Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Bite Injury Cases in Santa Monica

California's strict liability statute for dog bites is straightforward, but exceptions can leave victims with a number of questions. Fortunately, our frequently asked questions articles can help demystify the statute.

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  • Other than physical injuries, what are some of the damages that a child might experience after a dog bite?

    When you look at your own loving and gentle dog, it can be hard to imagine that there are other dogs that are mean or vicious.

    Sadly, in here in California plenty of dogs aren’t as kind as yours. They may attack a human without provocation. This is often the fault of the owner for not taking the proper actions to prevent the attack.

    What makes matters worse is the fact that the majority of dog bite victims in San Bernardino are actually children under the age of twelve. Because of a child’s size and inability to defend himself, a large proportion of dog attacks are severe and even fatal.

    Although a dog bite can cause severe bodily injury, it may also cause damage that is nonphysical. These damages may be nonphysical but they can take just as long to recover from. It is important that parents recognize these nonphysical damages in order to help mend them.

    Three common damages that are nonphysical that a child may experience are:

    • PTSD. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is very common among children who have been bitten by a dog. PTSD is a mental condition that is the aftereffect of experiencing a stressful or terrifying event. Unfortunately, many children suffer from PTSD after being involved in a dog bite.
       
    • Loss of faith. Most children have a natural trust and faith in dogs. This can quickly go away when the child is attacked. It can take a lot of time and effort to regain their faith in dogs.
       
    • Phobia. Traumatic experiences is one of the main causes for people to develop phobias. This is no different when a child is bitten by a dog. With the help of parents, friends, and the proper therapy, the phobia may be overcome.
       

    Like physical damages, nonphysical damage can be grounds for a lawsuit. To discuss your legal options simply fill out the contact form found on this page.

  • How do I determine my future medical costs when filing a claim after a dog bite?

    After a dog bite attack, you may be left facing costly medical bills that continue well into the future. Many victims find that they need to pursue a claim for compensation against the parties responsible for the attack in order to recover their losses associated with these expenses. While arriving at a figure for past medical costs is relatively straight-forward, determining a figure that represents future medical bills is not as easy.

    Calculating Future Medical Costs

    In order to accurately estimate future medical costs after a dog bite injury, it is crucial to seek out assistance from the appropriate professionals. First, you should consult with an experienced legal professional for guidance. Next, it is important to consult with various medical professionals. These individuals can help you arrive at a number that would compensate you fairly for your future medical costs. Medical costs may include the following:

    1. Physician bills, including specialists such as plastic surgeons
    2. Hospital services
    3. Medication
    4. Physical therapy
    5. Counseling or psychiatry bills

    In order to establish a figure for future medical costs, you may need to consult with an expert. A physician or plastic surgeon can provide a detailed report that outlines the anticipated procedures required, their location, and the anticipated recovery time. Along with this information, the report should outline cost factors that include the physician’s fee, anesthesia costs, and hospital and outpatient surgery fees. Additional costs to be anticipated include expenses for lab work, pre-surgical testing, and post-surgical rehabilitation. A mental health provider can also provide an estimate of the costs associated with long-term counseling.

    When you are ready to pursue a claim, we are here to help. We encourage you to contact us today at 800-989-6385 to schedule a free consultation.

  • I was bitten by an unvaccinated dog. Is the owner liable?

    An attack by a dog is a frightening experience for victims and their families. Unfortunately, the experience is often made even more traumatic if it is later discovered that the attacking dog was not properly vaccinated. When a victim is attacked by any dog, he or she is at risk of a dangerous infection. If the dog did not have a current rabies vaccine, the victim will likely need to undergo treatment for rabies, even if the dog is later determined to not suffer from the condition. Victims may need to pursue a claim against the dog’s owner in order to be compensated fully for their losses.

    5 Facts About Dog Bite Attacks Involving Unvaccinated Animals

    Unless you or a loved one was the victim of a dog bite in the past, you are likely not familiar with the laws surrounding pet ownership, liability, and vaccinations. The following are five important facts to be aware of:

    • Under California law, all dog owners are required to vaccinate their pets against rabies.
    • Dogs must receive the rabies vaccine after reaching four months of age.
    • Thereafter, dogs must be vaccinated on a regular basis.
    • Dog bite victims who are attacked by unvaccinated animals must submit to treatment for rabies.
    • These victims can pursue a claim against the owner of the animal for failing to vaccinate.

