bite Injuries

Unlike mail carriers, utility workers cannot simply skip a house when spotting a dangerous dog on the loose. Their responsibilities include accessing backyards to read meters, maintaining equipment, handling service issues, and more. Despite “Beware of Dog” signs, unlocking a gate and entering a territory guarded by a large animal exposes technicians to instinctive biting behavior.

While California leash laws, strict liability statutes, and animal confinement rules exist to prevent pets from roaming freely, a lack of compliance by owners enables dogs to access utility areas without restraint. A resting canine suddenly awakened by a stranger rustling through the bushes or banging on equipment often provokes an instinctive chase and bite attack. Limited escape routes posed by fences and obstacles also create further danger for utility workers.

Physical and Emotional Trauma Follow Dog Bite Attacks

The physical trauma from utility worker dog bites regularly produces life-altering consequences. These injuries are not mere nips. Powerful jaws and sharp dog teeth can crush bones, tear flesh, and rupture tendons. Many utility workers and meter readers experience permanent disability or loss of limbs when dogs attack them.

Deep puncture wounds also cause dangerous bacterial infections that spread through saliva, leading to sepsis, meningitis, and sometimes amputation. Rabies transmission remains a concern following dog bites as well.

For some victims, a malicious dog attack provokes profound psychological injuries. Like military veterans with post-traumatic stress injuries, the sound and sight of a barking dog can spur panic attacks in utility workers years after the dog bite encounter. Victims may also experience difficulty sleeping, mood instability, and problems retaining employment.

California Imposes Strict Liability in Dog Bite Claims

California statutes and case law precedents protect utility workers from dog bites by imposing strict liability on dog owners. This indemnity allows victims to pursue personal injury claims without proving negligence or intentional harm by the animal’s owner. Even if the dog never bit anyone prior, its owner is financially responsible for remedying all damages.

Strictly liability rules automatically spring into action for utility workers when:

  • An owner previously knew or should have known his or her dog could display aggressive behavior and might bite someone or
  • a utility worker actually sustains a dog bite injury while performing work duties.

Unlike some states that apply comparative fault rules to dog bite claims, California dog bite statutes do not allow reducing a utility worker’s compensation even when the employee partially contributed to the dog attack. In other words, per statute, a defendant animal owner cannot assert contributory negligence or assumption of risk defenses in California dog bite cases.

Workers’ Comp Settlements Alone Limit Complete Recovery

While workers’ compensation insurance pays a victim’s current medical bills and lost wages, the state insurance system caps utility worker awards in the long run. It also excludes general damage (non-economic) coverage for pain, suffering, disfigurement, and emotional distress.

Relying solely on an employer’s workman’s compensation insurance after a devastating dog bite attack consequently leaves many Los Angeles dog bite victims unpaid for the total harm sustained.

Utility worker dog bite victims in California can secure total justice by pursuing third-party liability claims against a dog owner’s homeowners’ insurance provider or the dog owner himself/herself. To promote fair compensation, state courts award monetary damages to cover what workers’ comp insurance doesn’t pay.

Personal Injury Claims Reach Beyond Workers’ Comp Limits

Utility workers and meter readers can secure additional compensation for dog bite injuries outside employment insurance coverage by pursuing personal injury claims directly against a negligent dog owner’s assets.

Particularly with severe dog attacks, victims may pay out of pocket for years to cover follow-up surgeries, prescriptions, physical therapy, and psychological treatment. Permanent or partial disabilities may also prevent utility workers from resuming complete work duties, resulting in significant income deficits.

Fortunately, long-established California strict liability statutes make dog owners automatically responsible for all the harm mentioned above and non-economic damages (i.e., pain and suffering, disfigurement) when their pets bite utility workers performing lawful activities like meter reading or equipment repairing.

By retaining an experienced Los Angeles dog bite attorney to file a strict liability personal injury lawsuit against an animal owner, utility workers can obtain fair compensation for long-term medical costs and other losses not covered through standard workers’ compensation claims.

Key Steps to Preserve Your Rights After an Attack

Persevering critical evidence sometimes gets overlooked in the chaos following a dog mauling. To build the most potent legal claim possible under California’s strict liability laws, utility workers should do the following as soon as possible after a dog bite:

Secure the Scene

Cordon off the attack area: photograph injury severity, blood splatter, torn clothing, and the canine. Obtain contact data from witnesses, such as bystanders or neighbors who observed the incident.

Get Immediate Medical Help

Even small bite punctures risk dangerous infections. Disinfecting the wound leads to proof of injury while creating a documented timeline for dog bite claims.

Alert Authorities

Inform work supervisors and ask animal control and the police to investigate the dog owner’s liability. Also, be specific when filing incident reports.

Preserve Vital Evidence

Retain damaged uniforms, gloves, instruments, and other gear showing bite severity. Do not wait to take these photos. Holding physical proof of the dog’s violence may ensure just compensation.

Call a Dog Bite Attorney

An experienced Los Angeles dog bite lawyer understands how to navigate the claims processes, statutes of limitations, evidence rules, and venue issues to maximize recovery under California’s strict liability laws.

Personal Injury Lawyers Fight For Utility Workers After a Dangerous Dog Attack

At LA Dog Bite Law, we fully understand the immense physical, emotional, and financial burdens utility workers face following severe, on-the-job dog bite attacks. Our Los Angeles firm has helped resolve complex utility worker dog bite claims for many years, securing compensation for victims statewide.

Our firm works tirelessly to build ironclad cases that prove strict owner liability under CA statutes. We then leverage that evidence through zealous civil litigation or insurance claim negotiation, securing maximum damages for lost wages, medical bills, suffering, and disabilities from utility industry dog attacks. Don’t let negligent homeowners escape accountability.

LA Dog Bite Law maintains offices in Los Angeles to serve utility worker dog bite victims throughout Southern California. Contact us 24/7 for a free consultation with a dog bite attorney to discuss your potential claim and legal rights, or complete our simple online claim form to get started. The law protects you, and we can enforce it for you.

From Injury to Answer: Understanding Dog Bite Claims in California

Whether you’ve suffered from deep lacerations, infections, nerve damage, emotional trauma, or other types of dog bite injuries, our experienced team is here to provide you with the legal support and guidance you need.

Will I be compensated if a customer's dog bites me while I'm reading the meter or doing utility work?

Yes, California’s “strict liability” dog bite laws generally make dog owners financially responsible for bite injuries, even when the animal has never shown prior aggression. Utility workers can file third-party personal injury action simultaneously with workers’ compensation claims to receive total compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, pain/suffering damages, permanent disability, and emotional distress.

What should I do after getting bitten by a dog while working as a utility worker?

First, seek prompt medical care and report the bite to supervisors. Document the scene by taking photos of your injuries, the dog, and the work site. Get witness contact info. Preserve uniforms or tools showing bite damage. Report the attack to animal control and police. And consult with a Los Angeles dog bite lawyer to understand your legal rights. An attorney can also help you file workers’ comp claims and guide you through the entire legal process.

Could I be denied workers' compensation after being bitten by a dog on the job as a utility worker?

It wouldn’t be likely. The State considers dog bite incidents an occupational hazard because utility workers access residential properties when conducting business. Workers’ compensation covers medical treatment and lost wages for workers injured while performing job functions. An experienced Los Angeles dog bite attorney can ensure your employer’s insurance provider covers all appropriate medical and lost wage benefits.

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.

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