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Dog Bite Attorneys in Santa Ana

We Are Here to Help You After a Dog Attack

When you are the victim of a dog bite in California that you did not provoke, you can sustain serious injuries that require both immediate and long-term medical treatment. Your bills for hospital visits and additional costs related to the harm you’ve suffered can pile up, but California law fortunately provides an avenue for you to pursue compensation. With the help of an experienced dog bite attorney in Santa Ana, you can gather what you need to hold the pet’s owner accountable for your attack.

Dogs do enhance many lives of our state’s residents. There are many dog-friendly neighborhoods in Southern California. With their companionship, they can aid in improving both the physical and emotional health of their owners. Sixty-seven percent of U.S. households, or about 85 million families, own a pet, according to the 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA). Of these, over 63 percent of households own a dog.

At the end of the day, however, dogs are still animals who can act aggressively out of instinct or due to how they were raised, with little to no warning. Having the right legal assistance by your side can be an invaluable resource for building a solid case for your rightful personal injury claim following an attack. Call HN Injury Lawyers today at (657) 333-5726 for a free consultation regarding your dog bite attack. We’ll be able to see if you have a case and determine how to move forward during what can be a painful recovery time.

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Types of Dog Bite Injuries in Orange County

Nearly 90 million dogs live in American homes. The vast majority of dogs will never bite; however, there are about 4.5 million dog bites reported each year, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. Bites requiring medical attention account for about 20 percent of those. About one-third of all homeowner's liability insurance claims are related to dog bites, as reported by the Insurance Information Institute (III). In 2017, the average payout per incident, according to the III, was $37,051.

Although often thought of as man’s best friend, dogs that should be controlled by their owners can cause serious injuries to you or a loved one, such as:

  • Infections from bacteria that can introduce rabies, sepsis, or tetanus into your body
  • Muscle and nerve damage
  • Harm to the eyes
  • Scars that are permanent
  • Wounds that break the skin
  • Severe disfigurement
  • Broken bones
  • Emotional trauma
Tan dog with a muzzle

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Liability for Dog Bites in California

Each state has varying dog bite liability laws. Per Civil Code § 3342, the law in California is clear about when an owner can be held liable for damages when their dog bites another person:

  • They can be held responsible when their dog attacks another individual in a public place or when the victim is legally on the premises of private property, such as those conducting business like postal workers or guests.
  • Under strict liability, whether the dog has a history of viciousness or whether the owner knew about the dog’s aggressive history does not matter when filing a personal injury claim.

If you were on your neighbor’s property legally, and the neighbor’s dog attacked you, they are automatically liable for the damages you sustain. You should discuss the circumstances of your bite with your personal injury attorney to know how your rights will apply to the matter at hand.

In some states, a dog causing other injuries also falls under their dog bite laws. For example, if a dog caused someone to fall and suffer injury. However, in California, the dog bite laws apply strictly to dog bites alone. This statute also includes an exemption for dog bite injuries caused by dogs who are carrying out police or military work at the time of the bite. Additionally, if it is shown that you as the plaintiff were trespassing at the time of the dog bite or that you played a role in provoking the dog, then you will not be able to collect damages.

Mix-breed dog in the park

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Obligations and Legal Consequences for the Owner of an Aggressive Dog

Dog owners must take reasonable care to prevent bites by the dog under their care, both now and in the future. The local ordinance in Orange County, California requires "any person having knowledge of” a dog bite incident to report it to Orange County Animal Care. Owners, victims, and witnesses in the incident are the parties obligated to make the report. Furthermore, the owner must provide their name, primary address, telephone number, as well their dog’s identification number for the victim. In addition to being responsible for compensation to the victim, the dog owner can be criminally liable for their pet’s harmful actions if it can be shown that they had knowledge that their dog was dangerous and did not take the appropriate actions to protect others.

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California’s Deadline for Filing a Dog Bite Case

If you were bitten by a dog and want to seek financial damages for your injuries, you will need to file your case within the California statute of limitations, which is two years of the date of your injury. Waiting past this deadline will make any legal claims you have unenforceable, and you could miss out on receiving the compensation you deserve.

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Bitten by a Dog? Call Our Santa Ana Dog Bite Lawyers Today

Dog bites can cause physical and emotional scarring. The resulting medical bills and potential disabilities can be extremely devastating and burdensome. While we cannot take away your pain and suffering, we will do everything we can to better this situation for you. You can trust our knowledgeable and passionate legal team to be in your corner, working to make sure that you receive the best compensation possible for your claim.

There are essential components to building a solid case for your dog bite injury claim, and we can work for you to:

  • Identify the owner of the dog who bit you or your loved one.
  • Verify where the attack took place and that you had a right to be where you were at that time.
  • Establish, with evidence, that the owner’s dog bit you.
  • Demonstrate that the resulting injuries were tied to that attack.

If you or someone you love was recently bitten or attacked by a dog, it's time to seek legal assistance. You could be entitled to compensation for current and future medical bills, lost income due to time missed time from work, payment property damage that resulted from the incident, pain and suffering, and more.

Our experienced Santa Ana dog bite attorneys who have dealt with cases similar to yours can give you a complete rundown of the damages you’re entitled to seek, and they can walk you through the process of your next steps. At HN Injury Lawyers, we are available by phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call our Santa Ana office at (657) 333-5726 or use our online contact form today to schedule your free case consultation.

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Additional Information