Dog Bite Attorney

Dog bites could lead to some serious injuries that should be evaluated by a doctor right away. Young children and older adults are very vulnerable to dog bites. Dog bites are especially common in California. Damages you could receive and recover from a dog bite injury include medical bills, lost wages, disfigurement, and emotional distress. 

Not only could dog bites lead to physical injuries, but the victim will have to live with the emotional trauma forever. This could be a very devastating experience, especially if the victim is a young child.

Make sure that you have an experienced attorney on your side, and contact Heidari law today to see how our top-rated attorneys could help you.  We are available 24/7 for any legal consultations or case evaluations. We know how difficult it could be to come forward and report a dog bite incident,  especially if you do not know who the dog owner is. Our attorneys will investigate the dog bite incident and locate the dog owner. The sooner you speak to our lawyers, the better it is for your lawsuit.

California is known to have a dog bite law that is considered to be the “1 bite rule” where the owner is held liable for their dog’s bite if their dog has bitten someone before or has displayed past violent tendencies. 

But, California also follows strict liability laws where the dog owner is responsible for their dog regardless of if they have shown dangerous tendencies before. Make sure that you have a highly qualified attorney to help you with the legal hurdles associated with filing a dog bite claim.

How Can Our Dog Bite Injury Lawyers Help You?

We will conduct thorough investigations to look into the attack and find out the identity of the dog owner. This is done through various different ways, such as looking for video surveillance or interviewing witnesses.

We will file insurance claims and negotiate with other third parties to make sure that you get proper compensation.

California Dog Bite Laws

California civil code section 3342 is a statute that addresses dog bites and explains the “one bite rule.” The statute explains that the dog owner is liable for the injuries caused as long as:

  • They do not provoke the dog
  • The person was lawfully on the property

For the victim to have a case based on personal injury law in California, they must be able to prove three things:

  • The dog that committed the attack was owned by the defendant.
  • The victim was bitten while on public property or while on private property legally.
  • The victim’s injuries were directly from the bite.

California Dog Bite Statistics

  • Over 4,500,000 dog bites occur annually across the United States with hundreds of thousands requiring hospital care.
  • Nearly 50% of dog bite victims are young kids.
  • California sees some of the most dog attacks out of any state in the country and has seen the second most dog bite fatalities in America over the past 15 years.
  • California is the national leader in the number of dog bite claims per year and sees the highest average payout per case.
  • Los Angeles is regularly one of the top cities in America for the most dog attacks on postmen per year.
  • In the last 15 years, Pit bulls have caused the majority of dog bite fatalities in the United States with Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Mixed-breeds, and American bulldogs being the next most deadly breeds.

Check out the list of most dog attacks by breed and how you can prevent a dog bite and attack in California.

Common Injuries from Dog Bites

A dog bite (dog attack) can result in severe personal injuries that can require a visit to the hospital.  Around 15%-25% of the people bitten by a dog require medical attention for their injuries.

A few examples of different types of dog bite injuries include:

  • Facial Dog Bite;
  • Skin Punctures, Lacerations, Abrasions;
  • Bruises, Contusions;
  • Infection;
  • Broken Bones;
  • Disfigurement;
  • Trauma (Psychological and Emotional);
  • Scarring;
  • Emotional trauma;
  • Infections;
  • Fractures; 
  • Wounds; 
  • Permanent Disability;
  • Death

It costs a victim an average of $18,000 per hospital stay as the result of a dog bite in America. There are also tens of thousands of victims who undergo reconstructive surgery after receiving a bite.

Who Could Not Sue for a Dog Bite Injury?

There are several people who are unable to bring a lawsuit against the other party for dog bite injuries. Circumstances, where a lawsuit could most likely fail, include:

  • When the animal is a military or police dog
  • When the plaintiff provoked the dog
  • When the plaintiff was trespassing on another’s property
  • When the animal was used for self-defense

Can You Get Compensation from a Dog Bite?

People who have been injured as a result of a dog bite could recover different types of damages. This depends on the situation and the severity of the dog bites. Some examples of damages that dog bite victims could receive include:

  • Medical costs
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Physical Therapy
  • Scarring

Could I Receive Punitive Damages for a Dog Bite Injury?

Although it is very difficult to receive punitive damages in California or Nevada, in certain circumstances punitive damages may be allowed. Punitive damages are used to make an example out of the defendant. Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant if they have acted in any specific malicious behavior. Malice occurs when the defendant acted with a “ willful and conscious disregard for the rights or safety of others.” Although very few dog bite cases have been awarded punitive damages, there is no law that specifically prohibits punitive damages for your injuries.

When Should I File a Lawsuit for a Dog Bite Injury?

We advise our clients to file a lawsuit as soon as possible after being bitten by a dog. When you wait, the statute of limitations may pass. The statute of limitations states the time in which you can bring a claim against the other party. For example, in California and Nevada, the statute of limitations for bringing a dog bite claim is 2 years. When you bring a clean after these two years have passed, your claim will most likely fail.

Nevada Dog Bite Laws

Unlike California, Nevada does not have a dog bite statute that extends to the entire state. However, the most populated county, Clark County, has a statute in place where an owner whose dog bites another person faces civil liability if the dog has shown a previous history of aggression. This Clark County statute applies to the city of Las Vegas and the city of Henderson.

It is important to note that Nevada does not have a strict liability law when it comes to dog bites in the state. Usually, this means that the owner is not responsible for paying the victim of the dog bite any damages unless the dog has a history of dangerousness or the owner was negligent in watching their dog. Clark County has statutes in place that require those who have been bitten by a dog to report the dog bite to the city or county health officer.

What is Considered a Dangerous Dog in Nevada?

Nevada statutes define what a dangerous dog means. A dog is deemed dangerous if they have misbehaved and acted aggressively:

  1. Twice within 18 months
  2.  Without being provoked
  3.  When the dog is off their leash

It is important to note that this Clark County statute does not necessarily prohibit all dangerous dogs. This statute defines what a dangerous dog is to make sure that owners are on notice of the dangerous tendencies of their dog and to notify them that they should take steps to prevent any future injuries. This could mean purchasing liability insurance, spaying or neutering the animal, keeping the pet secure in the house, etc.

Are Dogs Allowed in Las Vegas?

Clark County has also set specific standards as to where dogs are allowed. Dogs are prohibited at:

  • South of Las Vegas Boulevard from Sahara to Sunset Road in the south
  • On both sides of Las Vegas Boulevard

What Are Some Defenses the Dog Owner Could Raise?

If you have suffered a dog bite injury, it is important to get legal assistance from an experienced dog bite injury attorney. The dog bite injury attorney will be able to determine liability and oppose any defenses that the defendant may bring forward. Defenses that defendant could bring include:

  • Plaintiff did not get injured
  • Plaintiff has not suffered damages
  • Plaintiff provoked the animal
  • The defendant is not the owner of the dog
  • Plaintiff assumed the risk when they pet the dog

Contact an Experienced Team of Dog Bite Attorneys

If you or a loved one has suffered a dog bite injury, contact our California and Nevada attorneys today to determine the amount of damages you could receive. We have offices located in every major city in California and Nevada, including Los Angeles, Fresno, San Diego, San Francisco, Las Vegas, etc. Our team of personal injury attorneys at Heidari Law Group are here to help you recover the most for your claim. Give us a call at 1-833-225-5454 for a free consultation.