Suffer Injuries from a Dog Bite?
Under specific circumstances, even dogs that are well-behaved, lovable, and well-trained can display aggression and bite. Dog bites have the potential to cause significant physical and emotional harm. It may surprise you to learn that the likelihood of being bitten by a dog is higher than anticipated.
In fact, in 2019, California had the highest number of dog bite fatalities in the United States, with 48 reported cases. If you have been bitten by a dog, follow a few essential medical and legal steps, such as consulting a personal injury attorney in Thousand Oaks.
California Dog Bites Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations for dog bite cases is a key consideration to keep in mind. It varies by state. In California, you have 2 years from the date of the bite in most situations.
Liabilities in Dog Bite Cases
California Civil Code §3342 governs owners’ liability in dog bite cases. The dog’s owner is responsible for the injuries the dog causes either in a public or private place, or your presence was lawful. In other words, trespassers have limited options for compensation or may not be entitled to compensation. A personal injury lawyer can clarify the particulars.
What To Do if You Suffer Injuries from a Dog Bite
Dog bites can cause serious injuries, both physical and emotional, and can leave victims with long-lasting trauma. If you suffer injuries from a dog bite, you should take the following steps, including seeking medical attention, reporting the incident, and potentially pursuing legal action.
Seek Medical Attention
After being bitten, it is crucial to stay composed as much as possible. Although it is easy to become anxious or frightened, seeking medical assistance should be the first priority.
Get medical assistance as soon as possible. Even seemingly minor dog bite injuries can become serious, especially without proper treatment. It is critical to take dog bites seriously since dogs usually attack with their teeth and target people’s faces, heads, hands, arms, and legs.
Injuries, particularly to the face, are common and can be permanent. The potential complications of a dog bite include infections and diseases.
People can experience:
- Nerve damage
- Lacerations and cuts
- Crush injuries
- Loss of eyes
- Muscle sprains
- Puncture wounds
- Rabies, Pasteurella, MRSA, and other diseases
Severe emotional damage is possible, as is death. The mental and physical trauma can be lifelong. While physical effects such as scars and amputations are more evident, mental scars can be just as debilitating.
Document Your Injuries
Take pictures of your dog attack injuries as soon as you can after the incident. They can come in useful down the road if you pursue legal action. A clear chain of events is important, so document doctor visits, prescriptions, and any therapy you get.
If possible, gather as much information as you can about the dog and its owner. Get details such as:
- The dog’s breed and vaccination history
- The owner’s name and contact information
- The contact information of any witnesses
This information may be necessary if you end up seeking the counsel of a Thousand Oaks personal injury lawyer.
Report the Bite
Inform your area animal control agency or police department about the bite. The dog will likely be quarantined and monitored for signs of rabies or other diseases. Reporting dog attack injuries also helps with the paper trail in case you need compensation.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer in Thousand Oaks
You may be entitled to personal injury compensation for medical bills, psychological injuries, and other trauma after a dog bite. Talk to a lawyer as soon as possible to learn about your options and legal rights.
Dog bite lawyers recommend that dog bite victims should also avoid signing anything without having a lawyer review it. A settlement offer may be too low or unfair.
For you to recover compensation, you do not have to show that the owner acted negligently. California is a strict liability state, and you could get compensated even if the dog never showed prior acts of aggression.
Recovering from a dog bite may take weeks, months, years, or even a lifetime. Dog bites may be expensive and traumatic for victims. To find out more about your compensation options, contact Mark S. Glazer, APC, and have a personal injury attorney in Thousand Oaks help you in your case.