    If you or a loved one was bitten by a dog that was not properly vaccinated, it is important to protect your legal rights as diligently as you would pursue medical treatment for your injuries. We are here to help guide you through this process to make it as painless as possible. We encourage you to contact us today at 800-989-6385 to schedule a free consultation.

  • When would I need rabies shots if I’ve been bitten by a dog?

    Rabies is an infectious disease caused by a virus and is spread by bites and scratches from infected animals. If untreated, it is almost always fatal.

    Factors That Determine Whether You Need Rabies Shots

    There are a number of factors that determine whether you need treatment to prevent rabies. If the dog that bit you has been vaccinated, it is unlikely you will need any shots. But what happens if the dog has not been vaccinated or you are not sure if he had his shots? There are a number of factors to consider in deciding on your treatment:

    • Whether the dog appears healthy and is available for observation in a secure location, such as a veterinary clinic, for 10 days. If the dog can be observed, you can defer getting any shots. If the dog remains healthy during this 10-day period, you would not need treatment.
    • Whether the dog is suspected to have rabies. If this is the case and the dog cannot be observed for 10 days, you should seek medical care immediately and probably will need shots.
    • Whether the attack was provoked or not. Dogs with rabies are more likely to bite when unprovoked.
    • Whether you were bitten multiple times near or on the head. There is a greater chance of getting rabies in these situations.

    While most people in California vaccinate their dogs against rabies, some do not. If there is any doubt about whether the dog has rabies, a person must start the rabies treatment, since rabies is fatal.

    Rabies shots are given in four doses over a fourteen day period. There can be many complications, including redness and soreness in the area where the shot is given (in the arm for adults, in the thigh for children), headaches, nausea, abdominal pain, muscle aches, and dizziness. There is no guarantee that the shots will be 100 percent successful. Rabies shots are extremely expensive—between $2,000 and $7,000 per person.

    If you or a family member was attacked by a dog, you may have a claim for compensation against the dog owner and his homeowner’s insurance company. Call us at (800) 989-6385 for a free consultation to learn about your legal options.

  • I suffered a crush injury after a dog bite attack. What should I do next?

    When a dangerous dog attacks a victim, the force of the dog’s jaw on the victim’s body part can actually crush the bones within. Crush injuries can be very dangerous and result in severe complications. It is vital that victims of dog bite attacks understand the severity of their injuries and know how to respond accordingly.

    Physical Damage From a Crush Injury After a Dog Bite Attack

    If you suffer from a crush injury after an attack by a dog, the physical damage may be severe. The following are some complications that you may experience:

    1. Bleeding
    2. Bruising
    3. Fracture
    4. Laceration
    5. Nerve damage
    6. Infection
    7. Compartment syndrome

    Clearly, crush injuries can present severe and long-lasting complications for victims of dog bite attacks.

    What to Do After a Crush Wound

    With so much potential damage associated with crush wounds caused by a dog bite, it is crucial to understand how to react in order to obtain necessary treatment and protect your legal rights. For these reasons, we encourage you to take the following steps after an attack:

    1. First and foremost, seek immediate medical treatment for your injuries. Your health must be your first priority. Waiting too long to obtain treatment can result in worsening of your injuries.
    2. Once you have obtained treatment, contact an experienced and knowledgeable attorney familiar with the ins and outs of legal claims relating to dog bite attacks.
    3. Keep complete and accurate records of your expenses relating to the attack.
    4. Gather photographs of the attack if possible.
    5. Obtain witness statements from anyone who was present for the attack.
    6. If a police report was taken, obtain a copy.

    Each of these steps will benefit you if you ultimately decide to pursue legal action after your attack. We have assisted countless clients in obtaining the compensation they deserved after such a devastating injury. We encourage you to check out our client testimonials page today for more information.

  • What should I do if I have been bitten by a dog and don’t know who the owner is?

    If you are unable to find the owner of a dog that has bitten you, it will be very difficult—if not impossible—to pursue compensation for your medical bills and other expenses related to the bite. Since the dog’s history will be unavailable without identification of the owner, you may also need to undergo additional medical care and protective measures, such as a series of rabies shots.

    However, even if you aren’t able to locate the owner at the time of the bite, don’t give up hope. Here are three ways you may be able to identify a dog’s owner in Camarillo:

    • Take a picture. Most phone are equipped with cameras these days, which can come in handy if you are bitten or attacked by a stray animal. If you are unable to take a picture, make sure you write down a detailed description of the animal and what happened.
    • Speak with an attorney. An experienced attorney who is familiar with the Camarillo area may have additional avenues and suggestions for tracking down a dangerous dog or its owner after a bite.
    • Call animal control. Animal control personnel may be able to capture or retain the dog that bit you, as well as locate the owner of the animal.

