205 S. Broadway, STE 708
Los Angeles, CA 90012

San Diego Dog Bite Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one suffered injuries from another person’s dog, a San Diego dog bite injury attorney from Broadway Law can help you obtain the maximum compensation for your injuries. You can visit our offices at 845 15th St #413, San Diego, CA 92101. You can also call us at (888) 824-1025 to make a free consultation.

To succeed, dog bite injury claims require proof that the owner didn’t fulfill his or her duty of ensuring that their dogs wouldn’t harm others. For that matter, the help and guidance of a seasoned dog bite injury lawyer is fundamental.

Why Should I Hire a San Diego Dog Bite Injury Attorney from Broadway Law?

Getting hurt by a dog is a scary experience. The last thing you might be thinking about is money. But medical bills, including emergency care, stitches, surgery, medicine, and more, can quickly add up. Serious injuries like scarring, muscle damage, torn ligaments, and infections may require ongoing treatment and multiple surgeries. If you can’t work because of your injuries, the financial strain can be even worse.

We have experience handling dog bite and animal attack cases. We can work with the dog owner and their insurance company to get you the compensation you deserve. This includes coverage for your medical bills, future medical needs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any other losses related to the attack.

We offer a free consultation so you can share your story and explore your options with no obligation. Broadway Law also offers 24/7 help; we always pick up the phone for you. We understand that you’re going through a painful, complicated process. We provide humane, like-family treatment combined with efficient, result-driven legal services.

Who’s Liable For a Dog Bite Injury in California?

California law holds dog owners fully responsible (liable) for any injuries caused by their pet biting someone, regardless of the dog’s past behavior.

Here’s what needs to happen for this law to apply:

  • The person must own the dog.
  • The person who got hurt (victim) must have been bitten in a public place or while they were legally allowed to be on private property.
  • The victim must have been injured because of the dog bite.

Being legally allowed on private property includes being a guest, delivery person, or someone with a legitimate reason to be there, like a police officer or repair worker. The bite doesn’t have to break the skin to qualify under this law. However, the dog owner is not responsible under this law if:

  • The person who got hurt provoked the dog.
  • The person who got hurt was trespassing on private property.
  • The dog was being used for police or military work by the government.

Potentially Responsible Parties

People Watching the Dog

If someone else was walking or caring for the dog when the attack happened, they might be responsible for damages. However, unlike the dog owner, they wouldn’t be automatically liable. They would only be on the hook if they knew the dog was dangerous before the attack. This is similar to the idea of a “one-free-bite” rule. Additionally, they could be responsible for not keeping the dog under proper control.

Property Owners

If you live somewhere with a dog, the owner of the property (like a landlord) generally isn’t liable unless they knew the dog was dangerous and had the authority to remove it. However, if the dog escapes due to a broken fence or other property issue, the landlord might be responsible for injuries it causes.

Landlords of Businesses

Landlords who rent out commercial space have a stricter duty to check for dangers on the property, including aggressive dogs. So, if a customer gets bitten by a tenant’s dog at a business, the landlord might be liable for not taking action.

Other Possible Parties

Depending on the situation, other parties could also be involved in a dog attack lawsuit. This might include homeowner associations or daycare centers.

What’s the “One Bite Rule” and Why It Doesn’t Apply in San Diego, CA?

Forget the idea that a dog gets a “free pass” for its first bite – that doesn’t apply in California. In some places, owners aren’t held responsible if their dog bites someone for the first time, but California holds them accountable from the very first incident. A dog’s history doesn’t matter here – owners are on the hook for any bites their pet inflicts.

While other states might let dog owners off the hook if their furry friend seems harmless, California law protects victims. You can seek compensation for a dog bite here, even if the dog wasn’t previously considered dangerous or aggressive

Negligence Claims

If you’re bitten by a dog, you might be able to sue the owner for not being careful enough. This is called negligence. To win the case, you’d have to show that the owner acted unreasonably and that this led to your injuries.

For example, imagine someone working at a petting zoo is supposed to watch the sheep. But they get sidetracked and leave the gate open. If a sheep gets out and knocks over a child, the petting zoo could be responsible for the child’s injuries because the worker wasn’t careful.

