Each year, approximately five million dog bites occur throughout the United States according to the CDC. The locations of the injuries range anywhere between a finger or ankle nip to facial attacks and broken bones. Death is also a very real possibility, especially in cases involving children and large dogs.
In response to the prevalence of dog bites, California became a strict liability state—a dog that bites is the full responsibility of the owner. Dog bite law does not solely govern vicious attacks but any incident where the tooth of a dog breaks the skin. Those suffering from a dog-inflicted wound often have pressing questions about what to do next.
What Do I Do if I Have Been Bitten?
Regardless of the severity of the bite, seek medical attention immediately. The myth that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s mouth is pointless as both have bacteria that, if left untreated within a wound, can create larger problems. The comparison is similar to comparing a trash can to a toilet. The laceration needs an examination by a medical professional as well as documentation via photographs, journals, and witness accounts. Due to a concern for the spread of disease, also contact Animal Control and the police department.
What Laws Govern Dog Bites?
The state of California as well as local laws both govern dog bites. Vaccinations, leash regulations, and even breed restrictions are all delegated by local jurisdictions. The primary concern is the spread of diseases such as rabies. Rabies, in almost every instance, has the potential for fatality. Therefore, to protect citizens from the spread of such a disease, it is required that all owned canine and feline have a rabies vaccine. Dog owners must also adhere to strict leash and containment laws to prevent an unexpected attack.
Caring for a dog bite can accumulate astronomical medical bills. Additionally, if an attack prevents the injured individual from going to work, or leaves him or her traumatized, it becomes more of a financial burden due to the neglect of responsibilities of the dog owner. During a lawsuit, it is possible to assess damages for:
The Dog Was Never Dangerous Before
No matter the history of the dog, it is always the responsibility of the owner and any other handler to ensure safety to the public. If you or your loved one suffers from a dog bite, the dog owner should be held accountable and required to pay compensation for his or her animal’s behavior. If you are interested in discussing your legal options with a trusted San Jose, CA dog bite injury lawyer, John J. Garvey, III is available for a free consultation. With decades of experience, you will have the aggressive representation that you deserve. Call us today at 408-293-7777.
While this website provides general information, it does not constitute legal advice. The best way to get guidance on your specific legal issue is to contact a lawyer. To schedule a meeting with the attorney, please call at 408-293-7777 or complete the intake form below.