We live in a nation of dog lovers. About 67% of Americans have dogs, so it’s almost impossible not to come into contact with one at some point. Maybe you’re a dog owner yourself!
Unfortunately, happy interactions between dogs and humans sometimes take a turn for the worse. More than 4.5 million dog bites happen each year in the U.S., which includes 20,000 people in Los Angeles county alone!
A severe dog bite is one of the most traumatic injuries anyone can ever experience. On top of the extreme physical pain and bodily injury, there can be long-lasting psychological damage, not to mention a mountain of medical bills draining your bank account.
But you don’t have to face a dog bite case alone. At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we are compassionate personal injury lawyers with more than 30 years of combined experience handling many types of painful and life-changing injuries.
We boldly represent dog bite victims, pursuing dog owners and insurance companies to help injured victims. Our clients hire us to help them secure the financial resources they need to recover from their dog bite injuries and move forward with their lives.
California law is clear that dog owners have a duty to protect other people from their dogs. In fact, we have some of the strictest dog bite laws in the nation.
California Civil Code § 3342 states that the owner of a dog is “liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.”
This means a dog’s owner is almost always going to be held liable for a dog bite in California. Moreover, the injured person can sue for the cost of their medical bills and other damages like lost wages and emotional suffering.
In some cases, a person other than the owner can be held liable for a dog bite. This could include a landlord, property owner, caretaker, dog walker, or someone else who was responsible for the dog or premises at the time of the attack.
California has strict liability for dog bites that’s applicable when people are bit by dogs on public property or lawfully on private property. This means if someone’s dog bites you at a public dog park you can sue them, but you can’t sue burglars who get dog bites when they break into your home.
After an attack, law enforcement and/or animal control will get involved to determine the circumstances of the dog bite and who owns the dog. If they deem the dog to be vicious, there will be a hearing to decide what happens next. This process may or may not involve you as the injured victim.
Owners of biting dogs can be ordered to keep their dog leashed or muzzled, keep it indoors, keep it in a fenced yard, and/or keep it out of public areas. In addition, the owner could be assessed fines or a warning that they will be cited for an offense if they don’t meet court-ordered conditions.
Dog bite victims are often blamed for their own injuries and may even assume that there’s nothing they can do about the situation. Not true!
When you suffer a dog bite, there are many things you can do to protect yourself from further injury and preserve your ability to pursue financial compensation. Contact us for a consultation about your dog bite, and in the meantime, follow these tips.
Get medical attention immediately.
Seek health care for your injuries as soon as possible after the dog bite and follow your doctors’ orders. You may need rabies shots if the authorities can’t track down the dog, and dog bites frequently involve infections and lacerations that need medical intervention.
Continue seeing your doctors without skipping appointments. Consistency in your dog bite treatment is a crucial part of proving that you sustained a severe injury that deserves full compensation.
Get the dog owner’s information and the police report.
Write down the owner’s name, phone number, address, and other basic details regarding the dog bite whether you know the owner personally or not. Work with the police and animal control to track down the animal and its owner, if necessary.
However, don’t assume that the police will gather all the information you need. A police report isn’t enough. You’ll have to gather other evidence like medical bills, photos, videos, and witness statements to make your case as strong as possible.
Give all information to your lawyer.
A qualified California dog bite lawyer can help you understand how to pursue your case against the dog’s owner and what evidence you’ll need. Perhaps there’s homeowner’s insurance available to cover your costs. If you were bitten at the vet’s office, their insurance might apply. Your lawyer can think creatively about pursuing the best option.
Don’t talk about your dog bite online.
Don’t rant about your dog bite online or share photos of what happened. Anything you share or say could be used against you later. Your attorney can help you decide how to handle social media and other types of communications that could impact your case.
When you’re bitten by a dog that belongs to a friend, family member, neighbor, or someone else you know, it can be awkward to handle the aftermath. You might feel uncomfortable asking them to pay your medical bills and other costs.
