Tips for Pursuing a Successful Injury Claim After a Dog Bite

Consideration was given for the editing and publication of this post.

Dog’s have been given the name “man’s best friend” and have been considered good companions by millions of people worldwide. Their loyalty and affection know no bounds. However, it’s still important to remember that dogs will still tend to bite people.

No matter how cute or cuddly a dog is, it’s still in its nature to bite people, especially when they feel threatened or afraid.

Most dog bite victims are the elderly and children. A child getting bitten by a dog may result in PTSD and serious fear of dogs.

When filing a claim, it’s best if you get help from an experienced California dog bites lawyer. Hiring an attorney can increase your odds of winning your claim. If you or your loved ones have been injured due to a dog bite, here are some things you can do:

Go to a doctor immediately and seek medical attention and advice.

If a dog has bitten you, you must seek medical attention immediately, especially if the wound is more serious than a scrape. You may require antibiotics if the wound is serious. It is vital to seek medical attention because dog bites can result in serious infections that require more extensive treatment than can be provided at home. Any bite that does not stop bleeding is deep, was caused by a stray animal, or exhibits signs of infection, such as pus, redness, or swelling, should be brought to a doctor’s attention as soon as it is discovered.

When you go to the doctor for a dog bite, you must be prepared to answer questions about the animal as well as the attack. They’ll want to know if you’ve ever seen the animal before, as well as if you know who owns it. The doctor would also like to know any information you have about the dog, including whether or not it has received rabies vaccinations.

When cleaning your wound, it is important to use a clean cloth to stop the bleeding and then wash the cut with soap and water before applying antibiotic ointment and wrapping it with a sterile bandage, even if the bite is not serious.

Communicate with the dog’s owner

If a dog has bitten you, immediately inform the owner. You can either talk to them in person or write them a letter detailing how the events unfolded.

You can include a list of medical expenses in your letter and mention any local or state dog-bite laws. Give them a deadline on when they can pay you for the damages, and if they disagree with your initial proposition, mention that you will file a small claim. You can also tell them that homeowner’s insurance may cover the costs for the damages, as plenty of dog owners don’t realize that.

Familiarize yourself with dog bites laws in California

The dog bite statute, found in California Civil Code section 3342, states that the owner of any dog is strictly liable for any damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the owner’s property.

Within the meaning of this section, a person is lawfully on the private property of such owner when he is on such property in the performance of any duty imposed on him by the laws of this state or by the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or when he is on such property at the owner’s express or implied invitation.

But what exactly does “strict liability” mean?

According to California Civil Code 3342, the owner of a dog is strictly liable if the dog bites someone and causes injuries, even if the animal has never hurt anyone before. At the time of the attack, the victim must have been on public property or lawfully on private property.

Regardless of whether the dog was properly restrained or not (leash or no leash), the dog owner will still be held liable for the dog bite as long as it meets the following criteria:

According to California Civil Code section 3342, the dog owner will be held liable for the victim’s injuries if:

  • The person did not provoke the canine, and
  • The person was bitten in public or while lawfully on private property (i.e., not trespassing)

If you meet the following criteria, then you are eligible to receive compensation from the dog owner. You may be entitled to receive compensation for the following:

  • Medical costs,
  • Physical or vocational therapy,
  • Psychological counseling,
  • Lost wages,
  • Lost earning capacity,
  • Pain and suffering,
  • Scarring and disfigurement, and
  • Loss of the use of a limb.

But you have to remember that your time is limited. Under California’s statute of limitations, you only have up to two years when the accident occurred to file a claim. Once the two years have passed, you will lose the right to seek compensation for the damages caused by the dog bite.

July 5, 2021 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
Posted in: Uncategorized