Most of us have heard the saying, “Dog is man’s best friend.” However, what happens when man’s best friend turns vicious? When dogs bite, victims can suffer painful and potentially severe injuries. Sometimes, the consequences of a dog bite can even turn fatal.
If a dog bit or otherwise injured you, you might want to consult a Beverly Hills dog bite lawyer. Treatment for your injuries could become expensive, especially if your injury requires surgery or leads to an illness or infection. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 816-0755 to learn how our team can assist you in seeking compensation from the dog’s owner.
All Dogs Capable of Causing Injuries
It might surprise you to learn that dog bite injuries happen fairly frequently. A study published in the journal Heliyon tracked emergency department (ED) visits in the United States from 2005 to 2013. The research found that dog bites ranked 13th among the most commonly seen ED injuries. This ranking puts dog bites ahead of both motorcycle injuries and gunshot wounds.
Americans love dogs, evidenced by the fact that the American Pet Products Association (APPA) survey found that dogs are a part of over 63 million households. However, even the most seemingly docile, well-trained dog can bite, regardless of breed, age, or how familiar the animal is to the person it hurts.
What to Do After a Dog Bites You
If a dog has bitten or badly scratched you, the Cleveland Clinic recommends seeing a doctor right away, ideally within eight hours. The risk of infection with dog bites is high because dogs can carry bacteria, such as staphylococcus and streptococcus, in their mouths.
You might require hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics to prevent infection, especially if an unvaccinated or feral dog bit you. If your wound is deep, you might need stitches. You may also need a tetanus shot or booster. Your doctor will likely prescribe a course of antibiotics, and it is important to continue monitoring your injuries for developing infections as they heal.
Another concern with dog bite injuries is rabies. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), bites and scratches can cause rabies. If you have any reason to believe the dog that bit you might have rabies, you will need to vaccinate against rabies. Rabies attacks the central nervous system and, if not treated, can spread to the brain and become fatal.
For a free legal consultation with a Dog Bite Lawyer serving Beverly Hills, call (800) 816-0755
State and Local Dog Bite Laws
If a dog bit you, California law does not require you to prove the owner’s negligence. Under California Civil Code (CIV) §3342, a dog owner has complete responsibility for any injuries if their dog bites someone, even if the dog has not bitten before, and the owner had no reason to believe their dog was dangerous. This responsibility is known legally as “strict liability.”
There are some instances when strict liability does not apply to dog owners:
- Their dog bit someone trespassing on their property.
- The victim provoked the dog.
- The dog protected itself or its owner.
- Owners of military and police dogs acting in the line of duty.
While state law applies explicitly to dog bites only, Beverly Hills municipal code also includes other injuries and property damage. Beverly Hills General Restrictions and Prohibitions §5-2-111 states that anyone “owning, controlling, or in custody of any animal shall be liable for any injury caused by such animal, and for any damage caused to … any private property.”
This statute means you could pursue compensation even if the dog did not bite you, as long as you can prove the dog caused your injuries. You could sue for damages if:
- You suffered injuries trying to flee from a vicious dog.
- A dog knocked you over.
- A dog scratched you.
A Beverly Hills dog bite lawyer can review the facts of your case and the circumstances surrounding your injuries to determine whether you have grounds to sue the dog owner. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to get started.
Beverly Hills Dog Bite Lawyer Near Me (800) 816-0755
How a Beverly Hills Dog Bite Lawyer Can Help
Though strict liability laws might make dog bite claims seem straightforward, if you have needed expensive medical treatment or missed several days of work, you might find it beneficial to work with a lawyer.
An attorney can help you report your dog bite incident to local authorities. Penal Code (PEN) §398 requires dog owners to provide their contact information and dog license tag number to anyone their dog bites within 48 hours of the injury occurring. If you have not already obtained this information, a lawyer can help.
If the dog owner has a homeowners’ insurance policy, it might cover your injuries. An attorney can assist you in filing an insurance claim. They can negotiate a settlement that covers your expenses, but if your bills exceed the policy’s coverage limits, a lawyer can help you take the dog owner to court.
In a lawsuit, you could seek the costs of your medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §335.1 provides a two-year window to seek compensation for your injuries. The law also allows two years to sue for wrongful death if your loved one died from a dog bite injury.
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Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Can Handle Your Dog Bite Claim
If you would like to learn more about working with a Beverly Hills dog bite lawyer, call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today for a free consultation. We know that dog bite injuries can become costly, and you may need ongoing care. The dog owner should not stick you with these bills.
Because helping victims is our goal, we do not charge our clients a fee unless you recover a settlement or court award. Contact our team today at (800) 816-0755 to get started.