    If you were seriously hurt by a dog owned by someone else, our Camarillo legal team is available to help answer your questions, explain your rights, and assist you with your concerns. For more information, simply reach out to our team by phone, or fill out the convenient contact form on this page with more information about what happened and the kind of help you need.

  • When should I seek medical treatment for my child’s dog bite injury?

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children between the ages of 5 and 9 are at higher risk for a dog bite injury than the general population. A dog bite is a traumatic and dangerous event for a child, causing emotional trauma, in addition to serious injuries, pain, and disfigurement.

    Whether a dog bit your child at the Santa Monica State Beach Park, at a friend’s house, or in your neighborhood, you should take a dog bite injury very seriously due to the risk of infection and crush injuries, which may or may not be visible. Following are some guidelines to help you decide whether to seek out medical attention for your child’s dog bite injury:

    • The dog is unknown – If you are unfamiliar with the dog that attacked your child, you should see a doctor right away. The dog may have rabies or other diseases, which can lead to severe complications.
    • The wound is deep – Deep wounds can do a great deal of damage to bones and surrounding tissue. They also take longer to heal and are more likely to become infected.
    • The bite is in the face – Two-thirds of dog bite injuries in children are in the head or neck area. Seek medical assistance right away for these types of bites, which are more prone to infection and scarring.
    • The bleeding will not stop – Bleeding should stop after ten minutes of direct pressure. If you cannot get the bleeding to stop after applying pressure, seek medical treatment right away.

    When it comes to your child, it is better to be safe than sorry and get a dog bite wound checked out by your doctor. If you or a loved one has suffered a serious dog bite, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Compassionate, honest, and experienced, the attorneys at Steinberg Injury Lawyers Injury Lawyers may be able to help. Call 800-989-6385 today to schedule a complimentary case evaluation or download a free copy of their book entitled, 7 Biggest Mistakes That Can Ruin Your California Injury Case, for information you can right away.

  • Who Is Financially Responsible for Dog Bite Injuries in Riverside County CA?

    In Riverside County, as well as all counties in California, when you are bitten by a dog, the owner of the dog is responsible for your injuries. This is true whether the dog attacked on their property or at another location.  Their homeowners insurance can cover the medical expenses of the person bitten by their dog.  

    If it dog owner is renting their home, then Renters Insurance (if they have it) will cover the action of a dog who attacks.  If the renter does not have renters insurance it might be possible to collect from the property owner.  

    These cases require an experienced dog bite injury lawyer to get all of the compensation available to you.  Call us now if you have any questions.  The call and the consultation are free.

  • I am worried that I may have an infection after I was bitten by a dog in Los Angeles. What are some of the treatments that are used for a dog bite?

    Being bitten by a dog can be a very dangerous event. If you have been bitten by a dog in California and are worrying you may have an infection, you should seek medical attention right away. A dog’s mouth is by no means clean. The bacteria in a dog’s mouth is actually quite dangerous to a human. Being bitten by a dog should never be taken lightly.

    When seeking medical attention, you will learn that there are a number of ways in which the infection may be treated. How the infection will be treated may depend on the type of infection that you may be suffering from.

    Three common ways a dog bite infection may be treated are:

    • Antibiotics – These are one of the most common ways that a dog bite infection is treated. After seek medical attention for a doctor, he will determine the type of antibiotics that will best suit your infection.
    • Hospitalization – Once the infection sets in it can spread very rapidly through the body. Extra care and treatment may be necessary. This often involves the victim to stay in the hospital for treatment.
    • Topical creams – A topical cream may be used to treat the infection. These ointments are applied and covered, helping to keep the wound clean as it fights infections.

    Don’t let a dog bite be the cause of your financial ruin. To seek compensation contact a Los Angeles dog bite attorney at Steinberg. Call 800-989-6385 to discuss your legal options and receive a free consultation.

  • Are dog owners required to have liability insurance to cover dog bites in California?

    YES!  California has a "strict liability statute" when it come to cases involving dog bites.  This means that the dog owner is responsible for the injury and damages caused by their pets.  This applies whether the dog is in a public place or on the property of the dog owner when the dog bite occurs.  Every responsible dog owner should liability insurance coverage.  Check with your home owners insurance carrier to make sure you are covered.