Dog bites are very common in Southern California, especially in the highly populated metropolitan areas. When you are the victim of a dog bite or dog attack in Antelope Valley, you need to consult an Antelope Valley dog bite lawyer with a strong history of successful outcomes. The smaller the victim, the more serious the injuries are likely to be. But any victim can suffer physical and emotional wounds that last a lifetime.
How Dog Bites Happen
Dog bites can happen at any time and by any dog. Even the smallest dog has the potential to cause serious harm. A bite that breaks the skin can introduce bacteria into your body, leading to serious disease or infection. Some people think that the risk of rabies is the only worry they have from an unvaccinated dog. In reality, the risk of rabies is much smaller than that of other types of illnesses.
More serious bites can lead to damage to soft tissue including the muscles, tendons & ligaments, blood vessels, and nerves. Some bites even reach the bone. The injuries might require one or more surgeries, cause permanent scars and disfigurement, or even result in amputations. In addition to the dog bite victim’s medical expenses, they might also be unable to work. An Antelope Valley dog bite lawyer can help you get compensation for all of your related expenses.
Injuries Typically Associated with a Serious Dog Bite:
- Deep contusions
- Serious head and face injuries
- Long term emotional scars
- Permanent Scars and Disfigurement
- Emotional and Psychological Suffering
- Nerve Injuries
- Humiliation and Embarrassment
- Loss or impairment of the use of hands, arms, feet, and legs
- Medical expenses, plastic surgery, rehabilitation, physical therapy
- Loss of income, medical expenses, and extreme pain
What To Do After A Dog Bite
Most people who get bitten by dogs are familiar with the animal that attacked them. Even if you know the dog and feel certain it is up-to-date on its vaccinations, you should wash the wound with soap and water. Use a clean towel to stop any bleeding. Apply a sterile bandage to the wound and keep it elevated above your heart to prevent swelling and infection.
You should seek medical care right away for wounds that won’t stop bleeding after 15 minutes. If you believe you have a broken bone, nerve damage, or another serious injury, don’t wait to go to a doctor. You also need medical care if the wound becomes infected. Signs of infection include redness and swelling, hot sensations or fever, or pus that drains from the wound.
You should go to your doctor to get a tetanus booster if needed, or to get a prescription for antibiotics to prevent infection. If you get bitten by a stray that you can’t locate, you might have to undergo a series of rabies shots. Although rabies is rare in dogs, the risk is too great to ignore.
Get the medical care you need. Then contact an Antelope Valley dog bite lawyer to learn about your rights.
The Most Dangerous Dog Breeds
One reason that dog bites come as a surprise is that dogs don’t meet the ideal of what people consider a vicious dog. Any dog can bite under certain circumstances, even without provocation. A new mother might bite to protect her puppies. An insecure dog might bite when it feels scared or threatened. Often, the dog bite victim never knows what caused the bite in the first place.
While any dog has the potential to bite, there are some breeds that cause vicious attacks more than others. The pitbull tops that list with most instances being attacks and not just bites. Most people who are bitten by pit bulls require hospitalization and many others are not that fortunate. They are especially dangerous when the victim is a small child.
Children under the age of 4 have a much greater chance of being bitten on the head, neck, or face than those of any other age. Their small size increases the risk that deep puncture wounds and lacerations will result in crushing injuries or amputations. When bitten in the face, children often require reconstructive surgery to prevent scarring and disfigurement. Some people receive permanent injuries that lead to a lifetime of pain and trauma.
Other dog breeds often involved in dog bites and attacks include huskies, Alaskan malamutes, rottweilers, German shepherds, Doberman pinschers, and wolf hybrids. Whether the bite occurs inside the owner’s house, in public while the dog is on a leash or not, or after the dog escapes its yard, the dog owner is liable for any action of their dog.
In most cases, the dog owner is liable for any damages caused by a dog bite or attack. California’s dog bite law imposes “strict liability” which applies whenever a dog bites someone. Under this law, a dog’s owner or handler is strictly liable when a dog bites someone. It applies even if the dog has no history of biting.
One exception is the “Veterinarian’s Rule”, which means that people who work with dogs professionally cannot sue. There are some exceptions where the professional or another person who is bitten by the dog can sue. For example, if the owner does not disclose the dog’s aggressive history before the interaction, or tries to mislead the victim.
Wrongful Death from Dog Bites & Attacks
Sometimes dog attacks are so severe that they result in the victim’s death. Without medical treatment, a bite can even cause death in some cases.
If you lose a loved one due to a wrongful death resulting from a dog bite, you may be able to collect compensation from the dog owner. The laws regarding wrongful death vary from state to state. Talk with an Antelope Valley dog bite lawyer to learn more about your options.
Injuries from dog bites are among the most common types of personal injuries we see in California. Dog bites and attacks are especially traumatic when the victim is a child. You need an experienced personal injury attorney on your side to make sure you get the best outcome for your case.
California has what is known as a “strict liability statute” when it comes to dog bites and dog attacks. What this means is that dog owners are responsible for the actions of their dogs. California Civil Code Section 3342 states: “The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.” There have also been several recent cases in California where courts have upheld personal injury claims against landlords who have allowed a tenant to have a dangerous dog on-premises.
Victims pay a high physical and financial price for a dog attack, and the dog owner and possibly other responsible parties should be held accountable and compensate the victim. Dog owners should be held financially responsible for the injuries, damages and losses suffered by these injured victims. Injured victims can seek compensation in dog bite cases for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation, cost of surgeries, permanent injuries, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Very often, the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy covers dog bites and dog attacks, and most policies provide coverage of between $100,000 and $300,000, and many times dog owners have additional coverage for up to several million dollars.
Kuzyk Law’s dog bite attorneys can help!
Schedule A Free Consultation Today!
Contact Kuzyk Law to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. We will advise you on the best path forward. Nothing can reduce the traumatic impact a dog bite has on your life, but getting a fair settlement can help you live your life as normally as possible.