GJEL Accident Attorneys handles serious injury cases caused by dog bites with a 99% success rate. If you or a loved one have been seriously injured by a dog attack you should seek immediate medical attention and then contact an attorney right away.
Dog Bites in California Are Common
Dogs of any size can cause serious injuries when they bite or attack a human. In California, these attacks happen every day with over 800,000 happening in the US that require medical care annually.
Sadly, most dog bites are preventable but happen anyway due the pet owners own negligence. Typically dogs that attack humans have a history of violent attacks and if you were injured by a dog or other animal, you may be entitled to a personal injury claim.
Dog bites can cause serious and lifelong injuries as well as have severe mental effects on those who were injured.
Who is Responsible for the Dog Bite in California?
While the laws vary from state to state, California is a strict liability state. This means that the pet owners are solely responsible for any injuries caused by their animals. Most of the time these cases are covered by the homeowner’s insurance policy.
This is where it can get tricky. Sometimes insurance companies refuse to properly compensate you for your medical bills, lost work, as well as pain and suffering. This is where an experienced Dog Bite attorney can help you get the maximum settlement. GJEL can offer dog bite legal advice.
What Should You Do After a Dog Attack?
Since dog bites happen every day you need to be prepared in case it happens to you. If you or a loved one was injured by a dog this is what you should do:
- Get medical treatment as soon as possible: The first thing you need to do if a loved one is injured by a dog or other animal is to seek proper medical attention. Some injuries may appear to be minor at first but you should always get them checked out by a doctor at the emergency room. Don’t delay on medical treatment as it may have a long-lasting impact.
- Get information on the dog that bit you: If you can identify the dog that bit you, this will help you with your personal injury claim. If you know the homeowners where the incident occurred this is also helpful. Since the owner is the responsible person under California law it’s essential that you identify who they were and get their contact information.
- Report the incident: It’s important that you report the attack to the police or animal control agency in the area. This is the first step you can take in preventing similar attacks by the same dog in the future. It also provides a record of the incident and they can determine if this was part of the dog’s pattern.
- Take pictures and collect evidence: Collecting evidence after a dog attack starts with getting good records. In addition to the homeowner’s names and contact information, you need to document your injuries. Take pictures of your injuries and record the impact the injuries have on your day to day life.
- Do not sign anything with an insurance company without talking to a lawyer first: Insurance companies may seem quick to help and write a check after a dog attack incident, but there could be more damage. If you sign something or indicate that you’re not injured you could hurt your case. It’s essential that you talk with a California Personal injury lawyer right away before talking to an insurance company.
Types of Compensation You May Be Entitled To
Although the law in California is geared towards actual bites you may be eligible for compensation for other animal-related injuries as well. You will need to speak with an attorney to get a good idea of if you have a case or not. In California, GJEL seeks to recover the maximum amount possible to take care of our clients.
This doesn’t just include medical bills. In a typical personal injury case we will look at a variety of factors and you may be able to get compensated for:
- Medical bills resulting from the injury (past and future)
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of earnings from missing work due to the injury
- Reduction of lifetime earnings due to the inability to do your job properly
- Changes to your lifestyle from the injury
- Lifetime care and medical expenses if necessary
Dog Bite Frequently Asked Questions
What are the rights of a dog bite victim?
First and foremost citizens have a reasonable expectation that they should not be bitten by a dog. It’s the dog owners responsibility to take care of their pet and not put them in harm’s way. In California, injured victims may have the right to sue as dog owners are solely responsible for the actions their dogs take.
Should You Hire an Attorney That Specializes in Dog Bites?
Hiring an attorney that has significant experience in dog bite cases will play to your advantage and possibly help you secure the maximum value for your case.
As experienced dog bite and animal attack attorneys, GJEL has recovered millions of dollars from dog bite cases. We know the in’s and out’s as well as the tricks insurance companies may use to reduce their share of the liability.
On the other hand, hiring an attorney that does not specialize in dog bites may not know how to successfully take your case to trial which can result in a lower payout for debilitating injuries.
Does GJEL handle dog bite defense cases?
GJEL does not handle defense cases for dog bites. If your dog has bitten someone else and they are seeking legal action, you should contact your insurance company for a dog bite defense attorney.
