Loomis Dog Bite Lawyer
Under California law, Article 2, Section 3342, a dog owner is liable for injuries caused by their pet. Because California is a strict liability state concerning dog attacks, it does not have to be shown that the animal was aggressive in the past. Also, under California law, even if the owner stops the attack, they are still liable for injuries.Insurance Claims for Dog Bites
Insurance companies pay out huge settlements every year for dog bite injuries around the nation. According to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2019, liability claims for dog bite injuries totaled $797 million. This represented a 14.7 percent increase over the previous year. Because of higher medical costs, jury awards, settlements, and judgments, the average cost went up 134 percent between 2003 and 2009.
California has the highest number of claims in the country, with about 2,400 in 2019. Florida has the second-highest, but the numbers are far behind California. The average cost per claim in California was $51,265. Dog bites are not the only reason people place insurance claims for dog injuries. A dog that knocks down an elderly person, bicyclist, or child can also cause injuries.Following a Dog Bite
If a dog bites you or a loved one, you can protect your rights by doing the following:
- Learn who the owner is: It is crucial to find out who the owner is and whether the dog’s vaccinations are up-to-date. If not, the injured person may have to take rabies shots. An experienced dog bite lawyer in Loomis can help locate the owner and handle the case for compensation so an injured client can obtain what they deserve.
- Seek medical treatment right away: A severe injury needs treatment. However, because dogs can transmit several dangerous illnesses and infection is common, even a less severe injury should be treated.
- Phone Placer County Animal Services to report the injury. Even with a minor injury, a report should be filed with animal control or the local sheriff’s department.
- Photographs should be taken of the injuries, including bruises.
- Phone a seasoned Loomis dog bite lawyer, who can explain what your rights are. I offer a free consultation where I can review your case and tell you what options are open to you. My law firm has worked with those who’ve been injured by dogs since 1982.
Knowing why dogs bite can help avoid attacks by lowering the risk. The following are some of the reasons a dog becomes aggressive:
- Fear: If a dog is startled or frightened, it can turn aggressive. This can happen if the animal is suddenly awoken from sleep, cornered, or fears being injured.
- Possessiveness: Many dogs are protective of their home and owners. They can also be protective of their food, bed, toys, and other items it considers its own.
- Protective instincts: While some female dogs accept humans picking up their puppies or getting close to them, others are not. It’s the maternal instinct kicking in that can bring out aggression in them.
- Illness: If a dog feels pain or is ill, it may wish to be left alone. Even ordinarily friendly pets can bite in these instances.
- Instinct: Some dog breeds are prey driven, which is why some enjoy chasing squirrels or cats. Behaviors can include chasing, shaking, or pulling. However, seeing someone running, jogging, or riding a bicycle can negatively trigger this instinct toward humans.
Dog bite injuries can be horrific because of their combined pointed and blunt teeth. Muscles and tendons are damaged, and with a large dog, bones can end up crushed. Also, nerve damage can occur. This is added to the risk of infection, so a wound must be thoroughly cleaned and may cause a lot of pain. Common injuries that occur because of a dog bite include:
- Torn muscles, tendons, and ligaments are common, especially in the hands, as the injured person tries to fend off the dog.
- Traumatic brain injury can occur, especially in children.
- Nerve damage can cause paralysis in that part of the body, loss of sensation, weakness, and pain.
- Broken bones can result in simple breaks, compound fractures, or crush injuries.
- Internal bleeding occurs due to nerve damage, heavy bruising, or infection.
- Spinal cord injury can occur, especially in children.
- Disfigurement and scarring can affect any part of the body, including the face, and leave behind devastating injuries.
For an injured person to place a dog bite claim for compensation, it must be proven which animal caused the injury. Our investigators are experienced in gathering that evidence to establish owner liability. Some areas that they investigate include:
- Interviewing the owner
- Speaking to the veterinarian to ensure the dog has been vaccinated and to see whether the animal has shown signs of aggression
- Photographing the injuries and reviewing the medical records
- Speaking to neighbors of the dog owner or delivery persons
- If the dog escaped from the home, checking to see if the enclosed area was sufficient
The video below discusses some of the damages that can be claimed in a dog bite case.Loomis Dog Bite Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Loomis dog bite lawyer. If you suffered a dog bite injury, California law allows you to obtain compensation to pay your expenses and reimburse you for your pain and suffering. I offer you my free and friendly advice when you call me at (916) 921-6400 in Loomis or (800) 404-5400 from long-distance.
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Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay
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