Can you get compensation for a dog bite?
Next Steps After Dog Bite Tracy, CA
Dog Bite Injuries: Understanding Your Case Assessment
Being the victim of a dog bite is frightening and can also trigger medical bills, emotional suffering, and permanent scars. If a dog bites you, you may need to contact a personal injury lawyer to seek compensation for your expenses and prolonged pain and suffering. When you visit a lawyer in Tracy or Livermore , the first step in determining if you should consider filing a lawsuit is a case assessment. Here is what you should expect.
Assessment of the Circumstances
Your lawyer will start by asking you to explain exactly what happened when you were bitten. Your story must demonstrate that you were bitten in an unprovoked attack and that the dog’s owner should have had a reasonable expectation that the dog could become violent. If you did anything to provoke the dog, even if you were playing a seemingly harmless game, then your ability to get compensation for your injuries could be diminished. In terms of the dog owner’s knowledge of his or her dog’s aggression, if the dog has bitten someone before, there is a reasonable expectation that the dog may become aggressive again. Sometimes, it is difficult to prove that a dog owner is negligent if the animal has never previously bitten anyone. Your lawyer will also want information about where and when the bite occurred, and if you were on private property, if you had permission to be there.
Assessment of the Damages
During your case assessment, your personal injury lawyer will also review your medical bills and any other costs you incurred as the result of the dog bite, such as lost wages for time missed at work. If you received permanent scars as the result of the bite, this prolonged impact of your injury may shape the kind of damages your injury lawyer seeks. Your lawyer may also seek punitive damages and damages for pain and suffering you experience as the result of the bite, such as the stress caused by a permanent scar or a new phobia about dogs that is affecting your life.
Easy Ways to Document Dog Bite Injuries
Litigation regarding dog bite injuries isn’t as common as auto accident claims. Because of this, not all personal injury lawyers have experience handling these cases. Since the damage from a dog attack can cause substantial, lasting consequences for your finances and health, it’s essential to work with a lawyer in Tracy or Livermore who does have experience in this area. Get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible to discuss how you can support your claim with documented evidence.
Get medical help.
A dog bite should always be considered a medical emergency, even if the bite wound doesn’t appear to be severe. Dog bites are notorious for transmitting infectious diseases, and the wound may be worse than it looks. Additionally, going to the ER or urgent care clinic immediately is an easy way to document your injuries and their cause. Remember to tell the nurse and the physician that your injuries were caused by someone else’s dog. Ask them to record that fact in your medical record.
Call your local animal control agency.
Get in touch with animal control officers right away to report the incident. Give them as much information as you can about the dog, the location of the attack, and who owns the dog, if you know this person. Ask how you can obtain a written copy of the incident report.
Take pictures of your injuries.
While waiting to be treated at the hospital, take lots of pictures of your wounds. Place a common object next to each wound to document its relative size. A quarter or credit card would work well.
Keep track of your missed work days.
If you expect to miss time at work, ask the ER doctor to write a note to that effect. Even if your employer doesn’t require a note, it will be helpful for your case. Keep track of each day you miss, the wages you would have earned, and whether any of your benefits were affected. Your injury lawyer needs copies of all of these documents and logs.
How do I know if my dog bite is infected?
Dog Bite Injuries in Tracy, CA
What Injuries Are Common After a Dog Bite?
Even the gentlest of dogs can inexplicably attack a person and inflict serious injuries. Puncture wounds, nerve damage, and infections can lead to significant medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. After a dog attack, you can find the help you need at the office of a seasoned personal injury lawyer serving Tracy and Livermore. Your lawyer will ask to review your medical records and documentation of your losses in order to provide effective guidance on your case.
Given how friendly most dogs are, it’s easy to forget that they have very sharp teeth. When a dog attacks, the puncture wounds can penetrate deep into the tissues, inflicting significant pain and damage. As soon as you’ve gotten away from the dog, you should tightly press a clean cloth or bandage to all of the puncture wounds to slow the bleeding. Many dog attack victims must receive sutures in the hospital to close the wounds. To help your personal injury lawyer substantiate your case, you may choose to take pictures of your wounds.
