Dog Bite Lawyer in Tracy, CA
Bakerink, McCusker & Belden’s Dog Attack Lawyers
Bakerink, McCusker & Belden is a top personal injury lawyer located in Tracy, CA. Dog bite lawyers are necessary when a dog attack leaves an individual with a potentially serious injury. Our firm has experience dealing with cases involving dog bites, and a track record of securing results favorable for our clients. Our diverse portfolio – involving car accident injury, medical malpractice, nursing home neglect – informs us of the legal strategies enabling us to advocate for our clients. Call us today to learn more about dog bites, how to proceed if you’re bit, and how the attorneys at Bakerink, McCusker & Belden can help.
What to Beware of When it Comes to Dog Bites
If you think a dog bite poses no risk beyond the initial bite, you’re wrong. Dog bites can be severe, resulting in illness, and in some cases, death. This is why it’s so crucial to act quickly, rather than delaying action until the worst happens. Dogs’ mouths contain over 60 types of bacteria, and a few of them can harm humans, resulting in diseases as varied as:
Rabies: Chances are, you’re already concerned about the possibility of rabies if an unfamiliar dog bit you. While most dog owners vaccinate their pets against the illness, some do not. Rabies attacks the brain and is almost always fatal once symptoms appear. We can secure damages in the event the dog bite involved the transfer of rabies.
Capnocytophaga Bacteria: This bacteria lives in the mouths of both dogs and cats. However, it doesn’t usually affect individuals unless they have a weakened immune system. Clients with autoimmune diseases are susceptible to health issues as a result of these bacteria.
Pasteurella: Pasteurella is a bacterial infection causing a painful, red infection at the site of the bite. However, those with compromised immune systems are at risk for more serious complications. Hiring Bakerink, McCusker & Belden to handle your case is an important step to take because it can help wipe out or mitigate medical bills arising from this medical condition.
MRSA: Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus is a staph infection resulting in skin, lung, and urinary tract infections. In some cases, MRSA spreads to the bloodstream or lungs and becomes life-threatening, making it critical to seek medical attention and legal representation immediately.
Tetanus: If you’re up-to-date on your tetanus shots, then you don’t need to worry. However, if you aren’t, you should be aware deeper dog bites can cause tetanus, which is potentially life-threatening.
How to Win a Dog Bite Lawsuit in Tracy, CA
The first thing to be aware of is the statute of limitations. Per the California statute of limitations, you must file any personal injury lawsuit within two years of the initial injury. California dog bite law is relatively straightforward. California considers the owner of the dog liable if a dog bite caused the damage, and if the person bit was in a public place or lawfully in a private residence. There are some essential exceptions to take note of, though:
- California is also a “strict liability” state, which means dog owners cannot claim they had no idea the dog would bite someone, nor does the absence of prior incidents absolve them of damages.
- Police and military dogs are exempt from California bite law, and you cannot hold the owners of those dogs liable.
- Dog bite law only applies to bites, therefore injuries resulting from scratches don’t apply. However, other areas of personal injury law could potentially provide legal relief in those cases.
Potential Defenses Against Dog Bite Injury Litigation
Because California is a “strict liability” state, defendants can find it challenging to defend themselves in the event of a lawsuit. However, there are some recourses. Understanding them can help clients of the dog injury attorneys at Bakerink, McCusker & Belden prepare, whether they are the plaintiff or the defendant. Be aware of the following:
Trespassing: Because one of the two requirements of dog bite litigation involves the legal presence on the property, a burglar or trespasser on private or public property would not be entitled to damages.
Proof of injury: If a large dog jumps on an individual, but does not bite them, then the individual’s injuries do not qualify for a dog bite injury lawsuit. However, there are other personal injury law avenues to be explored in those cases.
Don’t Delay Action; Contact Bakerink, McCusker & Belden Now
While the statute of limitations for filing a dog bite lawsuit is two years, Bakerink, McCusker & Belden doesn’t necessarily recommend you wait that long to seek action. If your injuries resulted in a minor injury or a relatively small ER bill, then you could wait if you wish. However, as noted above, dog bites can result in more serious consequences, and some of them can linger, causing extensive financial difficulties. Therefore, we believe it is wise to seek legal representation immediately, rather than waiting. Regardless, Bakerink, McCusker & Belden’s personal injury lawyers can help. For more information regarding dog bites, as well as our dog attack attorneys, contact us today.