If you’ve been bitten by a dog, you may be wondering what your next step should be. In most cases, it is a good idea to speak with a dog bite lawyer who can help you understand your rights and file a claim right away. The Dominguez Firm has recovered over $1 billion* for clients and has a 96%* success rate.
Our firm has been handling dog bite cases throughout Southern California for over 35 years. In that time we have successfully represented many clients. If you’ve been bitten by a dog, don’t hesitate to call us at (800) 818-1818 for a free consultation.
Can You Sue a Dog Owner for a Dog Bite?
Dogs may be considered “man’s best friend,” but that does not mean they will not bite. Besides being traumatic, dog bites can cause serious injuries, like puncture wounds, lacerations, and infections. If you are a dog bite victim, you may be wondering if you can sue the dog’s owner. The answer to this question is yes; you can sue a dog owner for a dog bite in West Covina.
There are strict liability laws in place in California that hold dog owners liable for their animal’s actions. This means that even if the dog has never shown any signs of aggression before, the owner can still be held liable for any injuries the animal causes. In order to win your case, your dog bite lawyers will need to prove that the dog’s owner knew or should have known that the animal was dangerous.
If you have been bitten by a dog, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact our powerhouse team of dog bite lawyers in West Covina today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.
Five Important Steps to Take After a Dog Bite Occurs
Whether you’re out for a walk or at the park with your children, encountering a dog can be a scary experience – especially if that dog is aggressive. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one in five dog bites are severe enough to require medical attention.
Most dog bites can be prevented by following some simple safety tips, such as not approaching an unknown dog and not leaving young children unsupervised around dogs. But even the most cautious person can find themselves in a situation where they are bitten by a dog. If you or someone you know has been bitten by a dog, it’s important to take action immediately to ensure the best possible outcome.
1. Clean the wound
As soon as possible after being bitten, it’s important to clean the wound with warm water and soap for at least five minutes. This will help remove any dirt or debris that might be on the wound and reduce the risk of infection. You should also apply an antibiotic ointment if one is available.
2. Apply pressure to the wound
If the bleeding is constant and does not appear to be stopping, it’s important to apply direct pressure to the wound using a clean cloth or bandage. Applying pressure will help reduce blood loss and prevent further damage. This leads us to step 3 directly below.
3. Seek medical attention immediately
Some dog bites will require stitches or other medical attention to heal properly. If you are bleeding heavily or the bleeding is constant, seek medical attention right away by going to the nearest emergency room or urgent care center.
4. Report the incident to animal control/law enforcement
All dog bites should be reported – even if they don’t seem serious – so that authorities can assess whether the dog poses a threat to public safety and determine whether any action needs to be taken against the owner. In some cases, you may also need to provide a statement to law enforcement about what happened leading up to the bite and after.
5. Collect information about the dog and its owner/guardian
Get as much information about the dog as possible, including its name, breed, color, size, and any identifying marks it might have (e.g., collar). Also get the name, address, phone number, and insurance information for its owner or guardian so that you can follow up if necessary (e.g., if you need medical treatment).
How much is your dog bite case worth?
There are several factors that will affect how much your dog bite case is worth. Some of these include:
- The severity of your injuries: If you have permanent damage or disfigurement, your case will be worth more than if you only suffered minor scrapes and bruises.
- The amount of medical bills you have incurred: If you have racked up hospital bills and extensive rehabilitation costs, this will also add to the value of your claim.
- Lost wages: If you had to miss work because of your injuries, you can recover those lost wages as part of your claim.
- Pain and suffering: This non-economic damages can also be included in your claim. Since there is no cap on what can be awarded for pain and suffering in California, it usually makes up the largest part of a dog bite victim’s compensation.
An experienced dog bite lawyer in West Covina will know how to properly value all of these damages to ensure you get the maximum compensation for your dog bite injuries.
What if the dog’s owner refuses to pay?
If the dog’s owner refuses to pay or does not have insurance, you may still be able to recover compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. In these cases, it is even more important to have an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side who knows how to navigate the legal system and build a strong case.
What Types of Damages Are Available to Dog Bite Victims in West Covina?
One of the most common damages awarded to dog bite victims is medical expenses. This includes any costs associated with treatment for the injury, including emergency room bills, hospitalization, surgical procedures, rehabilitative care and mental health counseling. In some cases, future medical expenses may also be recovered if the victim is left with permanent injuries.
Pain and Suffering
West Covina dog bite victims may also receive compensation for pain and suffering. This is considered non-economic damages and compensates victims for the physical pain and emotional distress caused by the injury. In order to recover damages for pain and suffering victims must generally show that their dog bite injuries have caused them great emotional harm.
Loss of Earnings
In some cases, dog attack victims may also be able to recover lost earnings. This includes any wages or income lost due to time missed from work due to the injury. In order to recover lost earnings, victims must generally show that they were unable to work as a result of their injuries.
In some cases, punitive damages may also be available. Punitive damages are intended to punish the wrongdoer for particularly egregious conduct and are not available in all cases. To recover punitive damages, victims must generally show that the defendant acted with malice, fraud, or oppression.
How dog bite lawyers can help your case
If you have been bitten by a dog, it is important to seek legal help. An experienced dog bite lawyer can help you understand your rights and file a claim. The Dominguez Firm has successfully recovered over $1 billion* for clients injured in all types of accidents and has a 96%* success rate. Contact us today for a free consultation at (800) 818-1818.