Dogs are known as “man’s best friend.” But while dogs hold a special place in the hearts of many, the unfortunate reality is that thousands of interactions between dogs and humans each year go south and result in severe injuries to those involved. In fact, an estimated 4.5 million people in the United States are bitten by dogs each year. Many of these instances result in significant emotional trauma and severe physical injuries that require medical attention.
No matter the precise circumstances, if you have sustained injuries arising out of a dog bite in or near Pasadena, CA, you may have a legal claim for relief. If you have questions about the scope of your rights and how to pursue your claims to the fullest extent of the law, Weinberg Law Offices is here to help. Use our guide below to learn more about California dog bite claims and see how a Pasadena dog bite attorney can help you move forward.
California Dog Bite Injury Overview
Before pursuing your Pasadena dog bite injury claim, there are a few things you should know. Keep reading to learn more about California dog bite injuries and laws below.
Common Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bites can lead to a variety of injuries, ranging from minor to severe. Some examples of common dog bite-related injuries include:
- Face injuries,
- Puncture wounds,
- Nerve damage,
- Eye injuries,
- Crush injuries,
- Broken bones,
- Head and neck injuries,
- Infection, and
- Emotional trauma.
A dog bite can result in lasting harm, both physical and emotional. While nothing can undo the pain that you’ve suffered, a California dog bite injury claim can help you get the compensation you need and deserve so that you can start your pathway toward recovery.
“Most Dangerous” Dog Breeds
It is a common misconception that some dog breeds are more dangerous than others. Typically, the following breeds are thought to be more dangerous than others, owing mainly to their large size:
- Bull terriers,
- German shepherds, and
- Doberman pinschers.
That said, it’s important to remember that the foregoing dog breeds are not inherently “dangerous.” Further, just because a type of dog is not on this list does not mean it cannot cause a dog bite injury. Thus, whenever you are near a dog, regardless of the breed, be vigilant and remain cautious to better protect yourself.
California Dog Bite Laws
When it comes to dog bite injuries, California is a strict liability state, meaning that the owner of a dog who bites another individual is legally liable regardless of the existence of intent by the at-fault party.
Specifically, the California Civil Code states that the owner of a dog is liable for any damages caused to another as a result of a dog bit, regardless of:
- The viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of the dog’s viciousness; and
- Whether the dog bite occurred in a public space or while lawfully on private property, including the private property of the dog’s owner.
Notably, however, if the injury victim was not lawfully on private property when the injury occurred, the dog’s owner may be relieved from liability. An example of this would be if the injury victim was trespassing on private property when the bite occurred.
Another situation in which the dog’s owner may not be liable is if the dog was defending itself in the scope of military or police work.
If you have questions about who may be liable for your dog bite injuries, speak with an experienced Pasadena dog bite injury attorney to discuss your rights and options in more detail.
Steps to Take After Sustaining a Dog Bite
The time frame immediately following your dog bite injury is crucial to the success of your case. Below are some important steps to take to maximize your chances of success moving forward.
- Obtain the Dog Owner’s Contact Information
One of the most important things you can do after sustaining a dog bite injury is to obtain the name and contact information of the dog’s owner. This is because the owner of the dog is the party against whom you will pursue your legal claim.
- Seek Immediate Medical Attention
As soon as practicable after your injury, it is imperative that you seek medical attention. Doing so will allow you to get treatment for your injuries to help prevent infections and other complications.
Even if you feel your injuries are relatively minor, it is nevertheless strongly recommended that you seek an assessment from a qualified medical professional, as some injuries may not be readily visible and could worsen if not promptly identified and treated.
- Report the Dog Bite
You should also report the dog bite to your local animal control agency or other authorities. Not only is this important to help prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future, but the resulting written report can also be used as evidence in your civil case moving forward.
- Document the Incident
Documenting the incident yourself is also a good idea. This might include taking photos of your injuries, noting the time and location of the incident, and gathering contact information and statements from any individuals who witnessed the incident.
- Consult a Pasadena Dog Bite Injury Attorney
Lastly, be sure to consult with an experienced Pasadena dog bite injury lawyer. Doing so ensures you get the representation you need to effectively pursue your legal rights and remedies.
What to Look for in a Pasadena Dog Bite Lawyer
With so many Pasadena dog bite attorneys to choose from, it can be challenging to determine which one to hire for your case. Here are a few traits to look out for to help you select the best one for the job:
- Dog Bite Specialization. Not all attorneys are equipped to handle dog bite injury claims. Thus, be sure to select an attorney who generally handles personal injury cases and has experience navigating dog bite injury claims, specifically.
- Trial Experience. While personal injury disputes frequently end in a pre-trial settlement, this is not always the case. To better ensure your chances of a successful outcome, it’s important to have an attorney who is both a skilled negotiator and an experienced litigator who can take your case to trial when necessary.
- Strong Network. Many dog bite injury cases involve interactions with various professionals, from medical providers to expert witnesses. As such, having an attorney with a wide network of professionals can be advantageous to your case.
- Client Testimonials. Lastly, look into the reviews and testimonials left by an attorney’s past clients. Often, these can be great indicators of the quality of any lawyers you may be considering.
At Weinberg Law Offices, we are confident that we have the background, experience, and resources necessary to make us an asset to your case. We hope we can earn your trust moving forward.
Weinberg Law Offices: Your Trusted Pasadena Dog Bite Attorney
Contact our Pasadena Dog Bite Attorney today to discuss your rights with one of our skilled attorneys at our firm.
If you are looking for a dog bite attorney in Pasadena, CA, look no further than Weinberg Law Offices, P.C. Our ultimate goal is to get you healthy and get you as much as possible for the injuries you have suffered. No matter the size of your case, we will fight for your rights and get you the results you deserve. Contact us today to discuss your case, and see what Weinberg Law Offices can do for you.