Being bitten by a dog is one of the most frightening experiences you or a loved one can endure. You could be enjoying a day at the beach in Oxnard or visiting a friend’s home when suddenly, the unthinkable happens and a dog attacks you. Whether you know the dog’s owner or not, the physical and mental injuries you endure can be significant. If the victim is a child, their odds of suffering a catastrophic injury or being killed are even greater.
A dog bite can leave you unable to work and in need of costly medical care. Because of the traumatic nature of this injury, it can also impact you emotionally. Victims, especially children are often scared to resume activities that they enjoyed before they were attacked. The Dominguez Firm has over 30 years of experience handling dog bite cases in Oxnard. Our personal injury attorneys will fight hard for the maximum compensation you’re entitled to for your dog bite injuries. To find out how we can help, call us at 800-818-1818 for a free consultation.
What Should I Do if a Dog Bites Me?
Your top priorities after a dog bite are to obtain medical attention and verify the vaccination record of the dog that attacked you. You’ll also want to hire a personal injury attorney to handle your Oxnard dog bite injury claim.
- Seek medical attention if you or a loved one were bitten by a dog. If you suffered a serious attack, call 911 or have someone do it for you. The police can gather the necessary information from the dog’s owner while you receive emergency medical treatment.
- If you are able to do so, exchange information with the owner of the dog. Ask for their name, address, email address, and phone number. Ask for the name and address of their veterinarian also. You’ll need all of this to check the dog’s vaccination history.
- See if there were any witnesses to the attack and get their contact information.
- Report the attack to animal control.
- Seek legal representation as quickly as you can.
What Are the Most Common Dog Bite Injuries?
Most dog bites break the skin. This makes victims susceptible to infections or rabies, which requires a series of shots if detected. You may be surprised to learn that there is still no cure for rabies if left untreated. That’s why it’s so important to seek medical attention right away.
Because of their size, small children often suffer serious injuries to the head, neck, and face. Dog bites on older children are usually in the arms or legs.
Other common dog bite injuries to children and adults are:
- Broken bones
- Eye injuries
- Bite wounds
- Nerve damage
Besides the obvious physical injuries, an attack of this nature can leave the victim with a major fear of dogs. This can impact their ability to do something as simple as going to a park. This will require extensive mental health therapy to manage. Also, any disfigurement or scarring may require one or multiple plastic surgery procedures.
What Can I Do to Strengthen My Oxnard Dog Bite Injury Claim?
Once you’ve had your Oxnard dog bite treated and obtained the dog owner’s information it’s important you do the following to strengthen your claim:
Don’t apologize or discuss the dog attack with the owner
As with other types of accidents, apologizing can be seen as an admission of guilt. Don’t do it or go into the details of why the dog bit you. The only thing you should do is politely ask for the owner’s contact information.
Seek legal advice and representation right away
Just as you wouldn’t delay treatment for your dog bite, don’t delay hiring a personal injury attorney. That gives your lawyer a chance to start working on your case right away. If you wait, vital evidence can easily be lost and you could lose touch with witnesses. Plus, defense attorneys will question the extent of your injuries. They may even try to prove their client’s dog didn’t cause your injuries, all because you waited to start the process.
Don’t talk to any insurance company representatives
Whether the person contacting you is an agent or adjuster; you are under no legal obligation to speak to them. Some unethical employees will tell you they need a recorded statement from you. That isn’t true. Whatever reason they give for contacting you, only tell them to speak to your attorney.
Stay off social media during your case
It may be tempting to snap photos of your injuries and post them on social media sites. Or maybe your family had a barbeque to cheer you up and you want to share. Please don’t do it. In spite of your privacy settings, family and friends may not be the only ones who can see your posts. Insurance companies and their defense attorneys can and will do everything they can to access your social media in an effort to weaken your case. Don’t give them any ammunition.
Keep all medical appointments and follow doctor’s orders
Not only will this help your recovery; it also strengthens your Oxnard dog bite case. If there are gaps in your medical care, defense attorneys will try to show your dog bite injuries aren’t as serious as you claim.
Do I Need a Lawyer for My Oxnard Dog Bite Claim?
Dog bites with serious injuries or death should be handled by an experienced personal injury law firm. Despite what insurance companies want you to believe, they are not looking to offer big settlements, regardless of the extent of your injuries or loss. If you deal with them directly, that’s what they’ll do.
Unless you have experience negotiating settlement offers, you could easily be short-changed. Given the high cost of medical care, that can easily happen. Also, once you accept an offer, you can’t go back and ask for more if you run out of money during your recovery.
Instead, let the experienced Oxnard dog bite lawyers at The Dominguez Firm handle your case. We have recovered over $1 billion* for deserving clients over our 30-plus year history. Let us put our winning record to work for you too.
What Compensation Could I Be Entitled to For My Oxnard Dog Bite Claim?
Legally speaking, the compensation you could be entitled to is called damages. Your Oxnard dog bite claim falls under personal injury law, so it would be considered a civil lawsuit. If the dog’s owner is found to be at fault for your injuries, he or she would not face prison time. Instead, they would be subjected to financial penalties in the form of damages.
One sidebar; if the dog’s owner acted in an unlawful manner, they could also face criminal charges. A prime example would be ordering the dog to attack you. If this were to happen, the owner would have to contend with two cases, one in civil court and another one in criminal court. Note that the outcome of the criminal case has no bearing on the civil case. So if the owner was found not guilty in criminal court, you could still sue them in civil court.
These damages are broken down into two categories, economic and non-economic. Economic damages are meant to compensate you for the expenses you had and are having due to your Oxnard dog bite injuries. These are calculated based on the following expenses:
- All medical bills related to your dog bite injuries, such as
- Ambulance fee
- Medical treatments
- Visits with specialists
- All surgeries, including plastic surgeries
- Physical therapy
- Mental health counseling
- Lost income now and in the future
You would also be entitled to non-economic damages. These are the emotional costs your dog bite injuries have had on you. While these can’t be easily added up from a stack of bills, they tend to make up the largest part of a dog bite victim’s damages.
Common dog bite injury non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
California law holds dog owners strictly liable, that is, legally responsible for a dog bite, regardless of whether the dog ever showed any aggression in the past. And unlike other states, dog owners in California don’t get a pass for a first dog bite.
If you’ve lost a loved one because of an attack by a dog, you can file a wrongful death claim if you’re the legal next of kin. At The Dominguez Firm we know that no amount of money can make up for the loss of your family member, but obtaining justice and financial peace of mind can bring emotional closure at a very difficult time.
Call the Dog Bite Injury Lawyers at The Dominguez Firm
If you or a loved one suffered a dog bite in Oxnard, Camarillo, or any other part of Ventura County, call the personal injury attorneys at The Dominguez Firm right away for a free consultation at 800-818-1818. We work on a contingency basis which means you don’t have to worry about any out-of-pocket or upfront legal fees. Instead, we receive a percentage of your final verdict or settlement amount. You have so much to gain and nothing to lose from hiring us, so call us today!
My experience was good. They made sure to kept me in the loop and made sure to let me know what was going on the whole time. My mom has used other attorneys and this experience was beyond better. I would definitely recommend them!
— Ashley Magana
The attorneys were always available and answered my questions. I would recommend them to anyone. Zoe is the best!
— Janet Salazar
My experience with The Dominguez Firm and the attorneys was really good. They were very informative and always returned my calls.
— Jocelyn Gonzalez