Lathrop Dog Bite Lawyer
Dogs are considered by most people to be members of the family. They provide valuable services to the police, military, and those facing a wide array of medical challenges. However, even the most docile dogs can attack or bite those they come into contact with. When this happens, it can leave a person with injuries that are often difficult and expensive to recover from.Common Injuries from a Dog Bite
Injuries from dog bites can be severe. In some extreme cases, they can prove fatal. This is especially true when a dog bites an elderly person or child. Some of the common injuries caused by a dog bite or attack include:
- Bone fractures
- Crush injuries
- Damage to tissues, tendons, and nerves
- Emotional suffering such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Head trauma
- Infections that develop in lacerations, cuts, and scratches, particularly if left untreated
- Loss of tissue
- Neck injuries
- Puncture-type wounds
Dog bites can result in punctures, lacerations, and crush injuries, along with other dangerous outcomes. This is due to the 450 pounds of pressure exerted for each square inch when dogs bite. When multiple bites are involved, the person can suffer rapid blood loss and pass away. Even in less severe dog bites, the person can face infection or disease from bacteria within the dog's mouth. This can include:
- Capnocytophaga: From the first day to two weeks after an injury, this infection can cause blistering, swelling, and redness at the wound site. Approximately one-third of people who have been infected with Capnocytophaga die while others may suffer complications such as heart attack, gangrene, or kidney failure.
- Pasteurella: This type of bacteria can attack the skin and cause cellulitis. This sometimes can happen within 24 hours of being injured through a scratch or bite. Symptoms may include chills, enlarged lymph glands, and fever. Cellulitis can be developed in some cases and cause pneumonia, meningitis, arthritis, and other severe complications. This can lead to extended hospital stays followed by high medical expenses.
- Rabies: This disease can be contracted if a person was bitten by an unvaccinated dog who is infected. This disease is dangerous as it can make it difficult to swallow. It can also cause high fever and convulsions which often leads to death.
- Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA): A staph infection typically ranges from a sore throat to swollen tissues and a rash. It can also affect the bloodstream, lungs, and heart valves. It can present itself as a boil or an abscess, causing swelling, redness, and pain at the site. This can also lead to severe health complications such as cellulitis and toxic shock syndrome.
- Tetanus: Vaccination typically protects most people from tetanus. However, those who contract it may experience stiffness within the abdomen, jaw, and neck as well as difficulty swallowing and body spasms. This disease has no cure.
You can reduce your chances of a dog bite by exercising the following tips:
- Avoid staring into a dog’s eyes
- Do not approach a dog that is chained up
- Do not pet a dog or approach one while it is eating
- Do not scream or run if approached by an unrestrained dog
- Do not tease a dog
- Do not touch a dog that is sleeping
Watch YouTube Video: The video listed below contains some helpful recommendations to help protect yourself from harm's way when a dog is about to bite or attack you.Learn the Warning Signs
Dogs communicate with people in many ways. Understanding their body language is essential to know when it is unsafe to approach them. Following are common warning signs exhibited by a dog before becoming aggressive:
- A stiff or erect tail
- Ears are flattened back
- Exposure of teeth
- Intense staring
- Standing rigidly still
- Tense body movement
Any dog is capable of biting or attacking a person if they feel threatened. However, certain dog breeds have a tendency to bite or attack more than others. These include:
- Australian Shepherd
- Cocker Spaniel
- German Shepherd
- Jack Russell Terrier
- Lhasa Apso
- Pit Bull
- Siberian Husky
Knowing what to do after being bitten by a dog is crucial for your health and any legal action you may consider taking. This includes:
- Seek medical treatment. Get yourself a safe distance away from the dog and assess your injuries. Even if they seem minor, seek medical attention right away to protect yourself from the risk of infection and other diseases.
- Identify the dog. This is the first step for locating the owner of the dog. Once this has been done, write down the name of the owner and the address of where the dog lives. This information will be needed to seek damages from the owner.
- Report the incident to the City of Lathrop Animal Services. You are required by law to report the incident immediately. Be sure to include as much information as possible such as the description and breed of the dog that bit you and the date, time and location where the incident occurred.
- Contact law enforcement promptly. You will want to file an incident report with the police. When doing so, be sure to include names of all witnesses to the attack as well as identifying information of the dog.
- Contact an experienced lawyer. It is essential to contact an experienced dog bite attorney in Lathrop after suffering a dog bite injury. This way, your attorney can protect your right to the fair compensation you need and deserve for your injuries and other damages.
A dog’s owner is financially responsible for any physical injuries caused by their dog under California Civil Code 3342. If the dog bite occurred on private property, it must be established that the injured person was lawfully on the premises. This includes salesmen, postal carriers, and others. The law does not apply to those who are committing a crime or trespassing. These people are likely not able to claim compensation from a dog attack. California operates under a system of strict liability. This means a dog owner can be held liable for any injuries caused by their dog, regardless if the dog had a history of biting or not.Statute of Limitations
A person who suffers an injury from a dog bite has two years from the date of the incident to file a claim. This deadline is known as the statute of limitations. In these cases, it is essential to contact an experienced Lathrop dog bite attorney promptly. This allows the attorney to investigate the incident, look into any past complaints, and build a strong case for compensation of damages incurred.Dog Bite Injury FAQs
Q: What if I was bitten by a dog owned by a friend or neighbor?
A: Most people are bitten or attacked by dogs they know. This includes pets owned by friends and family members. You may be worried about filing a claim against a person you know while still needing money to cover the expenses of your medical treatment. However, most dog bite claims are covered under the homeowners' or renters' insurance policy of the dog's owner.
Q: My child was injured after being bitten by a dog. Am I able to bring a claim and recover damages for his injuries?
A: Yes. Your child will likely have a claim so long as the dog was not provoked in any way. The dog’s behavior must be carefully analyzed as well as the circumstances surrounding the dog bite. Simply walking toward a dog or petting one does not constitute provocation. Keep in mind that the statute of limitations for personal injury differs in the case of a minor. The statute is “tolled” or extended until he or she turns 18 years old. From that time, he or she must file a claim within two years for damages.
Q: What if I can’t afford to hire a lawyer for my case?
A: Most attorneys handle personal injury cases on a contingent fee basis. This means an injured party is able to retain an injury lawyer without having to worry about coming up with the money to pay for upfront legal fees. This way, the injured party is able to focus on recovering while the attorney starts working on the case.Benefits of Hiring a Law Firm
There is always the chance of a dog bite or attack no matter how careful someone is. Those who have suffered a serious injury from a dog attack or bite should contact an experienced dog bite lawyer in Lathrop. A lawyer can help obtain a fair recovery from insurance companies who often handle cases of dog bite injuries with scorn and contempt.Lathrop Dog Bite Lawyers
I’m Ed Smith, a Lathrop dog bite lawyer. A bite from a dog often results in severe injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries from a dog attack or bite, I have free and friendly advice to offer you. Please feel free to call me anytime at (209) 227-1931 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400.
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