Californians love their dogs. Around town you will see dog owners with their furry-friends out on walks through the neighborhood, hiking in state parks, hanging out in bars and restaurants, in stores, riding in cars, and even on motorcycles.
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.
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.
California Lawyers for Dog Bite Injuries
Many dog owners will not want to pay for injuries caused by their dog. The personal injury attorneys at Curtis Legal Group have extensive experience representing dog bite 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.