Have you been bitten by a dog? Dog bites happen every day, and it is estimated that about 1 in 69 people have experienced a dog bite or attack. However, that does not stop many Californian homeowners from owning at least one dog. Unfortunately, some dog bites require medical attention or emotional distress. In this case, working with Los Angeles dog bite lawyers can be beneficial as you pursue compensation and manage your claim.
Keep in mind, getting bitten by a dog is more common than ever. In fact, 2019 set a record high for California dog attacks, and many resulted in fatalities. Specifically, there were at least 48 deaths from dog attacks. Even if your family does not own a dog, nobody is safe. Dog bites can happen in your home, while walking on the street, in a park, at a friend’s house, and in virtually any public space. Even with more attention being placed on the rising severity of dog attacks and the widespread accounts of dog bites, little is being done to reduce the number of dog bite victims.
Dog Bite Injuries and Complications
Dog bite injuries often involve puncture wounds when the dog’s teeth break the skin. However, the force of a dog’s bite and the use of their paws can lead to other types of injuries. For example, scratches are extremely common during dog attacks and may carry a higher risk of infection than bites.
Dog bite injuries are especially prone to bacteria-related complications that can affect the victim’s muscles, nerve tissue, and skin. Scratches can also become infected, leading to a more serious medical concern than the initial bite. Left untreated, infections can even progress into life-threatening sepsis.
Beyond the risks posed by puncture wounds and scratches, the force of the bite itself may result in broken bones and damaged nerves. These injuries often heal but occasionally will remain for the rest of the victim’s life. Because of how long dogs have been domesticated, we often lose sight of how powerful they can be when aggressive or violent. In fact, even dogs that seem completely submissive and good-natured can attack under the right circumstances.
Los Angeles Dog Bite Lawyers
Dog bite lawyers advise victims about ways they can seek compensation for medical expenses and other damages. For instance, if the attack kept you away from work, you may be eligible to recover lost wages. A seasoned attorney can also help you find ways to cover expenses while litigation or insurance claims are pending.
Typically, people contact dog bite attorneys because they want to seek compensation from the responsible party. However, the first task is often finding out who must take responsibility for the dog attack. In California, the dog’s owner has strict liability. That means that they are always responsible for whatever their dog does. Furthermore, there is no ‘one-bite rule’ that allows California dog owners to get away with their dog having even one attack.
However, that does not mean that a victim’s only option is to sue the dog owner. If the dog bite happened on the dog owner’s property, it is sometimes possible to pursue a homeowner’s insurance claim. Additionally, many other details of the incident could change how the victim’s lawsuit or insurance claim should be handled.
Dog bite victims should also consider what damages they will need to include when they seek compensation. Often, attorneys will help victims assess what does and does not qualify as part of their damages. Medical bills are typically the top priority, but there are times when the victim may need compensation for other losses. Lost wages are a common request. Sometimes, the victim can get compensation for pain and suffering, especially if there were disfiguring or catastrophic injuries. These are all possibilities, and it is best to discuss your options with a qualified attorney.
Los Angeles Animal Control Policies
Los Angeles dog bite lawyers often ask what the government can do to reduce the number of dog attack victims. However, most regulations only address what happens after a bite has occurred. The Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control Department has policies and procedures to follow after a dog bite is reported. Both the State of California and Los Angeles County requires that any animal which bites a human be quarantined for ten days.
Of course, the primary concern of this policy is rabies. Rabies is one of the more serious risks of being bitten by a dog. One of the most common questions that attorneys get asked is whether the dog will be euthanized after attacking or biting someone. Typically, this is only an immediate response if the dog has rabies.
Other situations could call for euthanasia, however. Those include when the dog has attacked two or more people or if it was raised to attack or fight. Otherwise, the dog owner may face a hearing at the county level where the dog’s fate is decided.
Los Angeles Dog Bite Lawyers Help Victims Manage Their Recovery
Healing from a dog bite can take as little as a couple of days or require several months. It depends on a number of factors, such as the severity of the bite, how quickly you receive treatment, and how well the wound was maintained at home. Those recovering from a more severe dog bite might need to undergo occupational therapy, rehabilitation, or even cosmetic surgery to correct tissue damage.
As the victim of a dog bite attack, you deserve the opportunity to recover the cost of your medical bills and any associated damages. You might be able to handle the claim independently if you are familiar with the process. On the other hand, if you are considering legal action, then you might need support from an attorney. Attorneys will support you in collecting evidence, helping you understand the situation, and performing negotiations. This means that Los Angeles dog bite lawyers do more than just filing the right paperwork to get your claim or case moving in the right direction.