However, keep in mind that few dog bite cases are resolved in court. Most are handled through insurance payments and out-of-court settlements. You don’t necessarily need to debate with your friend or ask them for money directly. A dog bite lawyer can help things go smoothly so you don’t have to deal with any drama.
A car accident attorney can help you sort through these tricky legal issues and will explain your legal options. Like any other injured victim, passengers have recourse for seeking compensation after accidents with injuries.
Here at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we can handle the complicated legal issues involved in your dog bite claim so that you can put all of your focus and energy into moving forward with your life. Let’s ease your worry and stress so you can heal.
Here’s how the process works. During your initial consultation, we’ll discuss what could happen with your dog bite case and a range of compensation you might expect. We’ll also describe things you can do to keep your claim strong.
You’ll have the opportunity to ask questions all along the way as we investigate the dog bite incident and start your case. We’ll gather evidence that backs up your side and, if necessary talk to witnesses and experts who can shed light on your case.
Ultimately, we will either come to a settlement with the dog’s owner or they’ll insist on going to court. Most personal injury cases are resolved without going to court, especially in dog bite cases. California courts aren’t sympathetic to people who don’t control their dogs!
Your friends at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers are here to help you maximize the value of your claim and we won’t take a penny until you win compensation for your dog bite. We’re here to help protect California’s injured dog bite victims and hold owners responsible for their biting dogs.
Accident victims with a lawyer receive an average of 3.5 times more than those who are unrepresented.
After a dog bite, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many areas of the law, including dog bites. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering while we handle the legal details.
We truly care about California’s injured people. Contact us today for a free online case evaluation or call 877-380-8852.
Why risk sabotaging your dog bite accident claim by trying to handle it alone?
If at any time within the first 30 days of signing with Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers you are not 100% satisfied with the quality and care of service you receive from our attorneys, we will cancel your contract at no cost so that you can seek different representation. No questions asked.
Here are some things you MUST do in the meantime to avoid ruining your chances at a solid outcome.
The San Francisco personal injury legal team at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers gives unparalleled customer-service. You can see in our reviews all the reasons...
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"Personal injury lawyers conjure up images of tacky billboards of a guy with greasy hair and an 800 number. Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers couldn't be any more different and is a breath of fresh air for an experience with any type of attorney."
We’re not like other car accident attorneys in San Francisco. You won’t see us advertising on the sides of MUNI buses, freeway billboards or local TV and radio. Our reputation, effectiveness and 5-start customer service has San Francisco dog bite accident victims contacting us daily. We are fortunate enough to be able to be really selective with who we choose to represent! We carefully hand-select each of our clients. That way, we can form the super solid attorney-client relationships.
San Francisco Accident Client
"Sally and her staff are incredible. I was hit by a car on my scooter a year ago and Sally helped with all the legal troubles, medical bills ect that go along with an accident. I was hesitant to contact a lawyer but I am so thankful that I did and choose Sally. She takes great care in her clients, always emailing back quickly, checking in and laying out all the options for ones case. I was so impressed by her original demand letter as it was so detailed that I knew she truly listens. If you need a personal injury lawyer then look no further!"
After a dig bite accident, it can be hard to know who you can trust. Your faith in humanity has been shaken because someone left you behind, injured and traumatized.
At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we understand the struggles that injured people face. We’re here to help you find the right path forward with the right attorney. Find out more here about whether Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers is the right firm to handle your case. We are dedicated to making the process go smoothly for you.
Complete Guide on what to do after an accident in San Francisco
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"I was in a really hard situation and Carmen at Sally Morin helped me so very much. I am very low income and thought that my legal options were very limited. But Carmen helped me to understand my rights when I was plowed down by a drunk driver and I felt so much better knowing that I could get some assistance in resolving my case. I have two children and my accident has made it difficult for me to care for them. Carmen has made me feel like the future is bright and that I can get justice amidst this awful situation."
Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers is an all female team of customer-focused, five-star California personal injury attorneys who exclusively handle traffic accident settlement negotiation. They have California offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Jose, and Oakland.