East Sacramento Dog Bite Lawyer
According to one significant homeowners' insurance company, California residents suffer more dog bite injuries than residents of any other state within the country. In 2017 that resulted in almost $19 million in claim payments made by that insurance company, which was nearly 14% of their total dog bite claims countrywide that same year.
Dog bites can often be severe, and most require at least some initial medical treatment. An infection will often occur because bite injuries usually involve a puncture wound, and a dog's mouth is dirty. Copious irrigation of the damage and prophylactic antibiotic treatment can help prevent a secondary disease, so it is recommended that if you are bitten by a dog, you seek medical treatment immediately. Additionally, if the animal's vaccination status is unknown, the medical provider can advise you about the risk of rabies and, if necessary, begin the human vaccine series.Preventing a Dog Bite
It is always best to avoid a bite in the first place, and here are some guidelines to help prevent a dog bite:
- Always ask the owner's permission before petting a dog.
- If permission is granted, let the dog sniff you before petting it.
- Move slowly near dogs, do not run toward a dog or away from one.
- Stay calm and back slowly away if an unknown dog approaches you.
- Be gentle – no squeezing, tail pulling or climbing onto a dog's back.
- Do not approach a dog who is sleeping, eating, or caring for its puppies.
- Do not take a bone or toy away from a dog.
In the video below, postal carriers share their tips for avoiding dog bites:Steps to Take After an East Sacramento Dog Bite Injury
If, despite safe practices, you are attacked and bitten by a dog, seek medical care immediately. You also need to think about a few things that will help with any future legal action you may need to take against the dog's owner.
- Have someone obtain the contact information for the dog owner.
- Have someone take the names/phone numbers of anyone who witnessed the incident.
- Photograph your injuries before and after medical treatment and during the healing process.
- File a report with Sacramento Animal Control, the jurisdiction of which covers the East Sacramento area.
All dogs have the potential to bite. However, despite the arguments of some dog lovers, certain breeds are more represented in severe dog bite incidents than others. Pit bulls are responsible for most dog bite cases involving severe injuries or death. Other breeds that rank high on the "bite list" include Rottweilers and German Shepherds.
The law in California makes no liability determination based on the dog's breed. The dog owner is strictly liable for any injuries the dog inflicts on a human, regardless of the dog's breed.California Holds Pet Owners Strictly Liable
California Civil Code § 3342 establishes strict or absolute liability to dog owners when their pet bites a person. Strict liability functions outside of any negligence requirement, meaning there is no proof that the owner acted recklessly or negligently. The mere fact that his or her dog bit a person represents the owner is responsible for the victim's damages.
This strict liability attaches regardless of where the bite occurred – at a private home or public area. It also does not matter if the owner knew of any prior vicious propensities of the animal. So often, after a dog bite, we hear the owner say, "Cujo is such a sweet baby; he has never hurt a fly!". Well, under California law, no matter. Cujo's owners are responsible for the victim's damages.
Strict liability attaches only to the owner of the dog. So if you get bitten by a loose dog or an animal being walked by a professional dog walker, an investigation will be necessary to find the dog's owner.Seek Legal Help to Obtain Financial Recovery for your Dog Bite Injuries
An experienced attorney will be able to explore all the avenues through which you may obtain a monetary recovery for the damages you sustained due to the animal attack. Some of the common damages involved in such a claim are:
- Past and future medical costs
- Lost wages if you were unable to work for some time due to your injuries
- Pain and suffering caused by your physical injuries and disabilities
A claim will usually be filed against the dog owner's homeowners' insurance policy. If the dog owner does not have such a policy, finding the options for monetary recovery may be a bit tricker. Still, an experienced dog bite lawyer will know how to explore other avenues.East Sacramento Dog Bite Lawyer
If you or someone you love has sustained injuries from a dog attack, call our injury lawyers at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice.
Editor's Note: updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 6.26.23] Photo by pixabay user Esteban Paniagua mm [cs 856]