If you love dogs, you may want to keep them as pets. Dogs are great friends. However, they may harm you or other people without warning. As the dog owner, you may be liable for personal injury or property damage if it happens to bite other people. We, therefore, have to learn the laws governing dog bites in Orange County. Understanding the laws governing dog bites and having the help of an Orange County dog bite attorney will help you protect yourself against any incidents.
One thing to note is that the liable party doesn’t necessarily have to be the dog’s owner. However, the dog owner is liable even if the animal is partly under the care of others at the time of the incident. The reason there are strict laws when it comes to dog bites is to protect injured victims. If you have suffered an injury from a dog bite contact our Orange County personal injury attorneys.
What Should I Do If a Dog Bites Me?
All of us can get bitten by a dog. You may never know when you will be a victim, especially if you live in Orange County, CA. You need to have some knowledge about dog bite treatment, as this is critical to your health. There are some instances when dog bite victims have died due to unattended infections that occur after dog bites. Therefore, we need to pump ourselves with a lot of information so that we know which steps to take to protect ourselves after a dog bite. Below are some of the steps you are supposed to take after a dog bite.
If you have a superficial wound, you don’t need to worry too much. Just clean the wound with running water and then use isopropyl alcohol. After cleaning, apply a topical antibiotic and then cover the wound with a bandage.
When you get a puncture wound, there is a chance that you will experience bleeding. If you start bleeding, it is always good to allow the wound to bleed. However, if you lose a lot of blood or notice that the blood is gushing too much, you need to ask for help as soon as possible. If the bleeding is not severe, wait for around five minutes to see if you can stop the bleeding through direct pressure. If the bleeding stops, clean the wound by rinsing it under running water.
Note that you shouldn’t rub alcohol or hydrogen peroxide on the wound. Doing this can slow down the healing process. Also, unlike superficial wounds, you don’t need to bandage the wound. If you choose to bandage, just ensure that you clean the wound well. The good news about dog bites is that they don’t leave any debris in the injury. You, therefore, don’t need to do much.
Diseases and Rabies
In an instance where the dog has rabies, you need to contact animal control as soon as possible. Doing this enables the animal control to capture the dog right away, to prevent the dog from biting anyone else. If the dog seems sick or behaves strangely, then the dog may be rabid. You need to take rabies vaccinations if you believe that the dog may be sick.
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Who Do I Report a Dog Bite Injury to in Orange County?
If you are a dog bite victim, it is always good to know where you should report the incident. You are required to report any dog bite incident to the Orange County Animal Care. The people who are required to report any dog bite incident include the witnesses, the owners of the dog, and the bite victims. It is essential for witnesses also to report the incident just in case there is a need for a lawsuit. If you also file for an insurance claim, you will be required to produce witnesses who will help to provide an accurate picture of what happened.
The dog must be quarantined just in case the dog has rabies. The owners and keepers of the dog must provide their identifying information to the bite victim as soon as possible. They shouldn’t exceed more than 48 hours. The bite victim should be able to provide the owner’s name, telephone number, and registration number for the dog.
Why Should I Hire an Orange County Dog Bite Lawyer?
We need to know the benefits of hiring a dog bite attorney after a dog attack. You don’t want to nurse injuries without the owner of the dog taking responsibility for the damage. If you have suffered from acute injuries resulting from dog bites, you need to hire an attorney to help you. Hiring a dog bite attorney is great because they will evaluate your claim and tell you whether you should continue with the claim or not. The attorney will also check your past cases and medical signs before they help you get compensation.
The other reason to hire a dog bite attorney is if the injuries have caused you to take some time off work. If your injuries cause you to take some time off work, you will lose your wages. Having an attorney by your side is advisable because they help fight for your rights, especially if your employer isn’t supportive enough. There are also instances when the attack may result in you being disfigured. A good attorney will be able to help you get justice through compensation. It is good to contact your dog bite lawyer as soon as the attack happens so that there is evidence of the attack.
Who Is Responsible for Dog Bite Injuries?
Let us discuss the issue of liability when it comes to dog bite injuries in Orange county. When you suffer from a dog bite, you are going to need medical treatment. The cost of treatment should be catered to by the responsible party. This is why you need to understand liability when it comes to dog bites in Orange County.