What to do After a Dog Attack

The most important thing after being bitten by a dog is your health. If it’s serious, head to the emergency room or call an ambulance. Once you’re safe and getting medical care, it’s time to gather evidence:

  • Seek Medical Attention Right Away: This might mean a trip to the ER or calling for an ambulance, depending on the severity of the bite.
  • Identify Everyone Involved: Find out who owns the dog (you’ll need this information later) and get contact details of any witnesses who saw the attack.
  • Document Everything with Photos: If you can, take pictures of your wounds before they’re treated. These can be crucial evidence.
  • Report the Bite: Depending on your location, file a report with animal control or the police department.
  • Get the Owner’s Insurance Details: If you can talk to the owner, try to get their insurance information (if they have any) as this might be used for compensation.
  • Talk to a Lawyer: Contact a San Diego dog bite injury attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you do this, the better chance you have of collecting strong evidence and building a solid case.

What Are the Most Common Dog Bite Injuries?

Dog attacks can leave lasting wounds that require extensive medical attention to heal. These injuries can seriously affect a victim’s ability to live a normal life. Here’s a breakdown of some common dog bite injuries:

  • Facial injuries: Bites to the face are frequent and often severe, sometimes needing reconstructive surgery to repair the damage.
  • Cuts and gashes: If a dog’s bite tears or slices your skin, it’s called a laceration. A doctor’s visit is crucial right after a dog bite to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Broken bones: The force of a dog bite can be strong enough to break bones in the hands, fingers, or arms.
  • Deep puncture wounds: Dog bites can leave deep puncture wounds that can damage nerves and become infected easily if left untreated. This infection can be life-threatening. 
  • Infection: A major concern after a dog bite is infection. Roughly 10% to 15% of dog bites become infected.
  • Tissue tearing: Dog bites can be brutal and cause severe injuries. An avulsion is when a piece of tissue gets ripped away, which can happen during a dog attack. 

Who are the Most At Risk For a Dog Bite Attack?

Children at Higher Risk for Dog Bites

Due to their smaller stature and love of play, children are especially vulnerable to dog bites. In fact, statistics show that half of all dog bite victims are children, and a significant portion (26%) require emergency care.

Familiar Dogs Pose Biggest Threat

Surprisingly, children are more likely to be bitten by dogs they know rather than unfamiliar ones.  According to the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, dog bites are even more common than injuries sustained on playgrounds or while biking.

Importance of Supervision Around New Dogs

Since young boys, often drawn to roughhousing, are more frequently bitten, responsible dog owners and parents need to be extra cautious when their children encounter new dogs or people.

Useful Links in Case of Dog Bite Attack

Dog Bite Statistics in San Diego and California

San Diego County boasts a particularly large dog population, likely due to its beautiful outdoor spaces and welcoming dog culture. However, this love for dogs comes with a downside: dog bites are a serious concern in San Diego. In San Diego County, animal control receives thousands of dog bite reports annually, highlighting the risks associated with a dog-friendly environment.

San Diego County has also been cited as a leader in dog attacks on postal workers, a vulnerable group facing canine aggression. Thousands of mail carriers in the city have been bitten by dogs. San Diego saw dozens of mail carrier attacks in 2022 alone.

While certain breeds like pit bulls and Rottweilers are often labeled as dangerous, it’s important to remember that any dog can bite.

How Much is a Dog Bite Lawsuit Worth in California?

Recent data shows a jump in average dog bite settlements in California. The average payout is now around $79,900, which is a significant increase from $59,561 in 2021.

What to Expect with a Dog Bite Claim

Settlements for dog bites can vary widely, typically ranging from $30,000 to $50,000. The severity of your injuries plays a big role in the amount you might receive. Insurance companies may try to offer you a lower settlement than you deserve.

National Trends

The average dog bite settlement across the country is around $65,000, with some states averaging lower amounts like $35,000. These settlements are on the rise. The average claim amount has increased from $44,760 in 2019 to $64,555 in 2023.

Remember: Every Case is Different

The amount you receive depends on many factors, including the severity of your injuries, who caused the attack, and the dog’s history. There’s no one-size-fits-all payout for dog bites. A lawyer can fight for fair compensation considering all the unique details of your case.

What Compensation is Available for You?