Long after the puncture wounds have healed, you might still experience painful symptoms if the dog’s teeth inflicted nerve damage. Nerve pain can be debilitating, and it’s often accompanied by numbness, tingling, or burning sensations. You may also have muscle weakness in the area. Since nerves regenerate very slowly, these symptoms may affect you for months to come.
As your personal injury case progresses, you should periodically update your injury lawyer regarding any changes in your health. For instance, many dog attack victims develop secondary infections from bite wounds. If you experience worsening pain, increasing redness and swelling, or an abnormal, foul-smelling discharge from the wound, you need to seek prompt medical attention. It’s crucial to treat the infection before it can spread to the bloodstream.
It can be emotionally traumatic to be attacked by a dog. You may find yourself becoming irrationally fearful when you see or hear dogs. In severe cases, dog attack victims are reluctant to go outside the home because they fear another attack. Consider speaking with a mental health counselor about these issues. Let your lawyer know if you’re receiving psychiatric care, as you may be compensated for these expenses.
Common Injuries and Infections Caused by Dog Bites
Even the most well-behaved, even-tempered dog can sometimes attack others. If you’ve been attacked and injured by another person’s dog, you’ll likely have steep medical bills and you may even have lasting health problems that require ongoing care. Fortunately, there may be legal recourse available to you. Consider talking to a personal injury lawyer in Tracy or Livermore. Your lawyer can review your case and discuss the process of seeking a settlement or filing a lawsuit. It’s important to keep careful records of your injuries and all related expenses; your attorney will need this information to obtain just compensation on your behalf.
Puncture wounds are among the most common types of injuries caused by dog attacks. These can range from superficial scrapes to deep gashes. All types of dog attack injuries require medical care; even superficial scrapes pose a risk of infection. Plus, your medical records will substantiate the claim filed by your injury lawyer. Regarding mild to moderate puncture wounds, some experts recommend letting it bleed for a minute or two to cleanse the wound. Of course, if the wound is in your neck or head or is gushing forcefully, or if you’ve already lost a lot of blood, your first priority should be slowing the flow of blood by applying direct pressure. Then, call 911 without delay.
Dog bite wounds are notoriously prone to developing infections. One common infection is the staph infection, which is caused by bacteria. These infections can be life-threatening. The signs and symptoms of staph infections can include skin redness, swelling, oozing discharge, and rashes with blisters. If the staph infection enters the bloodstream, fever and low blood pressure can result. The infection can also travel to internal organs. Additionally, staph bacteria produce toxins that can cause toxic shock syndrome, resulting in symptoms such as high fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and confusion.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Dogs may be man’s best friend, but they can be terrifying when they attack. The fear a victim can feel during the attack can lead to PTSD. Individuals with PTSD may become unusually frightened of seeing dogs or hearing dogs bark. Some people may refuse to leave the house. PTSD can cause nightmares, depression, mood swings, and other debilitating problems.
When Is an Owner Responsible for a Dog Bite?
Dog bite law varies from state to state. It’s advisable to consult a personal injury lawyer in Tracy or Livermore to learn how the laws will apply to your particular case. Your personal injury lawyer will ask you some questions and review any available evidence to determine if you were bitten by someone else’s dog on public property. If you were bitten on private property, you may still have a case as long as your personal injury lawyer can prove that you had a lawful right to be there.
California is a strict liability state regarding dog bite cases. This means that your injury lawyer must prove that the dog did indeed inflict damages, but does not need to prove that the owner had previous warnings that the dog would behave aggressively. Even if the dog has never bitten anyone before, the dog owner could still be held liable for the medical bills and other damages.
Who Might Be Held Liable in a Dog Bite Case?
Dog bite cases fall into the category of personal injury cases. If you were injured by a dog bite, your personal injury lawyer in Tracy will help you determine the right party to pursue for damages. Generally, this is the dog’s owner.
Proving who should be held liable for a dog bite injury depends partly on state law. Some states hold owners responsible any time any animal bites someone, while other states only hold the owner accountable if he or she was aware that the animal was dangerous. In addition to the dog owner, animal keepers, landlords, property owners, and parents of minors who were in control of the dog during the bite incident can also be held responsible. In deciding whom to sue for damages, your lawyer must also plan a strategy that shows that you did not contribute to the incident with your behavior, such as ignoring a warning sign about the dog or acting aggressively towards the animal. If the other party can prove that you are at least partially liable for the bite, then your ability to receive damages may be compromised.
