San Diego Dog Bite Lawyers
Every year, over 800,000 Americans seek medical attention for dog bites: large or small. The majority of dog bite incidents are victims under the age of 12, with the most common age group being 5-9 years old. Of the 800,000 dog bite victims, nearly half seek medical attention. Because most severe dog bite victims are between the ages of 5-9, we often see large medical expenses as parents are paying for their child to have restorative surgeries like stitches, sometimes even plastic surgery, to help prevent scarring as their child ages. These bills are extremely costly.
In most of the dog bite cases we handle, our clients know the owners of the dog and don’t want to sue them. At Arendsen Braddock Law, we work diligently with the owners of the dog to help find any available insurance coverages to make sure you get compensated by their insurance without needing to file a lawsuit. Other times, owners blame the victims for the dog bite accident, at which time we take our gloves off to fight for compensation.
Dog Bite Laws in California
California dog bite laws impose very strict liabilities on the dog’s owner, which makes pet owners responsible for most dog bite injuries, even if the owner had no idea someone was ever bitten by their dog. Because of strict dog bite laws, the state of California provided some limits. The dog owner is strictly liable only of the injured person was bitten in a public place or lawfully in a private place. This means, if you are a UPS driver and are bitten by a dog on the owner’s property while executing your job, the UPS driver can sue for compensation.
Dog Bites vs. Dog Attacks
California’s dog bite laws won’t hold up in court if the dog didn’t actually bite someone. A bite doesn’t need to break skin to be classified as a bite, but there must be some type of biting or clenching action on your body to count as a dog bite. This means that if you’re doing something as simple as riding a bike and the dog lurches at your wheels or attacks your bike, you cannot sue an owner for a dog bite.
Preventing Dog Bite Injuries
Our Solana Beach law firm believes in taking steps to prevent future dog bites, so we’ve compiled a list for you and your loved ones to follow to prevent getting bitten by a dog. Since most dog bites occur with young children ages 5-9, these steps should be taught around children for basic dog safety, regardless of dog breed:
- Don’t approach an unfamiliar dog
- Don’t run from a dog or towards a dog and scream
- Avoid eye contact with an unfamiliar dog
- Stay still if approached by an unfamiliar dog
- Do not pet or reach out to a dog without asking
- Do not approach an unfamiliar dog that is unleashed
- Do not pet a dog without it allowing you to sniff you first
- Report stray dogs to your local Humane Society instead of calling for the dog
California’s Laws Regarding Dangerous Dogs
California imposes strict liability to all dogs, regardless of the dog’s breed or dog’s history. The state also has another dog law that makes owners responsible for animal removal If they haven’t taken reasonable steps to prevent another dog bite. If the dog bites someone twice, you are allowed to file a civil case against the owner for improper training or failure to take reasonable steps to prevent another dog bite. If owners keep dogs that are deemed vicious, they will be fined. A dog can be considered dangerous if:
- The dog forces people to defend themselves
- The dog bites someone without being provoked
- The dog has killed another domestic animal in the past three years without being provoked
Contact Our San Diego & Solana Beach Dog Bite Lawyers
The attorneys at Arendsen Braddock Law are here to help defend your dog bite case in the San Diego area. We’ve helped victims of dog bite cases all around the areas of La Jolla, Encinitas, Carlsbad and Pacific Beach. We’ve seen the damaging effects a dog bite can have on both your physical and mental state, so we fight for every penny you deserve. If you’re considering suing for compensation, let our dog bite lawyers offer a free consultation today! We can’t wait to work with you.