San Diego always has plenty of sunny days in the seven-day forecast and one way to enjoy the beautiful weather is to walk the dog or visit a dog park. Thousands of San Diego residents happily share their homes with dogs. San Diego is known as a dog-friendly town but, sadly, each year hundreds of victims suffer dog bites.
The vast majority of dogs never intend to hurt a human, but when animals get confused or feel threatened, they can resort to biting. Victims can feel unsure about reporting a bite, but a dog attack can be serious and even life-threatening.
In California, dog owners are legally responsible for injuries their dogs cause, and their insurance companies can often be forced to provide financial support to recovering victims.
A Free Consultation with a San Diego Dog Bite Lawyer
In California, dog owners are responsible when their dogs bite someone. If you were injured by someone’s dog, contact San Diego Dog Bite Lawyer Logan Quirk today for a free consultation and case evaluation.
This is a no-risk opportunity to find out what your dog bite injury is worth and how to secure fair compensation from unhelpful insurance companies.
Dog Bite Liability in San Diego
NBC7-TV reported on estimates from the San Diego Human Society suggesting there were around half a million dogs living in the city. It’s a positive for most pet owners, but dog owners are responsible when accidents occur.
California is a “strict liability” dog bite state and that means dog owners are accountable when their dogs bite, even if the dog has never bitten before. Some states have a “one-bite” rule that excludes dog owners from liability for an injury if the dog has never shown aggression before. That’s not the case in San Diego.
The owner and the owner’s insurance provider will be financially liable for a victim’s recovery in most instances, but there are a few exceptions. A few things must be proven true to hold a dog’s owner liable:
- The bite must have occurred on public property or on private land where the victim had been invited.
- Victims can’t usually sue if they were trespassing when they were bitten.
- Victims can’t provoke a dog and then sue over a bite.
A dog owner’s homeowners insurance or renters insurance would be the focus of an injury claim. If owners don’t have insurance, they could be ordered to provide recovery support out of their own pockets.
Dog Bite Liability at a San Diego Dog Park
San Diego dog parks like Nobel Leash-Free Park or Morley Field Dog Park are supposed to be locations where humans and dogs can interact safely, but bites can occur. Dog owners will still be liable for any aggressive behavior that hurts someone at a dog park.
City parks and dog parks provided at apartment complexes are usually lined with signs that say “use at your own risk.” These notifications sometimes free the city or apartment management companies of liability after a bite.
However, a skilled San Diego Dog Bite Lawyer will investigate if a city department or a property owner could be liable for displaying extreme negligence.
What to Do After a Dog Bite Accident in San Diego
Insurance companies seek to limit the support you receive and perhaps even find a way to provide you with no help at all. To prevent this unfair treatment, bring as much solid evidence as possible to the negotiating table when it’s time to determine a San Diego dog bite settlement amount.
Some of the best evidence is found on the scene of your dog bite accident. If you are strong enough, try to gather these details for your dog bite injury case:
- Call 911. Have an ambulance respond. Get all wounds examined and go to the hospital if necessary.
- Give a full report to investigators. The San Diego police and/or animal control will likely respond as well if a dog remains in the area and is threatening. If the dog’s rabies vaccination is in question, a response from authorities can be expected. If the dog owner is nowhere to be found, officers will assist in locating the owner. The police or the animal control will be creating a dog bite report, so make sure to offer them every detail you can remember.
- Take photos. Show your bite wound and your bloody clothing. Take photos of the dog and owner if they are around. Show any location signs if they are relevant, including signs that require dogs to be leashed.
- Note if there are business security cameras or home doorbell cams around. Your San Diego Personal Injury Lawyer will secure any footage showing the attack.
- Talk to witnesses about what they saw and get contact information.
- Exchange information with the dog owner, but don’t talk about how badly you are hurt. You may say that you are “fine” and later find out you’ve got a broken bone in your hand. These statements made on the scene can be used as an excuse to reject your injury claim later.
- Preserve evidence. Don’t throw out or wash your bloody clothing and damaged personal items.
- See your doctor in the days that follow. Have every pain documented and follow your doctor’s orders.
Compensation Available for San Diego Dog Bite Victims
Dog bite victims are at risk of broken bones, nerve damage, and infection. The effects on the victim’s life can extend into months or years. The wounds may cause a permanent physical disability or a permanent disfigurement.
These potentially traumatic outcomes are why you must be sure to include every damage you’ve faced after your dog bite in an injury claim. Your San Diego dog bite attorney will be submitting this list and including some things you may not have known can earn you and your family compensation:
- Past medical bills in connection with the attack along with any future medical bills reasonably expected to be received in the future.
- Lifelong support for permanent disfigurement or disability.
- Injury support for a child victim. Children suffer more dog bites than any age group. Their injuries can affect their growth and development and an insurance settlement needs to cover any medical care expected to be needed as they mature.
- Pain and suffering. Including the emotional trauma you’ll likely be forced to cope with.
- Wrongful Death Benefits. Families who have lost a loved one to a dog bite can ask for financial support.
- Past lost earnings in connection with the attack along with any loss of wages reasonably expected to be suffered in the future.
Contact a San Diego Dog Bite Lawyer Today
Schedule a free case review with our San Diego dog bite lawyers here at Quirk Accident & Injury Attorneys, APC. We can talk about what happened, how it happened, and how it has affected you or your loved one. After that, we will go over all of the legal options available to you and your family.
There’s no obligation and if you do hire us to represent your dog bite injury claim, you won’t need to have any money with you. We don’t get paid unless we win your case for you.