Woodland Dog Bite Lawyer
Dog bites account for about 90-percent of all animal bites, and millions of people are bitten or attacked by dogs every year in the United States. Statistics show that children 14 years or younger are at a higher risk for dog bite injuries because they are smaller and more vulnerable. While some wounds are minor, others are gruesome, leaving the bite victims with lifelong injuries, permanent disabilities, and high medical expenses. A 2010 study shows that the average hospital stay for a dog bite injury costs more than $18,000. In 2012, over 27,000 bite victims had to undergo reconstructive surgery to repair the damages.Types of Dog Bite Injuries
A dog’s jaw and teeth are very strong, and the wounds they inflict can do some serious damage. In some cases, a severe bite or attack can even be fatal. Typical serious injuries sustained from a dog bite include:
- Broken or fractured bones
- Crush injuries
- Deep puncture wounds
- Facial Scars
- Head or brain injuries
- Infections such as rabies
- Nerve damage
- Tissue loss
Dog bites and attacks are traumatic experiences and can have emotional and psychological effects on the victims for years. The distress can lead to:
- Fear of dogs
- Post-traumatic syndrome disorder (PTSD)
Experts say the trauma is even more severe for children because it can interfere with their normal development. Some emotional anguish children can show after a dog bite include:
- Bed Wetting
- Clinging to parents
- Sleep disturbances
Since dog bites can have significant medical, legal and financial consequences, it’s essential to follow these steps. Immediately after a dog bites or attacks:
- Seek medical attention. The sooner you get treated, the less of a chance the injury will be infected.
- Get the dog owner’s name and contact information.
- Get the names and contact information of anyone who witnessed the attack.
- Report the attack to your local animal control agency and check their records for any prior assaults from the same dog.
- Document all medical expenses associated with the treatment of your injuries.
- Keep a record of all your accident-related things, including taking pictures of your injuries, conversations with the dog owner, expenses, and paperwork.
This video provides a few strategies on how to defend yourself against a dog attack.California Dog Bite Laws
There are laws to protect victims and handle dogs that are considered dangerous. The state of California has strict liability laws that make dog owners liable for most dog bite injuries. The laws declare that a bite victim can sue for their injuries whether the owners knew their dogs had ever been vicious before. It doesn’t matter if the dog has never bitten anyone before. Owners cannot argue that they were not aware their dogs could be dangerous. However, there are some limits to the law. The owner is only liable if:
- The victim was bitten in a public place.
- The victim was bitten in a private place but was there lawfully. For instance, if the dog bites a mailman or a guest at the house.
California also has specific dog leash rules to prevent dog attacks from occurring. Unfortunately, many dog owners have a soft spot when it comes to their pets. Even with evidence that their beloved companion is dangerous, they will continue to bring their dog around strangers and children because they don’t believe it will bite or attack.What Are Your Legal Rights?
Being bitten by a dog is a terrifying situation, and it can be challenging to determine if the dog owner is responsible for any damages you sustained. If you were bitten by a dog, it might be helpful to know that you may be entitled to receive compensation for losses and damages, including:
- Long-term care for those left with permanent disabilities
- Loss of enjoyment and quality of life
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Multiple or punitive damages
- Pain and suffering
- Physical therapy or rehabilitation costs
- Property damaged related to the incident
If a dog attack or bite led to death, you might be able to file for a wrongful death claim.Does Insurance Cover Dog Bite and Attack Injuries?
The dog owner’s renter or homeowner’s insurance policy typically pays for the bite victim’s injuries. The most common liability claim on renters and homeowner’s insurance policies is dog bites. According to statistics from the Insurance Information Institute and State Farm, insurance companies in California received over 1,900 dog bite claims in 2013 and paid a total of nearly $65 million. However, some insurance companies exclude liability coverage for specific dog breeds. The typical dog breeds subject to restrictions are:
- Alaskan Malamutes
- German Shepherds
- Pit bulls
- Siberian Huskies
- Staffordshire terriers
- Wolf hybrids
Some insurance companies may also limit the number of dog bite claims and/or the amount they pay for dog bite injuries. However, if the dog owner does not have a renter’s or homeowner’s insurance policy, the victim can sue the owner directly for his or her injuries.Woodland Dog Bite Injury Lawyers
I’m Ed Smith, a Dog Bite Injury Lawyer in Woodland. Dog bites cause much more than just broken bones and scars. Emotional and psychological trauma can last a lifetime. If you or someone you love has been bitten by a dog, you may be entitled to compensation from the dog owner. Call our injury lawyers today for free and friendly case advice at (530) 392-9400 or (800) 404-5400.
We’ve been helping many clients in the Woodland area and throughout Northern California with personal injury and wrongful death cases since 1982.
Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 5.24.21]
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