Unfortunately, dog bites are a very common event in San Diego. With the amazing weather we have and dog parks all around the city, a dog bite can happen at any time. In many situations injuries due to the bite are minimal. However, things get worse when the bite creates an infection or a much larger injury. There are some essential steps that individuals in San Diego must remember to take after a dog bite or accident occurs.
Dog Bites Can Cause Long-Term Damage
Being attacked by a dog can be a very traumatizing event in ones life. At Ozols Law Firm we have handled multiple dog bite cases each year with tremendous success. While it is said that a dog is a man’s best friend, sadly dog bites are one of the most common personal injury lawsuits in California each year. Whether you are bitten or attacked by a dog at a local dog park, beach or in your neighborhood, you are entitled to compensation from the owner. Our team of experienced dog bite attorneys understand that these types of situations can leave the victims emotionally as well as physically scarred from this traumatizing event. Our firm takes personal interest in your case to ensure our clients are given the settlement they deserve for their pain and suffering.
Dog Bites Fall Under a California Penal Code
Many people do not realize that if you have been bitten or attacked by a dog, that the owner of the dog is liable for any and all damages caused by their pet. However, under California’s Civil Code Section 3342, the victim of the dog bite must have been in a public or legally in a private place during the time of the attack to receive compensation. In this scenario, the owner of the dog is held responsible for providing the victim with compensation for their injuries. Without the proper knowledge and expertise regarding dog bites, it is tough for the victim to know just how much they should be compensated for after the dog bite has occurred. By hiring the Personal Injury Lawyers San Diego our team of experienced and aggressive attorneys will fight on your behalf to recover what you are owed in medical expenses as well as money for the emotional trauma you endured.
If attacked by a dog – Seek Medical Attention
If a client of our is bitten or attacked by a dog, we tell them it is crucial to seek the medical assistance of a doctor who can make sure that wounds do not become infected. Medical assistance can also create documentation of the dog bite or attack to create a record that the accident occurred. Clients who are bitten or attacked by a dog must also make sure to file a report with the local animal control agency to ensure that a record of the event exists. Next, after a dog attacks occurs, individuals must make sure to notify the dog’s owner so that the animal can be secured or quarantined. In areas where rabies cases have been reported, it is even more crucial that an individual locate the dog’s owner.
Call a San Diego Dog Bite Lawyer Immediately
This first thing we would do is determine whether or not there is some sort of applicable insurance policy available. An individual should determine whether any applicable homeowner’s insurance policies cover the injuries from the dog attack or if the dog’s owner carries applicable insurance. This part you can leave up to us.
There are several important pieces of information that must be gathered after a dog bite attack occurs including:
- who owned is the owner of the dog
- whether the animal was up to date on shots
- contact information for the individual who owned the dog
- how the attack occurred
Individuals must be careful to not just take the dog owner’s word about rabies shots and must instead obtain verification that the dog was vaccinated for rabies. Relax and let San Diego Personal Injury Attorneys do the leg work and collect all of this information for your case.
One of the next things we do is photograph the injuries and the place where the event occurred. Even if it requires unwrapping gauze or padding, individuals should photograph injuries incurred from the dog attack. Individuals must make sure to photograph bruises and if available documentation of any clothing that was damaged during the dog attack.
If you are bitten you should keep a journal that is periodically updated concerning any injuries. It is important to know that dog attacks can take a long amount of time to complete so this journal might need to be updated over a period of months or even years.
Negligence vs Strict Liability in Dog Bite Cases
There are two types of causes of action when assessing a dog bite case. The first is a negligence claim and the second is a strict liability claim. Negligence means the owner did something or neglected to do something which caused this accident to happen. An example would be an owner whose dog has bitten someone in the past, walking the dog without a leash. Or someone who just sees their dog getting angry and does not do anything to try and calm them down.
A strict liability case is a much clearer cause of action. In California the Civil Code 3342 says that dog owners in California are strictly liable for any injuries that their dog caused no matter what the situation is. The only exception to that law is if the other person provoked the dog in any way. The law is very clear that it doesn’t matter if the dog is considered dangerous or aggressive. Any dog owner could be responsible if their dog bites another person.
Our San Diego Dog Bite Attorneys Handle Insurance Claims
After a dog bite you may receive a phone call from the dog owner or an insurance company who represents the dog’s owner. These phone calls can be quite complicated. Obviously people don’t walk around with dog insurance so how would they have insurance in this type of situation? The answer is that sometimes home insurance will cover this. If you have home or renters insurance and something happens in your home or on your property, you can make a claim to them saying that they are responsible. People pay premiums every single month and don’t even know what it covers. Individuals should strive to collect as much information as possible about the case while avoiding in any acknowledging anything related to involvement or potential resolution of the case.
Experience in Dog Bite Cases
Dog bite attacks occur and when they do, it can be extremely beneficial to contact talented legal representation. If you or a loved one was injured in a dog attack make sure you do the right thing. Call a skilled personal injury attorney in San Diego, who has experience with these types of cases and will give you the personalized representation you deserve. Don’t just speak to a intern or a receptionist. Make sure that if you have a serious case you meet with a real lawyer who can help you get what you deserve.
To speak with an experienced dog bite attorney, call Ozols Law Firm to begin your free consultation today. Our attorneys are here to answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding your incident. In addition we will discus the proper steps and strategic moves to win your settlement.