Attorney Portrait Dog Bite Injury

Average Settlement for Dog Bite in California

| Read Time: 4 minutes

Dog Attack Compensation in California Navigating through the complexities of dog attack compensation in California requires a thorough understanding of legal and medical processes following the incident. The average dog bite settlement can vary significantly from case to case. If the dog caused severe injuries, the person might have incurred more expenses, possibly meriting a higher settlement. In contrast, if the victim suffers minor bruises or no physical injuries at all, the damage award may be lower. An attorney can help you understand and assert your legal rights to help maximize your settlement.  Michael Beliz has successfully helped numerous clients recover compensation in many personal injury cases, including claims involving dog bites. He understands the trauma and risks that his clients experience when they suffer a dog attack. He and his team provide aggressive yet compassionate legal representation to clients throughout California to help them reclaim their lives and recover compensation.  What Is the Average Settlement for a Dog Bite Case? Every situation leading to a dog bite is unique. For that reason, there is no average settlement for a dog bite case in California. Your chance of recovering compensation depends on a host of factors, such as:  The best way to determine if you have a claim against a dog owner and how much that might be is to talk to a legal professional who regularly practices in this area of law. An attorney understands the nuances of California’s dog bite and personal injury laws and may give you some information on what to expect if you pursue damages.  What Might Affect the Average Dog Bite Settlement Amounts? While no one can reasonably guarantee a particular outcome, there are common types of damages that may arise in a given case. Three common sources of compensation include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The specific amount of these (or whether the victim receives these at all) depends on the surrounding circumstances.  Medical Expenses Dog bites can cause puncture wounds, broken bones, lacerations, bruises, and infections. These can result in the victim paying hospital bills, co-pays, prescription drug fees, and rehabilitation costs. Medical expenses are a common source of damages in a dog bite case. To recover these damages, you’ll need to show that they resulted from the dog bite. In addition, there may be future medical expenses like plastic surgery once the dog bite heals.    Lost Wages Many dog bite victims may have to miss work while they quarantine, receive treatment for their injuries, or recover after an attack. You may be entitled to reimbursement from the dog’s owner to cover the time you could not work because you had to attend attack-related medical treatments or stay home and recover.  Pain and Suffering Pain and suffering is another type of compensation dog bite victims may receive. This type of damage award compensates you for the pain and trauma involved in suffering a dog bite. It can include the trauma of the event and the effects you experience later on.  How Can I Maximize the Average Payout for a Dog Bite? There are steps you can take to help maximize the payout you may receive for a dog bite. These steps include seeking medical attention, taking swift action, and hiring an attorney. While none of these guarantee a particular outcome, they help set you up for possible success.  Take Photos Take photos of the dog and your injuries.  Keep taking photos of your injuries to show the healing process. Documenting your injuries from the very beginning will show the defendant how your life was affected from the attack. Call Animal Control  Call the local animal control. They will go out and gather information about the dog and the dog owner, in addition to getting statements from all interested parties and taking photos of the dog and any injuries. This information will all be put into a report that will be useful for your dog bite claim.    Seek Medical Attention Seeking medical attention after a dog bite is imperative to protect your health. Because dogs use their mouths so frequently and owners do not sanitize their pets’ mouths every day, dogs tend to have a lot of potentially dangerous bacteria in their saliva. The best practice is to go to the doctor even before you show signs of an infection. This helps protect your health and sets a strong foundation for your legal claim.  Take Swift Action California imposes a strict deadline on when injury victims can file a claim against an at-fault party for a personal injury. In most cases, this deadline is two years, but there are exceptions. Some claims may merit a longer or shorter time limit. An attorney can help you identify and meet this deadline.  Hire an Attorney Hiring an attorney can help you prepare, present, and effectively negotiate your settlement. Further, at-fault parties are more likely to take you and your dog bite claim seriously if you have an attorney to help you. A lawyer serves as your advocate to help ensure that your best interests are respected during the case.  The Beliz Law Firm Can Help Dog bites can be terrifying experiences, causing trauma and physical injuries. If you suffered an injury during a dog attack, acting quickly and effectively to protect your physical health and legal rights is essential.  Michael Beliz understands the pain and challenges experienced by California dog bite victims. He can help you understand the applicable laws in your situation and will listen to your dog attack story. He has over 15 years of experience fighting for injury victims throughout California. If you experienced a dog bite in California, contact Michael today to schedule a no-obligation consultation.

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Attorney Portrait Dog Bite Injury