Apart from physical injury, you may also suffer from trauma due to the dog’s attack. If the accident is severe, you may even have to take some time off to heal. It is only fair for the responsible party to compensate the victim for the damages. You also need to take responsibility on your side such that you try to fight off a dog if it happens to start the attack. Failure to this may result in you sustaining additional damages from the attack.
Under the strict liability statute, the dog owner is responsible for damages caused by their dog’s bites. It doesn’t matter whether the dog has bitten another person or not. This applies if the victim was bitten in a public place or if the victim was lawfully present in a private place. If a child enters a neighbor’s compound to recover their toy, the child may be trespassing, and the strict liability statute might not apply in this case.
If the owner had reasons to believe that the dog has dangerous propensities, the owner would be held liable for the attack. Proving that the owner knew about the dog’s viciousness is difficult. This is why you need to hire a lawyer to resolve legal damages from a dog’s attack.
The other thing that strict liability covers are the dog bites. As much as a large dog may be capable of doing other things that might cause injury, those other behaviors might not be covered by the statute. We also need to remember that the strict liability statute only applies to the owner of the dog. If the dog attacked you when they were under the care of a keeper, that keeper might not be strictly liable. The other exceptions to the strict liability include if the victim performed a paid service involving the dog.
What Type of Compensation Can I Expect in a Dog Bite Case?
We need to understand the laws governing dog bites in Orange County to determine whether or not we are going to get compensated. You always have to remember that the success of your injury claim is not certain. As much as the responsibility of the dog bite injury lies on the shoulder of the dog’s owner, you are not going to get compensation, especially if you were trespassing at the time of the incident, or provoked by the dog before the attack.
Depending on the extent of the attack, a dog victim may be entitled to recover compensation for lost wages, scarring, pain and suffering, medical expenses, and property damages. In other cases, you may find that the bite victim may be entitled to punitive damages, which are usually awarded for the owner’s behavior. If, for example, the dog owner knew that the dog was dangerous and the owner allowed the dog to run around, and the dog happened to attack you, then the jury could ask for punitive damages to apply.
What Does Orange County Law Say About Dog Bites?
One thing to note is that you require legal representation if you get bitten by a dog. This is because dog bites might result in injuries such as excessive bleeding, emotional trauma, and infections such as rabies, which may have a huge impact on your health. As the victim, it is your responsibility to know the owner of the dog and inform them of the incident. Failing to recognize the dog owner means that you will not be able to file a lawsuit.
You are also required to notify the relevant authorities as soon as the attack happens so that they may restrain the dog, to avoid a similar scenario. The importance of contacting the authorities is that they may help you deal with the insurance company if you choose to file a lawsuit.
Statistics Of Dog Bite Injuries In Orange County.
Based on the statistics, there are about 77.6 million pet dogs in the US. The Center for Disease Control estimates that they receive 4.5 million dog bites or more every year. About 45 fatalities that occur in the US are a result of dog attacks annually. Unfortunately, most dog bites are not reported, meaning that the numbers may be more than what we can even imagine. In Orange County, there are about five dog bites reported every day.
There are also more than one thousand victims of dog bites in Orange County. It shows that children below the age of 18 face the highest risk of dog bite injuries. Children who are below the age of five will require hospitalization after the dog attack. One thing to note is that very few victims get compensation for the injuries.
Are There Time Limits for Filing a Dog Bite Lawsuit in Orange County?
Different states will have their own rules and regulations regarding the allowable time frame in which a victim can file a personal injury lawsuit. In Orange County, the deadline to file a lawsuit should be two years from the time the incident occurred. If you happen to file the claim after two years, there is a high likelihood of it being rejected. It doesn’t matter whether you have enough information to prove liability. Also, note that there are injuries that will occur much later, after a canine bite. For those injuries that take a long time to show, you can file the claim one year from the day the damage took place.
However, to increase your chances of compensation, you should file a dog bite lawsuit after the injuries have been treated, and before the statute of limitations has expired. The good thing about waiting till you recover is that you can determine how much compensation you need, based on all the costs you incurred. Ensure the compensation includes all your legal damages from the dog bites.
Contact an Orange County Dog Bite Attorney Today
If you live in Orange County, it is really important to understand the dog bite laws. By understanding the dog bite laws, you can protect yourself and also fight for your justice. We encourage you to take an extra step to know how dog bite laws work, and especially if you are prone to get attacked by a dog. In case you are not sure, you can always consult our Orange County injury firm.