Injured in an animal attack?
Curtis Legal Group The Heavy HittersTM!
Award-winning California Dog Bite Lawyers
While the majority of dogs will never bite or hurt someone, every year there are dog attacks that result in serious injuries and emotional trauma for dog bite victims. If you or someone you love has been attacked by a dog, contact a dog bite lawyer at Curtis Legal Group to begin your case investigation today.
Dog Bite Table of Contents
Dog Bite Attorneys: Frequently Asked Questions
- Do California dog bite laws include the “one bite rule”?
- What does it mean to be “lawfully on private property”?
- What are my rights if I am bitten by a dog on public property?
- How much is my dog bite case worth?
- What if I can’t afford a lawyer?
- What will happen to the dog if I file a lawsuit?
- Should I report a dog bite to the police?
What to Do if a Dog Bites You
If you or a loved one are bitten by a dog, you should seek medical attention immediately. Even if the dog did not break the skin, a doctor can determine if they have caused internal damage to bones and muscles. If the dog did break the skin, a doctor can help treat that injury quickly to avoid scarring and infections. If you do not know the dog, you should be tested for rabies right away. Rabies is a serious, potentially deadly disease that has to be treated immediately. It may not be readily apparent that a dog is infected so getting tested quickly is crucial.
If the owner of the dog is nearby, it is very important to get their contact information and the contact information of any witnesses. California has a “strict liability” rule for a dog bite which means that
any time a dog attacks a person, the animal’s owner is liable for the damage caused and is required by law to compensate the victim for injuries sustained in the attack. Also, under California law, a victim can hold a landlord liable for a dog attack if the landlord had prior knowledge its tenant had a vicious dog and did not take steps to remove the animal from the property. There are a few specific exceptions to the strict liability rule, including if the person bitten by the dog was trespassing on the dog owner’s property; in these instances, the owner may not be liable for the resulting dog bite injuries.
Hiring an experienced dog bite attorney will help you hold the dog owner accountable for their pet’s actions. There are specific steps to follow and Curtis Legal Group will keep your case on track for a successful outcome.
Types of Dog Bite Injuries
Being bitten by a dog can cause a variety of injuries. Common wounds include minor lacerations, deep punctures, and significant bruising. Lacerations and punctures can cause significant scarring which can be a constant reminder of the dog attack. Dogs naturally have a plethora of bacteria in their mouths and wound infection from a dog bite is very common. More serious dog attacks can cause severe internal injuries including punctured organs, broken bones, and dislocated joints.
Dog attacks can cause more than just physical harm to their victims. Emotional injuries can be just as serious and can include severe post-traumatic stress disorder as well as phobia development.
If the victim is a young child, a dog bite can cause serious mental anguish and may lead to a lifelong fear of dogs, not to mention a fear of going outside or visiting the area where the attack occurred. Separation anxiety can also be severe after a dangerous dog attack.
Treating both the physical and emotional pain caused by a dog bite can be costly. Medical bills and ongoing therapy can add up quickly to make the necessary treatment unaffordable. Dealing with scars can require extensive plastic surgery. Depending on the severity of the attack, the victim’s dog bite injuries may cause permanent disability and/or leave them unable to work. This may lead to lost wages and future income. Overall, a dog attack can be a terrible experience for the victim and can cost a family thousands of dollars and lots of emotional distress.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do California dog bite laws include the “one bite rule”?
No, the state of California law does adhere to the “one bite rule” that many other states have in place. In those states, the owner is not responsible for injuries resulting from the first time their dog bites someone. In California, even if the person’s dog has never been aggressive before, they are still liable for the victim’s injuries upon the very first time the dog bites someone.
What does it mean to be “lawfully on private property”?
This refers to the fact that you cannot file a lawsuit against a pet owner if their dog bit you while you were trespassing on their property. You had to have been invited onto the property and then bitten by the person’s dog or other pet to have a viable claim.
What are my rights if I am bitten by a dog on public property?
If the bite occurred in a public place, the owner is responsible for your injuries. Dog owners have the responsibility to keep their pets properly restrained whenever they are in a public place, whether at a park, walking down the street, or inside a pet-friendly establishment.
What if my injuries are minor? Can I still file a lawsuit?
There is no minimum level of injury severity necessary to file a dog bite lawsuit. If you were injured at all, even if the bite didn’t break the skin, you can still pursue legal action. Internal injuries can occur due to dog bites. Related injuries, such as if a dog bites you and causes you to fall and injure yourself, can also be grounds for an insurance claim and/or lawsuit.
How much is my dog bite case worth?
The only way to know what amount of compensation you may receive is to consult with a lawyer about your case. Curtis Legal Group will listen to the facts of your particular situation, ask you questions, and then give you a general idea of what amount you may be able to collect. However, it is important to note that you are not guaranteed that amount; it is only an estimate.
What if I can’t afford a lawyer?
Personal injury lawyers that handle dog bite cases work on a contingency basis. This means that you owe nothing to your lawyer up front and your lawyer only collects fees if you are awarded compensation. Your lawyer will establish a contract with you before any work begins that outlines what portion of your financial compensation they will receive. There is absolutely no financial risk involved to the injured party in a contingent fee arrangement.
What will happen to the dog if I file a lawsuit?
Many victims are afraid to report a dog bite for fear the dog will have to be put down. In California, the animal’s owner is held responsible for their dog’s actions, not the dog itself. The law does not require a dog that injures someone to be euthanized.
Should I report a dog bite to the police?
Yes, it is in your best interest to report the dog bite to law enforcement. Having an official report on file will help your claim by serving as official evidence. And, your report may help to prevent others from being harmed by the same dog.
Contact the Dog Bite Attorneys at Curtis Legal Today for a Free Consultation
Many dog owners will not want to pay for injuries caused by their dog. The dog bite lawyers at Curtis Legal Group have extensive experience representing dog bite and animal attack victims and getting our clients the compensation they deserve for their injuries. Ensuring our client’s medical bills, mental and physical therapy, lost wages, and pain and suffering resulting from a dog attack are financially compensated is our top priority.
We also understand that the owner of the dog might be a friend or family member, and we can help preserve these relationships while still obtaining your rightful compensation. If you or a loved one was injured in a dog attack, contact Curtis Legal Group today at 1-800-LAW-3080 to discuss your case and learn how we can help you and your family recover.