SAN DIEGO DOG BITE ATTORNEY
Dog bites and attacks are common in the United States. An estimated 4.7 million Americans are attacked and bitten by dogs each year. At least 61 percent of dog attacks occur in the owner’s home or immediate neighborhood. However, regardless of where they happen, dog bites or attacks can significantly impact a victim’s life.
Dog attacks can result in serious injury, illness, and even death. In addition to exposure to rabies, a dog bite can quickly become infected and result in endocarditis, meningitis, and septic shock.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury due to a dog bite or dog attack, you should immediately contact an experienced San Diego dog bite attorney. The compassionate team of personal injury law experts at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas and Associates can help you get the compensation you deserve. With multiple offices located in San Diego, Irvine, Anaheim, Riverside, Los Angeles and El Segundo, our personal injury lawyers represent dog bite victims across Southern California. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with a San Diego dog bite lawyer, please call 949-873-0755.
California Dog Bite Laws
According to California Civil Code Section 3342, otherwise known as California’s Dog Bite Statute, a dog owner is strictly liable for any injuries that their dog causes. Even if the dog has never shown any previous sign of aggressive behavior, the owner can still be held legally liable for injuries caused by the dog attack. The only exemption to California’s strict liability dog attack statute is if the victim in some way provoked the animal.
As a result, a San Diego dog owner whose dog has attacked or bit a person may be responsible for compensating the victim or their family for:
- Past and future medical bills
- Loss of wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional and mental trauma
- Wrongful death
What to do After Being Bitten by a Dog
When someone has been the victim of a dog attack or has suffered a dog bite, specific actions must be taken to ensure that they are appropriately compensated for their personal injury.
The team of personal injury experts at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas has outlined the essential steps you need to take following an injury from a dog bite or dog attack.
These steps are as follows:
- Identify the dog that bit you. Whenever possible, you must identify the dog’s owner and get their personal information, including their name, address, and telephone number. If possible, take photographs of the dog that attacked you or make a mental note of the dog’s description as best you can.
- Collect information from witnesses. If you have been attacked or bitten by a dog in San Diego, be sure to collect the name, address, and telephone number of anyone who witnessed the incident. Witness statements and testimony are crucial to being awarded proper compensation in a California dog bite liability claim.
- File an incident report with the proper authorities. Contact San Diego Animal Services or local law enforcement and file an incident report.
- Take photographs of your dog attack injuries. As with any personal injury claim, photographs of your initial injuries and any lasting effects will be crucial for proper documentation of the dog attack.
- Seek immediate medical attention. Anyone injured due to a dog bite or dog attack must immediately seek medical treatment, no matter how insignificant the injury may seem. Often, vaccinations are required after a dog bite to minimize disease risk. Be sure to document your injury, your treatment, and any associated medical bills.
Contact an experienced San Diego Dog Bite Attorney
Perhaps the most critical step is to consult with an experienced San Diego dog bite lawyer immediately. Generally, victims of serious personal injuries, including dog bites, have just two years from the date of the attack to file a claim. For a free consultation, please call us at 949-873-0755.
Where Can I Report a Dog Bite in San Diego?
When filing a report about a San Diego dog bite or dog attack, you should immediately contact animal services.
The phone number for San Diego Animal Services is 619-767-2675. You’ll want to have the dog owner’s contact information on hand, as well as a description of the animal that bit you. If you have photos of the animal, that would be helpful. This information will be crucial if the authorities need to locate or identify the dog’s owner. Be sure to ask the representative from animal services who takes down the information for the report number.
Once a report has been filed, animal control will go to the address of the dog owner. If that address is unavailable, an animal control officer visits the scene of the incident and attempts to find the animal. Be aware that San Diego Animal Services is a busy government agency, and the investigation into your case may take some time. At any time, you can request the records related to your complaint and the subsequent investigation using the report number provided to you when you first filed your dog bite complaint.
In addition to the fact that a dog owner is strictly liable when their dog attacks or bites, according to California Civil Code Section 3342, there are other essential facts that every San Diego dog bite victim should be aware of:
- Both the victim and the dog’s owner are required to report such incidents, as outlined above, according to San Diego’s County Code. Specifically, section 62.615.
- A dog owner that fails to report the dog bite may face misdemeanor charges.
- A dog owner must provide the victim with their contact information as well as information about their dog, according to California Penal Code 398.
- California Food And Agricultural Code, Section 31602, defines “potentially dangerous dogs.”
- California Food And Agricultural Code, Section 31603, defines “vicious dogs.”
Can You Sue for a Minor Dog Bite in California?
Because of California’s strict liability dog bite law, a pet owner will be liable for even the most minor dog bite, and victims have the right to file a personal injury claim.
Minor bites associated with dog attacks can often result in delayed psychological trauma, pain, or suffering. Victims of dog bites, particularly children, are often diagnosed with PTSD. Minor dog bites can still result in costly ER and medical visits. Bringing a dog bite lawsuit against a dog owner is the best way to ensure that you are compensated for any losses associated with a San Diego dog attack.
How to File a San Diego Dog Bite Lawsuit
San Diego dog owners have a legal responsibility to ensure that their dog does not pose a threat or harm to the public. Unfortunately, not all dog owners adhere to California’s clear dog bite laws and statutes.
Thankfully, the expert dog attack attorneys at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas have successfully handled countless cases protecting the rights of innocent dog bite victims like you and have helped them receive the personal injury compensation they deserved.
If you have questions about how to file a claim against the owner of a dog that attacked and injured you or a loved one, contact us today for a complimentary consultation with one of our expert San Diego dog bite lawyers. Don’t wait, please call 949-873-0755.
Attacked or bitten by a dog? Contact a top-rated San Diego Dog Bite Lawyer today!
Regardless of whether you suffered a knockdown, a minor bite or some type of more severe dog attack, the dog’s owner is liable in California. You may be eligible for compensation for your injuries, pain, and suffering caused by the attack. The Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates can help you, and your loved ones put your life back in order following a traumatic incident such as a dog bite or a dog attack.
With multiple offices located in San Diego, Irvine, Anaheim, Riverside, Los Angeles and El Segundo, our dog bite attorneys represent victims of animal attacks across Southern California. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation, please call 949-873-0755.