Eisenberg Law Group

Dog Bite

Dog Bites

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 38% of U.S. households have one or more dogs.  Unfortunately, however, there are approximately 4.7 million dog bites in the United States every year.  Luckily for dog bite victims, California has some of the most favorable dog bite laws in the United States for dog bite victims.

Who is Responsible When a Dog Bites Me?

According to California law, a dog’s owner is responsible for the damages caused to any person that is bitten by his/her dog while in a public place or lawfully on private property.

The California dog bite law is one of “strict liability.”  This means that a dog owner cannot escape liability by claiming that he/she had no idea that the dog would act aggressively.  The owner of the dog that bites you is responsible for all of the harm caused to you by the bite, even if the dog had never bitten anyone before and even if the dog owner had no idea that the dog was dangerous.

What Do I Have to Prove to Win My Dog Bite Case?

To win your dog bite case in California, you have to prove the following:

  1. The person you are suing owned the dog;
  2. The dog bit you while you were in a public place or lawfully on private property;
  3. You were harmed; and
  4. The dog was a substantial factor in causing your harm.

Further, California law provides that you are considered lawfully on private property if you were performing any duty required by law or were on the property at the invitation, express or implied, of the owner.

What Dogs Cause the Most Harm?

According to a study done by the CDC:

  • Pit Bulls caused 65.6% of fatal dog attacks between 2005 and 2017
  • Rottweilers caused 10.4% of fatal dog attacks between 2005 and 2017
  • German Shepherds caused 4.6% of fatal dog attacks between 2005 and 2017
  • Mix-breed dogs caused 3.9% of fatal dog attacks between 2005 and 2017
  • American Bulldogs caused 3.5% of fatal dog attacks between 2005 and 2017
  • Mastiff/Bullmastiffs caused 3.2% of fatal dog attacks between 2005 and 2017
  • Huskies caused 3% of fatal dog attacks between 2005 and 2017

Although these statistics highlight the most dangerous dogs from 2005 to 2017, if you’ve been bitten by any type of dog, you are entitled to bring a claim under California law.

Why Do Dogs Bite?

  • They feel threatened or scared
  • To protect their puppies, their owners or themselves
  • They are engaged in rough play
  • They are startled
  • They are not feeling well

Common Dog Bite Injuries

  • Abrasions- cuts and scrapes
  • Lacerations- deep cuts or tears in the skin
  • Punctures- deep wounds that pierce the skin
  • Nerve damage- nerves can be damaged by bites, leading to numbness, tingling, or a burning sensation, or a loss of sensation
  • Infections- 10-15% of dog bites lead to infections
  • Crushing injuries- a dog’s jaw can crush, break or fracture your bones
  • Avulsion- skin or tissue ripped off of the body
  • Scarring- abrasions, lacerations, punctures, and avulsions can all lead to scarring

When Can You Take Legal Action?

In California, you are required to file a lawsuit within two years of the date that the dog bite occurred.  However, if you were injured by a government entity or anyone acting on behalf of a government entity, you are required to file a Claim for Damages within six months of the date of the dog bite.

What Kind of Damages Can I Recover in a Dog Bite Case?

Under California law, if you have been injured by a dog bite you can recover two different categories of damages: Economic Damages and Non-Economic Damages.

Economic Damages include the following:

  • Property damage (damage to your personal belongings)
  • Loss of earnings (money lost due to time off from work)
  • Medical bills and expenses (past and future)
  • Medication expenses (past and future)
  • Expenses for medical equipment such as a wheelchair, cane, or brace
Non-Economic Damages include the following:
  • Physical pain
  • Mental suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Anxiety
  • Inconvenience
  • Grief
  • Humiliation
  • Emotional distress

Under California law, if you have been injured by a dog bite, you are entitled to be compensated for each and every item of damage described above.  More importantly, you are entitled to recover both past and future non-economic damages.  At Eisenberg Law Group, we know how to maximize the value of each item of damage so that your recovery is as large as possible.

Don’t allow the insurance company to minimize your claim.  Make sure that you have an attorney that knows how to recover the maximum amount for each and every item of damage allowed under California law.

What Should I Do at the Scene of a Dog Bite?

In order to preserve critical evidence and prepare yourself to maximize your compensation after a dog bite, take the following steps:

  1. Report the incident to Animal Control and make sure to get the report number.
  2. Gather the information (name, address, and telephone number) of the dog owner.
  3. Gather the names and contact information (phone numbers, addresses, e-mail addresses) of any and all witnesses to the dog bite.
  4. Take photographs of the scene of the dog bite, the dog that bit you, and your injuries.
  5. Call our office for a FREE, no obligation consultation.

Why Choose Eisenberg Law Group as Your Dog Bite Attorney?

At Eisenberg Law Group, we’ve been successfully practicing personal injury law for more than 30 years, including the handling of many dog bite cases. Gary started by working for insurance companies, which gives him a unique insight into how the insurance industry operates.  At every step of the way, the insurance companies will try to minimize your claim and take money out of your pocket.  We use our unique experience and skills to maximize the value of your case and to ensure that you are fully and fairly compensated for your dog bite case.

When you choose Eisenberg Law Group as your Los Angeles personal injury attorneys, we will fight for you, employ effective strategies to prove your case, and get you maximum compensation for your claim.

When you work with Eisenberg Law Group, you will benefit from our emphasis on these fundamental cornerstones of our practice:

Personalized service: You can contact our attorneys directly at any time to discuss the details of your case. We will never route you to assistants or recorded messages. As a family-owned law firm, we combine the expertise and experience of larger firms with the friendly feel of a smaller law office.

Proven results: We have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for victims of catastrophic personal injuries, including traumatic brain injuries. Our team works hard to recover the maximum compensation available by law. Our success rates—both in and out of court—speak for themselves.

Risk-free representation: Consultations are always free, and you will not pay any attorney’s fees until we win your case

Don't Wait to Protect Yourself

If you’ve been injured by a dog bite, don’t let time slip away from you. It’s critical that you act quickly in securing quality representation. Contact Eisenberg Law Group today to get back on the path to physical and financial wellness.

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