Dog Bite Lawyers Serving Santa Barbara
A dog bite or dog attack is typically a scary, traumatic scenario that can lead to thousands of dollars in hospital bills. If you suffered injuries in a dog attack, how are you expected to pay for these unexpected expenses?
Luckily, California allows victims of dog bites to recover damages from the owner of the dog who attacked them in certain situations. You do not need to face the complexities of a dog bite lawsuit on your own. Contact the Santa Barbara dog bite attorneys at Frederick Law Firm today.
Animal Attack Statistics in California
It is nearly impossible to take a leisurely walk in fair weather without encountering a person walking their dog. Dogs provide companionship, comfort, love, entertainment, and in some cases, services to people all over California. Despite the often cute and welcoming appearance of most dogs, it is important to remember that dogs can inflict serious injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly one in five people who suffer a dog bite require medical attention. The most common victims of dog attacks are children, who also typically suffer the most severe injuries. In 2019, the United States recorded 48 dog-bite-related fatalities. California led all states with nine dog-bite-related fatalities.
Between 2005 and 2017, the United States recorded a total of 433 dog attack fatalities. Pit bulls contributed to approximately 66% of those deaths. The rottweiler was the second most lethal dog breed in the United States over the twelve-year period.
Are Owners Liable For Injuries Caused By Their Dogs?
California is a strict liability state. This means that California law authorizes victims of dog attacks to recover damages from the dog’s owner for any injuries caused by the dog. In some states, a dog owner is liable only if the dog has shown signs of aggression in the past. In California, an owner is strictly liable for the injuries caused by their dog, even if there are no previous incidents.
You must prove two elements to succeed in a California dog bite claim. First, the victim must have been on public property or invited to enter private property. This means that a trespasser generally cannot recover compensation from a dog owner if they are injured.
Second, the victim cannot provoke or antagonize a dog into attacking them. If a dog retaliates to harassment or provocation, the dog owner is probably not responsible for any injuries that result.
What Do I Do After a Dog Bite Accident?
The moments after a dog attack are often confusing and overwhelming but crucial to your personal injury lawsuit. Here are some steps you can take to preserve information about the incident and help prove your case.
Seek Medical Attention
Dog bites, no matter the severity, can get infected if left untreated. Depending on the size of the bite, you may need to go to the emergency room immediately. Insignificant dog bites can be rinsed with soap and water to clean the injury.
Document Relevant Evidence
While you might think the dog attack will stay in your head forever, the details may start to fade almost immediately. Take photographs of the injuries caused by the dog as soon as possible following the attack to document the wounds and circumstances surrounding the attack.
Report the Bite
Next, you should report the dog bite to your local health department, animal control, and police department.
The health department will determine if you need additional treatment for your injuries from the dog attack. For example, you may need a rabies booster shot. Under California law, dogs who bite someone must be quarantined. The police department will complete a report that includes important information about the incident.
Contact a Dog Bite Attorney in Santa Barbara
Our attorneys will assist in gathering the evidence for your claim, including any official reports, witness statements, and photographs. We will properly investigate your claim so you can focus on healing from your injuries. Our dog bite attorneys in Santa Barbara can ensure that you receive compensation not only for your temporary injuries but also for any future issues that may arise because of the dog attack.
What Kind of Injuries Happen in Dog Bite Cases?
Dog attack injuries can range from minor cuts and bruises to significant gashes and gaping puncture wounds. Some of the most common injuries seen in dog bite cases include:
- Facial injuries,
- Vision loss,
- Broken bones, and
- Emotional trauma.
In addition to these potential injuries, dog bites pose a heightened risk of infection because of the bacteria in a canine’s mouth. Even if your physical injuries are minor, you may have psychological damage due to the dog attack. A Santa Barbara dog bite attorney will connect you with the resources you need to determine the extent of your injuries.
How Can a Santa Barbara Animal Attack Lawyer Help My Case?
A Santa Barbara dog bite attorney can guide you through the lawsuit process and ease the burden on you. We can help you gather evidence demonstrating the dog owner’s fault, obtain official reports about your incident, and locate any potential eyewitnesses. Our team will handle the details of your lawsuit while you worry about healing from your injuries.
We can also negotiate with opposing counsel and the dog owner’s insurance company to ensure you receive a settlement that compensates you for all your losses. If they fail to offer a fair settlement, we will not hesitate to take your case to trial if they fail to offer a fair settlement.
Our founding attorney Jacqueline Vitti Frederick has over 40 years of experience advocating for injured victims, including those suffering from dog attacks. Our team will take the time to review the facts of your dog bite claim and prepare a personalized strategy to recover the maximum compensation possible. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in an animal attack, reach out to an attorney at Frederick Law Firm today.