How California Law Treats Dangerous Dogs

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If you suffered injuries after being bitten by a dog, you likely have many questions, including who will pay for your damages. You might also wonder what happens to the dog after an attack. California has multiple laws dealing with dog bites and what the state defines as a vicious dog. You may hear dogs get “one free bite,” but that isn’t necessarily true as owners can be liable for every bite. The California dangerous dog law defines potentially dangerous or vicious dogs, but the law is not breed-specific. Understanding the laws surrounding vicious dogs in California can be confusing. You need a California dog bite attorney to help you pursue a claim against the responsible parties. Definition of Potentially Dangerous and Vicious Dogs in California The dangerous dog law in California spans several different sections, including the California Food and Agriculture Code. Division 14, Chapter 9, Section 31602 defines a “potentially dangerous dog” as: As you can see, the law defines more than what happens when a dog bites a person. This statute also means that if a dog bites another dog, the law in California will declare it a potentially dangerous dog. But an attack on another animal must be unprovoked and happen twice in 36 months. Section 31603 of the same code also defines a vicious dog as being one that either: If you sustained injuries from a dog bite, don’t worry about trying to determine if the dog was already declared a potentially dangerous or vicious dog. Let an experienced dog bite lawyer in California help you. At the Beliz Law Firm, we have years of experience dealing with dangerous dog claims and can help protect your rights. What Do Owners Need to Do for Potentially Dangerous or Vicious Dogs? Under the California Food and Agriculture Code, owners must take specific actions with a potentially dangerous dog. A potentially dangerous dog must be registered, vaccinated, and the owners could pay an additional licensing fee. The dog must be kept inside the owner’s home or behind a secure fence where the dog cannot escape, and children cannot trespass. If the dog is not on the owner’s property, they must have it restrained by a substantial leash of appropriate length and controlled by an adult. The owner must notify animal control in writing if the dog is sold, transferred, dies, or permanently removed from the city or county where the owner resides. They must notify animal control about the dog’s new location within two working days of the change.   If the court declares the dog vicious, animal control departments have rights under the dangerous dog bite law. Euthanasia might possibly be ordered by the court in this situation. If animal control does not destroy the dog, owners will be subject to additional conditions to protect others from potentially being attacked. The dog owner may be subject to additional rules and restrictions depending on their city. Various cities and counties in California have provisions for controlling dangerous or vicious dogs. The caveat is that these programs cannot be restrictive as to breed. What Happens if an Owner Violates the California Dangerous Dog Law? As stated, a victim may bring a personal injury lawsuit against the dog’s owner. But the owner could also face criminal prosecution for violating the dangerous dog law in California. California Penal Code 399 can impose criminal charges for failure to control a dangerous animal. This statute applies when the keeper or owner fails to use ordinary care to confine a dangerous or vicious animal, and someone else suffers severe injuries. Depending on the circumstances, the dog’s owner or keeper might be facing a misdemeanor or a felony charge. Both offenses could result in jail and fines. Contact Beliz Law Firm Today If you suffered injuries due to a dog bite in California, let the skilled legal team at the Beliz Law Firm assist you. Dog bites can result in severe physical and emotional injuries. You could be entitled to compensation for your damages. We understand what a stressful and traumatic time this is for you and can help you pursue compensation from the responsible parties. Call today to learn more about how we can help. You only have a limited amount of time to bring a claim for damages related to a dog bite. Schedule an appointment today to ensure you don’t miss the filing deadline.

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Attorney Portrait Dog Bite Injury

Tips for Treating a Dog Bite

| Read Time: 2 minutes

Each year, almost five million Americans are bitten by a dog. This number is likely too low since many people do not report dog bites to the authorities. If a dog bites you, you should immediately treat the wound to stop bleeding and prevent infection. Clean the Wound Dog bites can be superficial or very deep. After a bite, you should immediately stop the bleeding by applying pressure with a clean towel. Also, elevate the wound above the heart. If you cannot stop the bleeding with pressure, go immediately to the hospital to have the wound looked at. Once the bleeding has stopped, you can wash the wound very carefully with soap and water. Be careful not to make the wound start bleeding again. Once the wound is clean, put a sterile bandage over it. You should also apply antibiotic ointment every day to prevent infection. You can buy this ointment over the counter at the pharmacy. Look for Infection Some dog bites become infected because all kinds of bacteria live inside the dog’s mouth. If you properly cleaned the wound, you can minimize the risk of infection. Nevertheless, stay alert to the following signs that the wound has become infected: Redness Puffiness Pus drainage Painful to the touch A doctor can assess the wound and prescribe a treatment of antibiotics to treat the infection, if necessary. Visit the Hospital Some dogs bite because they are anxious, overly excited, or angry. But other dogs might have rabies or another disease. If the bite wound is severe, you should immediately go to the hospital so that you can receive the proper medical treatment.  Many times, medical professional will clean and wash out the wound plus wrap it in sterile gauze.  You might also need a tetanus or a rabies shot.  If the wound is or becomes infected, the dog bite area may need to be drained and sutured up.  Also, remember to report the dog to authorities so that they can investigate. Dealing with Catastrophic Injuries Some dogs cause devastating injuries, especially to visible parts of the body like the face. In these unfortunate situations, victims often need reconstructive surgery to repair the damage. Victims might also need skin grafts to close the gaping wounds in their body.  In these incidents, victims may need to see a plastic surgeon for scar removal. In many instances, a serious bite wound will become sensitive or numb to touch.  If this is the case, a medical consultation with a neurologist may be needed to determine if the area to the wound will ever feel again. Speak with a Long Beach Dog Bite Attorney Dog bites can cause serious physical and emotional injuries, and injured victims are entitled to compensation. At the Beliz Law Firm, our first priority is our clients. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation where we will sit down and listen to you describe the events that led up to the dog bite. If we think you have a valid legal claim against the owner, we can help you begin building your case. To see what we can offer, please call 562-452-3772. Do not delay. California does not give injured victims an unlimited amount of time to seek financial compensation.

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