If you’ve been bitten by a dog, you can file a claim to recover damages, which are the costs associated with the injury. These can include:

  • Medical Expenses: This covers everything from first aid by paramedics to hospital treatment, medications, physical therapy, and any future medical care needed.
  • Lost Wages: If you miss work due to recovery or caring for a loved one who was bitten, you can be compensated for that lost income.
  • Reduced Earning Potential: If your injuries are severe and prevent you from returning to your previous job or working altogether, you can recover compensation for your lost future earning capacity.
  • Pain and Suffering: This covers both physical and emotional pain caused by the bite, including any mental health conditions that may arise, like anxiety, depression, or PTSD.
  • Loss of Companionship: Spouses of dog bite victims can seek compensation for the loss of intimacy, affection, and companionship due to the injury.
  • Property Damage: If your clothes, phone, or other belongings were damaged during the attack, you can be compensated for repairs or replacements.

¿What Happens if a Dog Kills Somebody?

If a dog bite tragically leads to the death of a loved one, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim on their behalf. This can help ease the financial burden on surviving family members.

While no amount of money can replace a loved one, seeking compensation can provide some financial security during a difficult time.

What Are the Steps of a Dog Bite Lawsuit in San Diego?

Step 1: Talk to a Dog Bite Lawyer

Discuss your situation with a lawyer who specializes in dog bite injuries. They can review your case and explain the legal options available to you in California.

Step 2: Gather Evidence

Your lawyer will work to collect proof of your case, such as your medical bills, statements from witnesses who saw the bite, and any reports from animal control about the dog’s past behavior (if there are any).

Step 3: Demand Compensation

Your lawyer will send a formal letter to the dog owner’s insurance company. This letter will detail the incident, your injuries, and the amount of money you believe you deserve as compensation.

Step 4: Negotiation

In most dog bite cases, a settlement is reached at this stage.  Your lawyer will work with the insurance company to negotiate a fair settlement amount based on the seriousness of your injuries and the strength of your case.

Step 5: Filing a Lawsuit (if needed)

If negotiations fail to reach an agreement, your lawyer may file a lawsuit against the dog owner in court.

Step 6: Sharing Information (Discovery)

Before trial, both sides will have the opportunity to exchange information and evidence through a legal process called discovery.

Step 7: Trial (if necessary)

If a settlement cannot be reached, a judge or jury will hear the case and decide whether the dog owner is responsible for your injuries and how much compensation you should receive.

How Long Do These Lawsuits Take?

In most California dog bite cases, wrapping things up takes about 3 to 6 months. This means you can expect to receive a settlement check within 3 to 6 weeks after everything is settled.

However, if the dog bite case is more intricate, it may take over a year to reach an agreement. Generally, lengthier cases require going to court, whereas simpler cases can be settled outside of court. Moderate cases can take between 4 to 12 months; while severe dog bite cases can take 12 to 24 months.

How Much Time Do I Have to Start My Dog Bite Claim?

There’s a deadline in California for dog bite lawsuits: two years. This means you have two years to seek compensation for your injuries. If you discover new injuries later, you generally have one year from that discovery to file a claim.

Also, keep in mind that if the incident happens involving a government entity, you also have six months to notify them that you intend to start a claim. This could happen, for example, if you were bitten by police dogs in a situation in which you were innocent and didn’t provoke the dogs.

How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Dog Bite Injury Lawyer?

Hiring a dog bite injury lawyer from Broadway Law doesn’t imply an out-of-pocket payment. We work on a contingency basis. That means our legal fees are taken from a percentage of the final arrangement we reach for you in your dog bite lawsuit. That percentage is agreed with you when you hire us and doesn’t change. This modality allows you to focus on healing while we already start creating a solid defense for your case.

Hire a San Diego Dog Bite Injury Attorney ASAP

Now that you know the multiple benefits of hiring a San Diego dog bite injury attorney, contact Broadway Law at (888) 824-1025 to give your claim the best odds of gaining the maximum monetary compensation. Dog bite incidents are unfortunate, unexpected, and painful; both physically and emotionally. Pursuing compensation is the best way to move on and leave such a disgusting situation behind. Don’t let time pass, and start your claim as soon as possible.

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