Can you sue someone for a dog bite?
In California, yes you can sue the pet owner if you were injured by a dog, cat, or another animal bite. According to California rules, the pet owner is responsible for their dog’s actions. If you’ve been seriously injured by a dog or other animal contact GJEL for a free case evaluation today.
What is the average compensation for a dog bite?
The simple answer is that there is no average compensation for a dog bite injury. A personal injury case needs to take many factors into consideration and the value of your case will depend on the extent of your injuries, trauma, lost work, and other factors.
GJEL has recovered millions of dollars for our clients who were injured by dogs.
Common Types of Injuries Caused by Dog Bites
Dogs are strong animals that can cause serious lifelong injuries. The popular musician Charlie Puth has a permanent scar from to a dog attack when he was a child. The more common dog bite injuries we see are:
- Deep Puncture Wounds: When a dog bites down and punctures the skin. These can be minor or severe.
- Fractures and Brain Injuries: Dogs can also jump on humans when attacking them and cause head injuries and broken bones.
- Amputations: Serious dog injuries may require the amputation
- Infections: Dogs commonly eat and chew on anything. This puts bites at serious risk of infection
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement: Facial issues are common after animal attacks and can last a lifetime
- Nerve & Tissue Damage: Deep puncture wounds from bites can also cause nerve and tissue damage
- Death: In 2016 there were 31 recorded fatalities from dog attacks in the US
No matter the type of injury you receive from a Dog Bite, you should seek medical attention and call an attorney if it’s appropriate.
Do You Need to Hire an Attorney After a Dog Attack?
If you have been seriously injured by a dog attack in California you may need to speak with an attorney. Here are some of the reasons you should talk to an experienced dog bite lawyer:
- You were seriously injured and required on-going medical treatment
- The homeowner is not being cooperative after the injury and refusing to pay medical bills
- You have serious medical bills that are not getting taken care of
- The injury was not your fault and it was unprovoked
- The dog has a pattern of aggressive behavior
Sometimes You Don’t Need to Hire a Dog Bite Lawyer
You don’t always need a lawyer after an animal attack. Here are some of the reasons you may not need to hire or talk to a lawyer after a dog bite.
- The injuries are minor with no major lasting effects
- The dog has no history of violence
- In minor cases it’s easier to deal with the insurance company directly
The Most Dangerous Dog Breeds in the United States
Although there are many more friendly dogs than dangerous ones, there do appear to be certain breeds of dogs that attack humans more than others. When we look at fatalities the most dangerous dog breeds in 2016 were:
- Pit Bulls
These two breeds combined account for 77% of the total recorded deaths from dog attacks in 2016. According to the dog bite statistics, there are other breeds that are commonly seen in dog attacks. These are:
- American Bulldogs
- Belgian Malinois
- Doberman Pinscher
- German Shepherd
- Mixed Breed Dogs
No matter the breed of dog you should always be careful around animals.
Warning Signs Your Dog Is About To Attack
1. Understand your dog’s body language
Watch their ears, eyes, tail, and posture. Be aware of how they are reacting to their surroundings. Growling is one of the most common signs of aggression. It is a warning that the dog has become fearful or stressed.
2. Biting is another sign to watch out for
Biting is also a sign that a dog could attack. Biting should never be ignored, even if the bites do not break the skin or cause bleeding. If the behavior is not addressed and dealt with, it will likely continue and possibly get worse.
3. Does your dog stop eating when people come by?
Dog owners should also pay attention if their dog stops eating when they or someone else approaches. They may also snarl, lick their lips and show their teeth. These too are signs of a dog about to attack.
4. Other common warning signs
Other behaviors that could indicate an attack are the tendency to chase or lunge at other dogs, small animals, or people. Acting overly protective of their owners, their territory or their puppies is another warning. Supervise dogs who will not allow children near their toys.
5. Avoid direct eye contact
When a dog is acting tense, and when their tail is stiff rather than happily wagging, do not make direct eye contact. Act as your dog’s friend and allow space between them and whatever is triggering the aggression.
Call GJEL for a free Dog Bite Case Evaluation
If you or a loved one were seriously injured through a dog attack in California you should call GJEL toay for a free case evalution. We have recovered over $10,000,000 from dog bites in California.