Dogs are one of the best creatures and are named as man’s best friend. However, even though some breeds are more prone to be vicious, almost all breeds tend to turn vicious. In the wrong moment, any dog can turn vicious, which can lead to triggering an unexpected reaction from the dog even unintentionally. Most dogs turn vicious unintentionally to protect themselves or their owners.

Even though the dog might not have the intention to hurt you, bites do occur more frequently than you think.

Dog Bite

How Frequent Are There Dog Bites in the US?

According to the U.C. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 4.5 million people in the US are bitten by dogs each year and approximately 800,000 of those bites require medical care. Many of these bites impose a serious health risk to individuals, and our community as a whole. Given that the US has an approximate population of 331 million people as of 2020, it brings us down to a ratio of dog bites of 1 in every 73 people.

Is It True That A Dog With A History of Biting Has a Higher Tendency to Bite Again?

The short answer is YES. According to US Dog Behavior, and their studies of tracking the frequency of Dog bite incidents, the dog’s tendency to bite again substantially increases after each bite. Some of their studies revealed the following stats:

Day 1, first bite
Day 40, second bite (39 days later)
Day 60, third bite (20 days later)
Day 70, fourth bite (10 days later)
Day 75, fifth bite (5 days later)
Day 77, sixth bite (2 days later)
Day 78, seventh bite (1 day later)
Day 79, bites eight and nine (1 day later, 2 bites on same day)

What Is The Dog Bite Law in California?

California Civil Code 3342 provides:

  • The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness. A person is lawfully upon the private property of such owner within the meaning of this section when he is on such property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him by the laws of this state or by the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or when he is on such property upon the invitation, express or implied, of the owner.
  • Nothing in this section shall authorize the bringing of an action under subdivision (a) against any governmental agency using a dog in military or police work if the bite or bites occurred while the dog was defending itself from an annoying, harassing, or provoking act, or assisting an employee of the agency in any of the following:
    • In the apprehension or holding of a suspect where the employee has a reasonable suspicion of the suspect’s involvement in criminal activity.
    • In the investigation of a crime or possible crime.
    • In the execution of a warrant.
    • In the defense of a peace officer or another person.
  • Subdivision (b) shall not apply in any case where the victim of the bite or bites was not a party to, nor a participant in, nor suspected to be a party to or a participant in, the act or acts that prompted the use of the dog in the military or police work.
  • Subdivision (b) shall apply only where a governmental agency using a dog in military or police work has adopted a written policy on the necessary and appropriate use of a dog for the police or military work enumerated in subdivision (b).

Our Irvine Personal Injury Lawyers Represent Clients In The Following Practice Areas:

Can You Be Liable In California Even If Your Dog Bites For The First Time?

Yes. California does not have a “One-Bite Rule”, however, Dog Bite is a strict liability issue in California. California Civil Code §3342(a) holds the dog owner liable regardless of prior viciousness of their dog if their dog bites someone while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the dog owner’s property.

What Should I Do If I Was Bitten By A Dog?

  • Seeking Medical Attention

You must seek immediate medical attention by calling 911 or visiting your nearest emergency center after being bitten by a dog since many of dog bites impose a great health risk to individuals. According to NCBI, Dogs can transmit viral infection and diseases such as rabies, Noroviruses, Pasteurella, Salmonella, Brucella, Yersinia enterocolitis, Campylobacter, Capnocytophaga, Bordetella bronchisepticaCoxiella brunette, Leptospira, Staphylococcus intermedius, Methicillin resistance staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). It is important to call 911 or visit an ER / Urgent Care or your doctor right away to prevent severe health consequences.

  • Document The Incident

If you physically can, obtain the dog owner’s information such as name, address, and insurance information. Inform your doctor regarding the details of the incident so it can be properly documented. Photographs can be helpful so try to take some photographs if possible. And finally, maintain your records.

  • Contact Police/Animal Control

Contact 911 or your local sheriffs to come down and get a report. This may also be helpful if the dog owner is uncooperative and does not give you their information. Also, contact animal control and file a report with them. You may find out that the dog had prior similar incident and could have been banned from certain places.

  • Contact a qualified attorney

A qualified attorney can help you protect your legal rights and get proper compensation for your Dog Bite incident.

How Can We Help?

While seeking immediate medical attention should be your priority, you must seek legal advise too. If you have been bitten by a dog, it should not be your responsibility to pay for your medical costs. We understand the extent of pressure that our clients experience after a dog bite. Our experienced Irvine personal injury attorneys can help you recover your past and future medical costs, lost earnings from your job, emotional distress, pain and suffering, and in some cases punitive damages to punish the responsible person, while you focus on recovering your health.

CONTACT US TODAY FOR A FREE CASE EVALUATION.

Frequently Asked Questions for Our Dog Bite Attorneys in Irvine, CA

What should I do immediately after a dog bite?

Seek medical attention promptly to address any injuries. Report the incident to local authorities, gather information about the dog and its owner, and document the scene. Contact Alipour Law Group, APC for legal guidance.

How do I determine liability in a dog bite case?

California follows strict liability for dog bites. Owners are typically responsible for injuries caused by their dogs, regardless of the dog’s past behavior. Our experienced attorneys can assess the specifics of your case to determine liability.

What compensation can I seek for a dog bite injury?

You may be eligible for compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more. Alipour Law Group, APC will evaluate the extent of your damages to pursue fair and just compensation on your behalf.

Is there a time limit for filing a dog bite lawsuit in California?

Yes, California has a statute of limitations for personal injury cases, including dog bites. It’s crucial to consult with our legal team promptly to ensure your claim is filed within the specified time frame.

Can I still file a claim if the dog owner is a friend or family member?

Yes, filing a claim is typically against the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance, not a personal attack on them. Our compassionate attorneys understand the delicate nature of such cases and will guide you through the process with sensitivity.

What if the dog had no history of aggression?

Even if the dog has no prior history of aggression, the owner may still be held liable. California law doesn’t require a dog to have a history of biting for the owner to be responsible for injuries caused by their pet.

Will my case go to court, or can it be settled out of court?

Many dog bite cases are resolved through negotiation and settlement. Our legal team will work to achieve a fair settlement, but we are prepared to litigate if necessary to protect your rights and interests.

How long does it take to resolve a dog bite case?

The timeline varies, depending on factors such as the severity of injuries, insurance negotiations, and potential court proceedings. Our goal is to handle your case efficiently while ensuring you receive the maximum compensation available.

Can I sue if I was partially at fault for the dog bite?

California follows a comparative negligence system, meaning your compensation may be reduced if you were partially at fault. However, you can still pursue a claim. Consult with our attorneys to understand how comparative negligence might affect your case.

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