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San Bernardino Dog Bite Attorneys

Dog bites can be extremely traumatic for the victim. Many dog bite victims not only suffer from substantial injuries as a result of the dog’s aggression, they may also have ongoing psychological trauma related to the attack.

After a dog bite in California, you have the right to file a claim against the dog’s owner. If you suffer injuries in a dog bite, you have the right to file a claim. Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys today to learn more about your rights following a dog bite.

Seeking Compensation After a Dog Attack in San Bernardino

You suffered serious injuries in a dog attack in San Bernardino. What comes next? How do you seek compensation following a dog attack? Contact a San Bernardino dog bite lawyer at Gomez Trial Attorneys as soon as possible after your attack to learn more about your legal rights. We can help you with your San Bernardino dog bite claim.

Not only do many victims find that they can obtain additional compensation when working closely with a San Bernardino dog bite attorney, their lawyer:

  • Investigate the dog and its owners. Does the dog have a history of attacking? Have the owners found themselves involved in dog bite lawsuits in the past? An attorney can help investigate all of these factors. An attorney might also help investigate the safety measures the dog’s owners take to keep the dog from getting out, keeping others around the property safe.
  • Help you better understand the compensation you deserve. After a dog attack, you may hear from the dog owners’ home insurance company with a settlement offer. That settlement offer, however, might not reflect the compensation you really deserve for the injuries and trauma you suffered as a result of the accident. An attorney can help you understand the compensation you really deserve.
  • Handle the claim and negotiation for you. Dog bites often cause extreme trauma in the victim. Reliving that trauma over and over again as you deal with the insurance company can make it even more difficult for you to move forward after the attack. An attorney can take over those negotiations for you, freeing you up to deal with your other responsibilities.

Who Bears Liability for a San Bernardino Dog Bite or Attack?

California law imposes strict liability on dog owners regarding their responsibility for their animal as long as the victim had a lawful right to visit that location. It does not matter if the dog has no bite history or if the owner had no reason to suspect the dog would bite—though a history of viciousness might make your claim easier to prove.

This includes a dog attack that occurs on public property as well as a dog attack that occurs on the dog owner’s property when the victim had the lawful right to be there.

Practically, California law says that if you suffer injuries in a dog attack while in a location you had the legal right to enter, the dog’s owner can be on the hook to provide compensation for your injuries.

On public property, San Bernardino dog owners should keep their dogs properly restrained, including maintaining an appropriate distance from others when needed. Dog owners should keep their pets under control and prevent them from attacking others.

On private property, dog owners should make sure their dogs cannot escape and endanger someone else. If the dog owner has visitors to the property, visitors should know where the dog stays, its habits, and whether it has a history of biting. A dangerous animal should not have the opportunity to attack lawful visitors to the property.

Often, dog owners’ homeowners’ or renters’ insurance will cover the cost of a San Bernardino dog bite claim after a dog attack. Some insurance companies, however, may refuse to write a policy for an owner that has dogs that fall into known dangerous breeds, including pit bulls.

Dog owners may need to exclude those dogs from their policies or choose another company for their insurance. They may pay additional fees to have those dogs on their property. If the dog owner does not have a policy that covers the dog and its attacks, the dog owner may have to pay for your claim out of pocket.

How Much Compensation Could You Expect After a San Bernardino Dog Attack?

After a San Bernardino dog attack, the compensation you could expect may depend on the severity of your injuries and, if the dog owner has an insurance policy that covers dog attacks, the limits of their policy. If the dog owner does not have insurance, it can become more difficult to recover damages from a party that does not have adequate income to cover the cost.

Talk to a San Bernardino dog bite attorney to learn more about the compensation you could expect for your specific claim, since no one can issue a definitive statement about the exact compensation dog bite victims will receive following an injury. Gomez Trial Attorneys are here to help.

In a San Bernardino dog bite case, people often claim:

Medical expenses. After a dog bite, you may need immediate medical attention to clean and bandage the wound and decrease your risk of infection. You may also need to receive vaccination against tetanus and rabies, especially if the dog does not have clear vaccination records.

For many dog bite victims, emergency care may represent the primary medical expense associated with the accident. For others, however, medical expenses may continue well after the immediate attack, especially if the victim develops serious conditions or infections related to the attack.

In the case of severe injuries, the victim may have significant, ongoing medical costs associated with the accident. For instance, a victim may experience broken bones or even amputations, which can occur if the limb suffers too much damage or tissue dies as a result of the infection.

The victim may need to go through considerable physical and occupational therapy, for example.

In the case of severe infection, the victim may need to pay for antibiotics or procedures to remove damaged tissue from the area around the bite. Keep track of all medical bills related to the dog attack so that you can easily display all of your medical expenses.

