Experienced San Diego Lawyer Handling Dog Attack Cases
Dealing with the consequences of an attack by a dog or any domesticated animal is traumatic and often preventable. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), dog attacks injure around 4.5 million Americans each year, with children making up more than half of those injured. California also led the nation in the number of dog bites that result in fatalities in 2013. Dog bite lawyer Frederick M. Dudek in San Diego provides this basic information about dog bite law as a resource for you.
We provide free attorney advice for injury claims and legal services on a contingency fee basis. Contingent means that our clients can pursue the compensation needed for their medical costs and other damages related to the attack without taking any financial risks. Frederick only receives payment if he is successful in recovering money for your claim. You can call us now at (858)530-4800.
What to Do After a Dog Attack
- Get the appropriate medical care. Animal bites can cause extensive damage to skin, nerves and other parts of the body. Severe attacks may require multiple surgeries and procedures.
- Photograph the injuries. As the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Take photographs early and often, not only to document your injuries and treatment, but also to prove the severity of your injuries, if it is necessary.
- Contact the government agency responsible for human and pet safety. The County of San Diego’s Department of Animal Services has the capability to take the appropriate actions to prevent further injury. You can visit the website here.
- Report your injuries promptly to insurance carriers. Homeowners, and some renters, insurance carriers will cover medical bills and other costs related to dog attacks.
- Talk with an attorney before agreeing to or signing anything. It is crucial to discuss your rights with an attorney who handles dog bites in and around San Diego before speaking with the insurance company. The carrier for the dog owner is not required to treat you fairly. It may pressure you into making important decisions before you get legal advice.
Some insurance companies routinely ask injured people to give them unlimited access to private medical and employment records. Until you get advice from a lawyer, do NOT:
- Release your private records
- Sign anything
- Give a statement
- Make any decisions about whether you will or will not bring a claim
Dealing with the insurance companies after an attack can be difficult. However, our attorney has the experience needed to navigate the insurance industry on your behalf. He can then seek the compensation you and your family need to begin the recovery process. For serious injuries, ask a trusted relative or friend to contact a San Diego dog bite attorney immediately.
What is the Dog Bite Law in California?
Many people mistakenly believe dog owners are liable for the actions of their dogs only if the dog previously bit or attacked someone. This is commonly known as the one free bite rule.
On the contrary, dog bite law under California Civil Code Section 3342(a) makes the owner of a dog strictly liable for damages suffered by a person bitten by that dog in a public place or lawfully in a private place. There is no requirement that an owner knew or should have known his or her dog might hurt someone. Therefore, if a dog hurts you, you normally have the right to recover for your injuries, even if it was the dog’s first bite.
Five Common Myths About Dog Attacks
Only a couple breeds of dog will attack me.
Many communities have breed-specific legislation (BSL) that bans “dangerous” breeds, such as Pit Bulls, Rottweilers and German Shepherds. However, the CDC found that more than 25 different dog breeds caused fatal dog attacks. All dogs have the capacity to bite you, regardless of their breed or temperament.
I can avoid an attack if the dog is restrained.
According to the CDC, chained dogs are 2.8 times more likely to attack than unrestrained dogs. Statistics show that one in four fatal dog attacks involve at least one chained dog. Chaining a dog increases aggression by raising a dog’s stress and territorial instincts. Read these tips on how to prevent dog attacks and minimize dog bite injuries if you find yourself facing a hostile animal.
I only need to be cautious around a dog that is unfamiliar to me.
Most victims report that they knew the dog before the incident occurred. You should always use caution around any animal. This is true even if you know the dog or interacted with it before.
My dog would never attack a child.
Dog attack statistics from the CDC show how more than half of all dog attacks involve children under 12 years old. Children between the ages of 5 to 9 have the highest risk of suffering bites that require urgent care. Parents can decrease the likelihood of an attack on their children by always supervising kids while they are around dogs as well as educating on the proper ways to interact with dogs.
Once an aggressive dog, always an aggressive dog.
Dog owners must take precautions to minimize certain risk factors that could trigger attacks. Neutering or spaying your dog diminishes aggression, especially in males. An unneutered dog is 2.6 times more likely to bite than a neutered dog. Always make sure to restrain your dog properly. This not only protects your dog from cars and other dangers, but this practice also protects your community.
I Need Help After a Dog Bite
With years of experience assisting those injured in the San Diego area, our dog bite attorney will fight to get you injury compensation for your hospitalization costs and future medical care. Additionally, if the owner acted in a particularly egregious way, attorney Duedk may seek punitive damages to discourage this behavior from occurring in the future.
You are entitled to receive legal justice for the emotional and physical damages owed to you by a negligent owner. Begin your journey today by calling (858) 530-4800 to schedule a free attorney consultation. You have no obligation to retain our legal services.