What Steps Should You Take if You’re a Dog Bite Victim?
It’s often thought that only certain breeds of dogs have a tendency to bite. But in fact, any dog may attack in response to a perceived threat. If someone else’s dog has attacked you, a lawyer can help you secure compensation for your injuries. There are a few steps you should take before you visit the office of a personal injury lawyer in Tracy or Manteca. Gathering documentation of your injuries will substantiate a claim that your injury lawyer can file on your behalf.
Gather Important Information
It’s essential to determine the dog’s owner or other person who had control of the dog when the attack occurred. If possible, write down this individual’s full name and address. Write down the names and contact information of any witnesses who may have seen the attack. If you have your cellphone with you, take photographs of your injuries.
Get Medical Help
Getting a medical evaluation after a dog attack is always advisable. Dog bites can easily spread infections . A medical provider will need to disinfect and bandage the wound. You may need to take antibiotics and pain relievers, and you may need a series of rabies shots. Your medical records will help your lawyer prove your damages.
File a Report
Check with your municipal government to determine which agency is responsible for handling dog-related complaints. Then, file a report with the county or city authorities, even if you do not know who owns the dog.
Contact an Injury Lawyer
Once you’ve gotten medical help and filed a dog bite report, it’s time to get in touch with a personal injury lawyer. Schedule an initial consultation and compile a list of questions you may have about your case. When you go to the appointment, bring any documents that are relevant to your case, such as copies of your medical records and receipts, photographs of your wounds, and a copy of your filed report.
Keep Good Records
If you do file a claim against the owner of the dog, your lawyer will need to prove your damages. If you missed time at work because of your injuries, keep track of your lost wages. Document all of your medical expenses, including pharmacy co-pays. Make notes about any other way your injuries have affected you.
Common Types of Personal Injury Cases
A personal injury lawyer near Tracy can handle a broad range of cases, including auto accidents and attacks by dogs. If you’ve suffered an injury and you believe it may have been the fault of another party, you can consult a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options. For this type of case, your injury lawyer will need to prove that the defendant should be held liable for your injuries. Additionally, he or she will need to provide evidence of the nature and extent of your losses. Quite often, however, attorneys can negotiate a favorable settlement for plaintiffs before the case goes to trial.
The majority of personal injury cases in the U.S. result from car accidents, truck accidents, and motorcycle collisions. Bicycle accidents and cases in which pedestrians are struck also form the basis for many personal injury lawsuits. Often, a lawyer can assist the victim of a crash by negotiating for a fair settlement from the auto insurance company. At other times; however, a personal injury lawsuit is necessary to justly compensate the victim. A lawyer can also represent the family members of an auto accident victim. In the event that a victim lost his or her life in the crash, the lawyer can file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the surviving family members. Compensation from a jury award or settlement deal can pay funeral expenses and medical expenses.
Even a well-trained, mild-mannered dog can bite. Dogs often attack because they feel threatened, because they’re hurt, or because they’re trying to protect something or someone. Dog bite cases are complex and often hinge upon where the attack took place, such as whether it was on the owner’s property or in a kennel. If you’ve been attacked by a dog, it’s imperative to work with an attorney who has experience handling these types of cases.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall cases can also be complicated. An individual may slip or trip and fall on a public sidewalk, inside a private building, or inside a retail establishment. A personal injury lawyer can investigate the case thoroughly to determine which parties may be held liable for the accident. This may include property managers or building owners, for example.
Attorney Spotlight: Brinton R. McCusker
Brinton R. McCusker, a lawyer serving Tracy , has been providing legal guidance to California residents since 1997. As a founding partner of Bakerink, McCusker & Belden, this injury lawyer has helped hundreds of clients reach favorable resolutions of their cases. Mr. McCusker has extensive experience with all types of personal injury cases, including auto accidents, motorcycle crashes, truck accidents, dog bites, slip and falls, and defective products. Mr. McCusker also represents property managers and landlords in eviction cases, along with civil litigation involving real property disputes and breach of contract.