In addition to your physical medical bills, make sure you track expenses associated with psychological care following your dog attack, since you could include those as part of your San Bernardino dog bite claim. Many dog attack victims need to go through considerable psychological therapy, especially if they suffer from symptoms of PTSD after the attack.

Lost wages. Some victims cannot return to work in the immediate aftermath of a dog attack. A bite on the hand, for example, can make it very difficult for the victim to type, while bites anywhere on the arms and legs can make it difficult to engage in manual labor. Victims may need to stay out of work until the injury heals.

Victims may also struggle to return to work due to psychological trauma. This is especially true for victims who work closely with animals. In some cases, the victim may need time to recover before going back to normal work responsibilities. Consult an attorney, like those at Gomez Trial Attorneys, to learn more about how you can include the lost wages due to those difficulties as part of your dog bite claim.

Pain and suffering. Dog attacks can cause considerable physical pain and suffering and severe emotional anguish. Many dog bite victims find themselves struggling to return to normal activities following the attack. A simple walk in the park can become incredibly traumatic when even a dog on a leash triggers memory of the attack.

Some victims may struggle with these implications for weeks, months, or years after the attack. Many become socially isolated due to their inability to go out around dogs. Talk to an attorney to learn more about how to include your suffering as part of your San Bernardino dog bite claim after a dog attack.

Understanding Dog Bite Injuries

Dogs bite with extreme force when challenged. Even the smallest, most gentle-seeming dog has predator-strong jaws that can cause serious injury. Dog bite injuries may include:

Punctures

Often, people who suffer dog bites have punctures in the shape of the dog’s teeth. Even a single puncture wound can go deep into the skin, causing significant tissue damage. Puncture wounds alone may not cause serious bleeding. They can, however, quickly go very deep. This deeper type of wound significantly increases the risk of infection.

Serious Muscle or Tissue Damage

In some cases, dog bites can cause serious damage to the muscle and tissue. Dogs may attempt to tear at the victim’s skin and the flesh beneath, leading to serious injury. If a dog’s teeth drag along a wound or a dog bites down hard, it can cause severe blood loss and damage to the victim. Additionally, many victims who face this type of damage may have severe scarring, which can cause psychological trauma in the victim.

Infection

When a dog bites, bacteria from the dog’s saliva can get into the victim’s body. That bacteria can then cause severe infection. Many dog bite victims attempt to avoid infection by thoroughly cleaning out the wound as soon as possible; however, bacteria can still creep in, especially in the case of deep bites. Victims may also suffer infection later in the healing process. Infection can cause severe inflammation, fever, and increased pain for the victim. Infection can also lengthen healing time and raise the risk of scarring.

Rabies

If a dog has rabies when it bites, it can spread the infection to its victim through its saliva. Rabies progresses rapidly to the brain of the victim and can often be fatal. To stave off the chance of rabies, if the dog has a suspected rabies infection or has not received rabies vaccines, the victim may need to take rabies shots to prevent infection. Doctors can only fully determine if a dog has rabies in an autopsy, which can make it very difficult to know whether the victim faces a serious risk. Dogs with rabies, however, can attack more readily than dogs without it.

Tetanus

A dog’s bite can transmit the bacteria that cause tetanus.

Tetanus can cause a wide range of symptoms, including:

  • Muscle spasms
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Paralysis
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Seizures
  • Fever in sweating
  • Blood pressure changes
  • Rapid heart rate

If a dog bite victim does not have an up-to-date tetanus shot at the time of the attack, the victim should update that vaccine to help reduce the risk of tetanus.

Injuries Sustained During the Attack

During a dog attack, many people lose their footing and fall to the ground, which can cause as many severe injuries as the dog bite itself. Victims may have similar injuries to slip and fall victims, including broken bones, traumatic brain injury, or even spinal cord injury. These injuries can cause serious complications to the victim’s life, making it very difficult to work or take care of other tasks.

Psychological Impacts

In addition to the physical injuries associated with the dog attack, many victims suffer severe psychological trauma. Dog bite victims often suffer fear when encountering dogs and other large animals in the future. Victims may also suffer symptoms of PTSD, including difficulty walking by the scene of the accident, trouble sleeping, or flashbacks. Even victims who previously felt comfortable around dogs of all sizes may struggle to interact with them following the accident.

Contact a San Bernardino Dog Bite Attorney Today

If you suffered injuries in an animal attack of any kind, including a dog bite attack, an attorney can help you better understand your legal rights and, and help fight for the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys at (619) 237-3490 today for your free consultation.

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