Dog bites can lead to excruciating pain, long-lasting health complications, disability, and even loss of life. So if you or your loved one have been bitten by someone else’s dog due to their failure to restrain them properly, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
A Riverside dog bite lawyer at The JLF Firm will help you understand your legal rights and options in this situation. Our attorneys are experienced in handling cases involving dog attacks, and we offer free consultations so that you can learn more about what happened to you and how our lawyers can help you get justice.
Don’t hesitate to contact us today at 888-341-3071 to request a consultation.
Common Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bite injuries can lead to disability and cause additional health complications, especially when left untreated. Some common types of dog bite injuries we see in Riverside include:
- Broken bones: Dogs’ jaws are designed to crush bone, which is why it is not uncommon for an attack on humans to lead to broken bones. This type of injury usually requires surgery.
- Lacerations: These occur when the skin gets torn off or scratched during an attack. They can also result from losing your balance and tripping or falling on a sharp object during the attack.
- Infections: If bacteria enters the wound through a puncture or cut, it can become infected, causing severe health problems such as tetanus.
- Scarring: Scars form after wounds due to a dog attack heal over time. Sometimes these scars are permanent, but sometimes they fade away completely.
- Nerve damage: Some dog attacks are intense and can extend to the nerves, causing nerve damage. This can lead to paralysis, numbness, tingling, and other symptoms.
- Face injuries: A dog bite to the face can leave deep cuts, lacerations, and bruises. It can also cause swelling and bruising around the eyes, nose, lips, cheeks, and jawline.
What Should I Do After Being Bitten by a Dog?
If a dog has attacked you, there are several things you should do immediately:
- Call 911 to report the incident.
- Take note of any identifying information about the dog, including its breed, size, age, color, and markings.
- Document the location where the attack occurred, along with the date and time.
- Ensure you keep a record of any medical treatment you receive.
Treating dog bites in Riverside
After documenting the details of the dog attack, you’ll want to seek medical attention immediately. Your doctor will likely prescribe antibiotics to treat any infections that develop. They may also recommend stitches or sutures to close any open wounds. Depending on the severity of the attack, you may need to see a specialist who focuses on treating dog bite injuries.
After seeking medical care, you’ll want to file a police report. This is crucial as it helps law enforcement officials track down the dog’s owner responsible for the attack. Additionally, filing a police report allows you to obtain a copy of the police report, which can prove helpful later when you decide to pursue a civil lawsuit against the dog’s owner.
You may also want to consider hiring a Riverside dog bite lawyer to represent you if you believe you have suffered damages due to the attack. An experienced dog bite lawyer can help you determine whether you have grounds to sue the dog’s owner and collect compensation for your injuries.
The JLF Firm has years of experience helping victims of dog bites and their families recover monetary compensation for their losses. We know how difficult it can be to deal with a dog bite, especially since the treatment expenses go through the roof. That’s why we offer free consultations and work hard to get our clients the maximum amount of compensation possible. To learn more about what we can do for you, contact us at (888) 303-9472.
Riverside California Dog Bite Laws
California Civil Code § 3342 states in part: “The owner of any 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.”
Put simply, California is a strict liability state, meaning the owner is 100% responsible and must pay for all injuries their dog causes. Further, it doesn’t matter whether the dog has never portrayed such viciousness before — the owner still bears the liability. Here’s a quick breakdown of the circumstances under which you may be entitled to compensation per California laws:
- You were attacked by a dog running loose (or whose owner failed to restrain appropriately) in a public place.
- The dog attacked you in a lawful private place, including the owner’s property.
- You were performing your professional duties on the owner’s private property when the dog attacked you.
- You got mauled by a dog that had never shown signs of aggression before the incident.
- You got injured by a dog owned by someone other than the property owner where the attack occurred.
If you meet these criteria, you can pursue compensation from the dog’s owner. However, this rule has some exceptions.
Exception for Dogs Performing Official Duties
According to California Law, Section 3342, you cannot bring a lawsuit against a federal agency whose employees used police or military dog service to undertake their responsibilities when the dog attack occurred. But, the following must be valid for the exception to stand:
- The dog was defending itself from harassment, provocation, or annoying acts.
- The dog was helping law enforcement officers to apprehend a suspect that the office believes or suspects to have been involved in criminal activity.
- The dog assisted an agency employee in investigating a crime or possible crime.
- The dog was assisting an employee of the agency in executing a warrant.
- The dog was helping an agency employee defend a peace officer or any other person.
Compensation in Riverside for Dog Bites
If you believe the dog owner is 100% liable for your injuries, you have every right to file a claim with the dog owner’s insurance company. However, there is no guarantee that the insurance company will pay the total amount. Many times they will only offer you a fraction of what you deserve. So it helps to hire a Riverside dog bite lawyer who knows how to negotiate with insurance companies and maximize your potential compensation.
Nonetheless, your settlement should cover the following:
- Past and future medical bills
- Lost wages and potential to earn
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent or temporary disfigurement
Sometimes, the damages may be way more than the average settlement, especially if the victim is a child. That’s because the victim may be at a higher risk of permanent disfigurement and must undergo numerous surgeries to recover fully. So it is only fair for the dog owner’s insurer to provide a premium settlement.
How The JLF Firm Can Help
At the JLF firm, we understand that filing a personal injury case is not easy. We know how stressful it can be to deal with all the legal paperwork, medical expenses and lost time off work.
That’s why we are always available 24/7 to review your case for free and answer any questions you might have about your situation. Our goal is to make sure that you get the best outcome possible. If you’d like to speak with us now, please contact us online or call our offices at 888-341-3071.
Dog Bite Case FAQs
Who is responsible for my injury?
The dog owner is responsible for the damage caused by their pet. This includes situations where the dog is acting under its owner’s control or lack of it thereof.
What if I was trespassing when I was bitten by a dog?
If you were on the dog owner’s property illegally when the attack occurred, you might not be eligible for compensation, as you were not a guest.