Before Mr. McCusker began serving residents of Tracy and nearby areas as a skilled lawyer, he served his country in the U.S. Army from 1985 to 1989 as a Russian linguist. Later, in law school, he worked as a law clerk for the County of San Joaquin. Upon becoming a lawyer admitted to the State Bar of California, Mr. McCusker also became a member of the Consumer Attorneys of California, an organization dedicated to fighting for justice on behalf of those who have suffered losses due to negligent acts.
An Overview of California Dog Bite Law
A vicious dog can inflict serious damage on an individual. In addition to the physical harm and recuperation, a victim of a dog attack will likely face medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and other losses. If your or a loved one was the victim of a dog attack, look for personal injury lawyers in Tracy who have experience with these types of cases. Your personal injury lawyer can help you understand the applicable California laws. Your attorney may also file a claim on your behalf to help you recover compensation for your losses.
California has a strict liability statute regarding dog bite cases. This statute can be found under California Civil Code section 3342. Strict liability is essentially a zero tolerance policy toward dog attacks. This means that an owner may be held liable for bites regardless of the dog’s prior history. Even if the dog is not known to be dangerous and has never bitten anyone else, the owner may accountable for your losses. This is in contrast to other states with a “one bite” rule, which only hold the owner liable if the dog was previously known to attack or otherwise exhibit dangerous behavior.
Your injury lawyer may file a claim against the owner on the basis of negligence. Dog owners are required to take reasonable actions to prevent their dogs from attacking others . For example, a lawyer could argue that an owner is negligent for failing to confine the dog within the home or yard, or for failing to use a leash when walking the dog.
There are a few exceptions to holding an owner liable for a dog attack. Your injury lawyer will evaluate the specifics of your case to determine if it may fall under one of these exceptions. For example, you may not hold the owner liable if the dog was being used by the police, military, or other government agency during an investigation. If you are considered an unlawful trespasser onto a dog owner’s property, you may not hold that person liable for an attack. Additionally, the dog owner may claim that he or she forewarned you about the potential dangers of interacting with the dog. If you did so despite these warnings, you may not be able to hold the owner liable for your injuries.
Steps to Take if You Suffer a Dog Bite Injury
Each year, millions of Americans suffer dog bite injuries. Dogs can inflict serious damage on a person. Even seemingly minor dog bites can have serious consequences such as infections. In addition to the medical issues involved, victims of dog bites can accrue significant expenses related to medical treatment and the replacement of damaged property, such as clothing and eyewear. Personal injury lawyers in Tracy can help dog bite victims recover compensation for their losses. If you have been the victim of a dog attack, call a personal injury lawyer right away to learn which steps you should take next.
Prevent Further Injury
After a dog attacks, the first step to take is to remove yourself from the vicinity to prevent it from attacking again. Avoid running away and screaming ; however, as this will only provoke the dog further. Do not make eye contact with the animal. Remain calm and back away. If possible, position an object between you and the dog, such as a bike or trash can.
Obtain Basic Information
When the danger has passed, write down the full name and contact information of the dog’s owner. You might also ask if the dog is up-to-date on his or her shots. Additionally, obtain the names and contact information of any witnesses in the area. Your personal injury lawyer can use witness statements to substantiate your side of the story.
Seek Medical Attention
Go to the hospital to have your injuries assessed and treated, even if you think they may not be severe. Dog bites carry a high risk of infection and the dog may have not received rabies vaccinations. Plus, if you decide to file a lawsuit, your injury lawyer can use your medical records to bolster your case. Over the next few days and weeks, make notes about any new symptoms or problems that arise. For example, you might find that you sprained your ankle trying to get away from the dog.
Report the Incident
After obtaining medical treatment, call your city or county animal control authorities to report the incident. Depending on the regulations for your particular municipality, the authorities may need to quarantine the dog. After calling the animal control authorities, get in touch with a veteran personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights and options.
- Personal Injury
- Estate Planning
- customer reviews
- Financial Planning
- Work Injury
- Tracy Lawyer
- Dog Bites
- Auto Accident
- Slip and Fall
- Car Accident
- Living Trusts
- Trust Administration
- Living Will
- Wrongful Death
- advanced health care directive
- About Us
- Russian linguist
- Wills and Trusts
- Car Crash
- Whiplash Injuries
- Estate Taxes
- Slip and Fall Injury
- Auto Accident Claims
- Intestate Succession
- Trust Administrators