One minute you’re on your way to the park, and the next you’re on the ground with an aggressive dog sinking its teeth into your leg. Dog bites are unfortunately quite common, resulting in a total cost of $98.6 million to insurance companies every year. If you get bitten by a dog, you must seek immediate medical care and find out if you’re entitled to compensation.
Choosing the best Orange County dog bite attorney for your claim is important if you want to get maximum compensation.
Our list only includes local attorneys we’ve verified are local to Orange County. Contact one of the firms listed below to schedule a free consultation regarding your claim.
Each state has different laws regarding dog bites. California is a strict liability state. This means that owners are liable for any damage their dog causes when it bites someone, even if it is their first time biting someone. In comparison, states with a “one bite” law only make owners liable for damages if the dog has bitten someone before.
Under California law, owners are not strictly liable for a dog bite if someone is trespassing on the property. A pet sitter or dog walker is also not strictly liable but may be found negligent in their handling of the dog. If someone is bitten after taunting, harassing, or provoking the dog, the owner is not strictly liable.
State and county law dictates that any dog bite that breaks the skin must be quarantined for 10 days. In Orange County, dog owners must have a license for their dog. This may make it easier to identify the dog and get vet records if you are bitten.
To start, the dog will be quarantined for 10 days and tested for rabies. Assuming that neither rabies nor any other illness show up during the quarantine, the dog will be released back to its owner.
In most cases, a dog who bites someone is not euthanized. If the dog has bitten at least two people, another party can request that the dog be euthanized. This includes the victim but may also include neighbors or local officials. The dog may also be euthanized if it has been trained to attack or maim and bites someone once.
Maintaining a good relationship with your neighbor whose dog bit you can be challenging, but it’s important to try to resolve the situation in a calm and diplomatic manner. It’s possible that neighbors can have a civil relationship after a dog attack comes between them, but not always. This is a situation where you have to put your family’s needs above your relationship with your neighbor.
Victims of dog bites may be entitled to compensation for their injuries. The more evidence you have and the better you track your accident-related expenses, the easier it is for your attorney to secure a fair settlement.
You may receive compensation for your medical expenses and all related expenses, including transportation to and from appointments, diagnostic tests, and parking costs. If the injury is severe enough to require ongoing care, you may also receive compensation for future expenses.
If your injury requires you to spend time away from work, you could also receive compensation for lost wages. Beyond these two major categories, compensation can be awarded for disfigurement, pain and suffering, property damage, and more.
The value of a dog bite injury claim can vary widely depending on the circumstances of the case. The factors that will affect the value of a claim the most is the severity of the injuries. Also, the cost of medical treatment, and any lost wages or other financial losses that resulted from the attack will increase or decrease your potential claim value. In general, dog bite injury claims can be worth thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars.
Here are some of the expenses that may be covered in a dog bite injury claim:
It’s also worth noting that in some cases, dog bite injury claims may be resolved through mediation with the dog owner’s insurance company, rather than going to a jury trial. An Orange County dog bit attorney can help you determine the potential value of your claim, and negotiate with the insurance company.
You’ll want to connect with an Orange County dog bite attorney with extensive knowledge of dog bite laws, determining whether or not a dog has bitten before, and proving the severity of dog bite injuries. These injuries can be extremely painful and leave you with lifelong scars, so don’t wait to hire a lawyer. Use our listings below to find an Orange County attorney near you.