If you have been bitten by a dog, it is advisable to see the help of an experienced Irvine dog bite lawyer. You may be eligible for compensation and so, it is important to know what steps to take. California is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites. This implies that the owner will be held responsible if their dog bites another individual, regardless of whether or not they knew the pet could potentially bite.
The Crockett Law Group has been in the personal injury field for years and has successfully handled dog bite claims on behalf of victims in Irvine, usually through negotiations and in some cases, litigation.
We are here to help you protect your rights, so don’t hesitate to reach out by calling our offices at (800) 900-9393 today!
What Should You Do Following a Dog Bite?
After being bitten by a dog, it’s important to take the following steps:
Seek Medical Attention
It is a no-brainer that you should seek medical attention immediately, regardless of the injury’s severity. Usually, the flight or fight reaction prevents people from feeling pain and realizing the actual severity of the injury. You might brush off the attack as something trivial, but going to a doctor immediately is not only crucial to your health but also plays an important role as evidence for your dog bite claim.
For first aid, clean and apply pressure to the wound. Ensure you keep an eye out for infections.
Document the Accident
Take photos of the dog bute, the location, and anything else relevant such as whether there was a ‘Beware of Dog’ sign, if there was a cage and chain on the property, etc. Also, get the dog owner’s contact information and inquire about the animal’s breed and medical history. Ask whether it has been vaccinated and if there are other conditions you should know about.
In some situations, the dog owner or person in charge may attend to flee. If this happens, make sure you take a photo or video of them and the dog.
Contact an Irvine Dog Bite Lawyer!
Dog bite claims can be complicated, and even more daunting if you have sustained severe injury. Hiring an attorney with experience in this field will make the claims process easier and ensure your rights are not violated.
Who Do I Report a Dog Bite to in Irvine, California?
If you are bitten by a dog, it is important to know where to report the attack. You’re required to report to Orange County Animal Care. Parties required to report an animal bite incident include the victims, witnesses, and the dog’s owner. It is imperative for witnesses to report the incident as well, just in case there’s a need for a lawsuit.
The Irvine Police Department’s Animal Services Unit investigates and completes animal bite reports.
Why Should You Hire an Irvine Dog Bite Attorney?
Here are some of the reasons to hire an Irvine dog bite attorney for your case.
Dog Bites Can Be Serious
Dog bites are considered severe medical conditions as they can result in infections such as rabies, MRSA, muscle and tendon damage, blood loss, etc. All these situations require medical attention, with some calling for long-term treatment. This puts you in a situation where you can’t lead your normal life, including work. In addition, you need to focus on recovery and this is where a lawyer can help fight the case on your behalf, ensuring your rights are protected and that you’re fairly compensated.
Access to Resources
By hiring a reputable Crocket Law Group lawyer, you will gain access to a team of experts that will work in tandem to handle the case and keep you in the loop as things progress. You’ll have a lead attorney, a paralegal for research and the legwork as well as investigators to gather evidence.
Fight the Insurance Company
When it comes to claims and negotiations, insurance carriers are known to low-ball their clients and try every trick in the book to avoid making compensation. Experienced lawyers know all their tactics and will therefore work on your behalf to ensure they don’t take advantage of your situation.
Get Some Peace of Mind
If you decide to fight the case on your own, it’s highly likely you will second guess every move. However, with a reputable lawyer by your side, you will have the confidence to see the claim throughout.
During the initial consultation, our team will fill you in on the entire process and the steps you need to take. Also, we will explain your legal options to best handle the case as you focus on recovery.
Who Is Liable for Dog Bite Injuries in California?
According to state law, the owner of the dog is responsible for your injuries, as long as you were on their property legally during the ambush. The owner can still be responsible if their pet chased and attacked you outside their property.
However, if you provoked the animal, or were trespassing and it bit you, then the owner is not liable for the injuries. Bear in mind that some people try to claim they didn’t know their dog was dangerous, mischievous, or vicious. Luckily, California is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites.
In cases where the dog owner does not own the property, then liability may fall onto the landlord or building owner through premises liability. That is because property owners are required to prevent and also correct any situations in their property that may result in injuries to others. This includes banning dangerous pets on the premises.
What Kind of Compensation Can You Recieve for a Dog Bite?
Dog bite compensation comes from homeowners insurance. This means you do not have to worry if the animal was owned by a friend, neighbor, or loved one. The compensation will not come out of their pocket, but from the insurance carrier instead.
If you are a victim of a dog bite, you can seek recovery for lost wages, current and future medical expenses, and expected time off work. Also, you can seek general damages, which are designed to cover your pain and suffering, emotional distress, disfigurement, as well as scars.
In some cases, the judge may award punitive damages if the owner of the animal acted in an extremely reckless or negligent manner.
What Does the California Law State About Dog Bites?
As mentioned earlier, California is a Strict Liability state when it comes to dog bites. According to the state’s dog bite statute, located at California Civil Code section 3342, the dog owner is responsible for damages if:
- The damages were a result of the dog bite
- The victim was in a public place or was legally in private premises when the bite happened.
However, keep in mind that this statute does not apply to dog bite injuries that happen when the animal is doing police or military work.
For the dog bite statute to apply, your injury needs to be caused by a dog bite and not any other behavior from the animal. For example, if a child was playing at the park and a dog suddenly jumps on him or her, accidentally scratching their face, the dog bite statute does not apply. That’s because the injury wasn’t a result of a bite. In this case, however, California’s negligence rules would come into play and the argument would be that the owner failed to take the right steps to secure their pet.
Dog Bite Injuries Statistics
According to reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 4.5 million people in the United States experience dog bites every year. Out of this figure, 900,000 of them require medical attention. The saddening aspect of this is that most of these victims are small children. More often than not, dog bites happen on the arms and hands, followed by the neck, foot and face.
Are There Time Limits to File a Dog Bite Claim in Irvine, CA?
Every state in the United States has statutes of limitations or deadlines for filing personal injury claims, including dog bites. A statute of limitation is a strict cut-off time, whereby the victim is required to file their claim, or else they will no longer have legal grounds to do so. In the state of California, the statute of limitations for dog bite injuries is two years from the date of injury.
An Irvine Dog Bite Lawyer Can Help!
Dogs are man’s best friends. When trained properly, they provide great company, protect us, rescue us, and stay loyal. They are great to have as pets for a myriad of reasons. However, sometimes they do turn vicious and in these cases, they can harm you or other people. Dog bites can be serious as they may result in wounds, blood loss, broken bones, lacerations, and even emotional trauma.
If you or someone close has sustained an injury following a dog bite, call the Crockett Law Group today to discuss your legal options. Our team has unparalleled knowledge and experience in this field and should help protect your rights. Call us today at (800) 900-9393!