Turlock Dog Bite Lawyer
For a lot of people, their dog is an important friend and companion, and many even consider their dog part of their family. In fact, data from the American Veterinary Medical Association shows that anywhere from 36 to 40 percent of American households own a dog as a pet. Not only are dogs “man’s best friend,” but the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that being a dog owner may come with several important health benefits as well. Dog owners often have lower blood pressure, reduced levels of stress and more opportunities to both socialize and exercise.
While the majority of dogs never attack a human, the truth is that dog bites injure millions of people every year. CDC statistics suggest that around 4.5 million people are injured during dog attacks annually. Often, these attacks only cause minor injuries, but in some cases, the trauma can be severe and lead to chronic symptoms as well as dangerous medical complications and secondary injuries. In the worst cases, dog attacks can even be the result of fatal injuries.
- U.S. hospitals record around 1,000 dog-bite related emergency room visits every day.
- Around 75 percent of injuries suffered in dog attacks affect the legs and/or arms.
- The majority of people bitten by dogs are familiar with the dog that bit them.
- Almost 33 percent of severe dog bites happen close to the injured person’s home.
- U.S. insurance companies pay out more than one billion USD every year for dog bite claims.
- Around one-quarter of dog bite fatalities involve a dog restrained by a chain.
- Almost 92 percent of dog bite fatalities involve male dogs.
Everybody can potentially be bitten by a dog, but children are more vulnerable. CDC data shows that more than 80 percent of people sent to the emergency room for dog bite injuries are under 15 years old. Additionally, the CDC estimates that about half of children younger than 12 have been bitten by a dog, though many are not seriously injured.
There are a few different reasons that children are more often seriously injured by dog bites. One reason is that children are less familiar with dog behavior than adults and can’t tell when dogs want to be left alone. Because of this, children simply trying to play with a dog are often left with severe bites. Another reason that children are more vulnerable to dog bites is the simple fact that they are smaller and pose less of a threat to dogs, which can raise the chances that a dog feeling threatened will attack.
Often, dogs from the dangerous dog breed list are some of the sweetest pets that you could meet and it can be hard to imagine that such a friendly dog would ever bite a human. However, throughout more than three decades of handling California dog bite injury cases, I’ve seen many cases of friendly dogs from the dangerous breed list becoming aggressive with hardly any warning at all. While you should always practice caution and look for warning signs with any dog, it is also helpful to know which breeds are more dangerous than others.
Dangerous breeds include the below:
- German Shepherd
- Lhasa Apso
- Australian Shepherd
- Pit Bull
- Bull Terrier
- Jack Russell Terrier
Watch YouTube Video: To reduce your chances of being bitten by a dog, you can use the helpful safety tips included in this video:What Can I Do?
Many people who’ve suffered dog bite injuries are left with steep medical bills and have lost income due to time off work. In many cases, injured parties might not even be able to continue working at all. However, California law holds dog owners strictly liable for damages that their pets cause and most people bitten by dogs can seek payments for the losses they have suffered. California’s strict liability laws mean that people injured by dogs do not need to establish that the owner was negligent to claim recompense, unlike most cases of personal injury.Calling a Lawyer
The best step you can take is to contact an attorney who has experience with handling dog bite cases in California to figure out what legal options you may be able to take. Calling an attorney early on can be vital, as a lawyer will be able to hire investigators and make preparations for your case. Additionally, knowing that the legal aspects of your case are being handled by a professional means that you can focus on healing physically and emotionally from your injuries.
However, choosing a lawyer isn’t always easy. In addition to finding a lawyer with relevant experience, you should make sure that you are personally comfortable with your legal representation. To learn more about my firm and see if we are a good fit for you, you can keep reading the information here on our website. If you’d like to talk with me personally about the details of your case, you can call me for free at (209) 227-1931.
Dog bite injuries can be very severe. Many dog breeds have strong chest and jaw muscles as well as teeth that are naturally able to tear flesh. These characteristics can cause a wide range of injuries including bone fractures, nerve damage, spinal cord injuries, facial lacerations, and more.
Because dog bite injuries can have serious consequences, injured parties can usually claim payments for a variety of losses. The damages that those injured by dog bites can recover for include:
- Emotional distress
- Lost wages
- Loss of income potential
- Physical therapy costs
- Medical bills related to the bite
- Pain and suffering damages
I’m Ed Smith, a Turlock dog bite lawyer who has been representing people in California dog bite injury cases since 1982. If you, your child, or someone you love has been attacked by a dog, contact me to get free, friendly advice by calling (209) 227-1931 or (800) 404-5400.
I operate on a contingency basis. This means that you do not need to pay me unless I am able to help you claim the repayments you need for the damages you have suffered.
You may want to take a look at what some of the clients I have helped in the past have to say about my work. You can read their feedback on these popular websites: Google, Yelp, and Avvo.
For further details on how I’ve settled cases for past clients, you can browse the Verdicts and Settlements obtained by my firm.
I’m in Million Dollar Advocates Forum, the only national lawyers’ forum for attorneys with a past settlement or verdict of over one million dollars in value.
Photo: "mad dog" by USAF through public domain
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Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 6.20.19]