Dog Bite FAQ

What is a dog bite?

A dog bite is an incident where a dog inflicts an injury to a person, deliberately or otherwise.  Out of a concern for the possible spread of disease, animal control and public health departments consider any incident in which a dog’s tooth or nail breaks a person’s skin, regardless of the circumstances and without any characterization of the dog’s intention, to be an animal exposure that merits notice.

What should I do if I have been bitten by a dog?

If you or a loved one has been bit by a dog you should seek medical attention immediately.  Document all injuries to the extent possible, via photographs, journals, and the preservation of medical records.  Make sure you also speak with a California dog bite and personal injury attorney at the Liljegren Law Group as soon as possible to have your case evaluated and set forth a plan to move forward.

Who should I contact regarding the dog bite incident?

You should contact the Animal Control as well as the local police department.

What are the most common types of dog bite injuries?

Dog bites are associated with many different types of injuries.  Bites to the face, eye, and nose are common.  Some eye injuries are severe enough to cause vision loss. Finger injuries as well as neck injuries are also common.  Dog bites cause puncture wounds, abrasions, and lacerations. Broken bones and fractures also occur especially when larger dogs are involved. Infection is a serious problem.

Do state or local laws cover dog bites?

Both.  In addition to the state laws, local communities often have animal laws covering bites, leash laws and vaccinations.  Some local laws may ban ownership of a certain breed altogether.

What does strict liability mean?

Under California dog bite law, a dog that bites is the absolute responsibility of its owner.  This concept is called strict liability under dog bite law in California.

What is the average settlement for a dog bite case?

It’s impossible to state an average settlement for dog bite injuries.  Damages in a dog bite case include:

  • Medical bills
  • Wage loss
  • Pain and sufferring
  • Future plastic surgery costs
  • Psychological counseling

How many dog bites occur in the United States on an average per year?

Approximately, 5 million, according to CDC figures.  Of these, nearly 800,000 on average, result in minor injuries or worse.

Is it true that dogs that have not been neutered are more dangerous than dogs that have been?

Yes. According to statistics, a non-spayed or non-neutered dog is 300% more likely to bite than a spade or neutered animal.

Have certain dogs actually been outlawed due to their aggressive behavior?

Yes. Due to their aggressive tendencies, Rottweilers, Pit Bulls, and other aggressive breeds have been banned in some communities. Dog owners who insist on keeping banned dogs can be subject to fines.

Does insurance cover dog bites and dog attacks?

The answer to that question can be complicated. If the dog owner has homeowners insurance coverage, than often insurance will cover the injuries caused by the dog.  Renter’s insurance may also provide coverage.  There is no universal rule; however, our experienced California dog bite lawyers will fully investigate all potential sources of insurance coverage.

If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, the owner and any additional responsible party should be held accountable.  In California, an owner of a dog is responsible to pay compensation to a dog bite victim even if the dog was not previously considered dangerous.  Contact a California dog bite lawyer at the Liljegren law Group today about a California dog bite lawsuit.  Call us at 866-613-9906 for a free consultation.

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