Trust Your Case to a Skilled Dog Bite Lawyer
There are more than 4.7 million victims of dog bites and attacks in the United States each year. California statutes hold that a dog owner is strictly responsible for any injuries that the animal causes. This means that you do not have to prove liability for your injuries, just that the injury occurred.
However, these cases can still be very complex because large insurance companies and their legal teams are often involved. Most attacks will be covered by a homeowner's insurance policy, and the attorneys for the company will work hard to settle the case with a minimal amount of compensation for your injuries.
An skilled dog bite lawyer in San Diego, CA, can determine the appropriate amount of damages based on your injuries, and fight for maximum compensation. Please contact our law firm to arrange a free case evaluation with Kerry Steigerwalt.
Since dog bite law is a combination of city, county and state laws, your attorney can provide important guidance as well as collect pertinent evidence to build your case.
California Liability Laws
California is a strict liability state, which means that the owner of any animal is liable for any damages the animal causes. The law does not require a plaintiff to prove negligence on the part of the owner or aggressive behavior on the part of the animal in order to win a case. If you have sustained an injury from an attack, you are entitled to damages that compensate your losses fully.
Our experienced attorneys have been taking on large insurance companies for over 30 years, and can ensure that you receive the maximum compensation to which you are entitled.
A dog bite attorney from our firm can determine the appropriate amount of damages to pursue, and file a claim on your behalf. Typically, dog bites are a subsection of premises liability law, and damages are covered by a renter's or homeowner's insurance policy. Our experienced attorneys have been taking on large insurance companies for over 30 years, and can ensure that you receive the maximum compensation to which you are entitled.
Primary Reasons for Dog Bites
A disproportionate percentage of dog bite victims tend to be young children. It is important to understand the cause of a dog attack in order to prevent future accidents. The main reasons for dog bites include:
- The dog feels threatened or a need to protect its owner, property or personal items such as its kennel, play area, or food
- The dog is distressed due to sickness or injury or is generally irritable and moody
- The victim unintentionally or knowingly inflicts pain, or otherwise harms the dog
- The dog causes injury during rough play
- The victim is accompanied by another dog and is bitten during a fight between the two animals
Dog Owner Responsibility
It is the responsibility of dog owners to prevent attacks from occurring. According to the San Diego County Code Section 62.669.1, any person owning or having custody or control of a dog must at all times prevent the dog from attacking, biting, or injuring any person engaged in a lawful act, and from damaging or interfering with the lawful use of property.
San Diego County also has a leash law that is directed toward the prevention of dog attacks and injuries caused by dog bites. The San Diego leash law requires dog owners to properly restrain their pets with a hand-held leash no longer than six feet when walking their dogs in public in order to prevent interference with other dogs or people. At home, owners are required to control their pets by voice commands or restrain them in a humane way using a leash, fence, or other enclosures. These laws also protect the dogs from getting lost or being harmed by vehicles or other animals.
Injuries Caused by Dog Bites
It is estimated that about 1,000 Americans need emergency care treatment every day due to dog bite injuries. It is critical to seek medical attention after being bitten by a dog, as the injuries can leave physical as well as emotional scars. They are also accompanied by the risk of rabies and other transmitted diseases. Some of the serious injuries caused by a dog attack include:
Punctures, lacerations, and severe dermal abrasion: When a dog bites a child or an adult, that person will likely sustain dermal injuries such as punctures, lacerations, and other serious wounds that require emergency treatment. In particularly severe cases, plastic surgery may become necessary.
Fractures and sprains: Dogs have strong jaws, and a particularly vicious attack can fracture or crush the victim's bones. The chances of breaking bones increase when the dog latches on to the arms and legs of the victim. Similarly, strain and dislocation can also occur.
Scarring: Scarring is one of the most common injuries resulting from a dog bite. It can range from temporary, minor scratches to deep cuts that can damage muscle tissues and more. Dog bites often cause irregular scars of uneven color and thickness.
Infection: It is important to tend to dog bites as soon as possible. Left untreated, they can lead to infection, causing redness, swelling and pain in the wound area.
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: Apart from physical harm, a dog attack can also cause psychological damage, especially among children. Young victims often carry a heavy emotional burden long after the incident, and the condition of post-traumatic stress disorder may require psychotherapy.
Securing Just Restitution
- Medical expenses such as ambulance fees, emergency room fees, and more
- Medical bills for expensive procedures such as reconstructive surgery or skin grafting that may become necessary after a particularly damaging attack
- The cost of ongoing physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Permanent disability
- Therapy for psychological trauma
- Lost present and future wages
- Reduced future earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
Building A Credible Case
If you have suffered an injury after being attacked by a dog, there are several measures that we can take to build a credible case. These may include:
- Speaking with neighbors and any other parties who may have witnessed the dog's behavior previously
- Discussing the dog's medical history with its veterinarian
- Obtaining police and animal control records for the dog
- Investigating the scene of the attack
- Pursuing appropriate medical attention and keeping copies of all pertinent records
- Researching the available resources for dog bite victims in San Diego
We have vast experience in dog bite cases and have the resources necessary to build a compelling case on your behalf.
Experience You Can trust
Our attorneys have helped many dog bite victims secure the compensation necessary to overcome injury and other losses. We take all of our cases on a contingency basis, meaning that there is no cost to you if we do not win. If we agree to take your case, you can feel confident about the outcome.
Schedule a Consultation
Dog bite victims often accept low settlement amounts from insurance companies because they are unaware of their rightful dues. Your compassionate dog bite attorney will thoroughly investigate your case to determine the true value of your claim. If you have been attacked by a dog, please contact our law firm as soon as possible to arrange a free consultation with one of our attorneys.