The physical and emotional injuries can be significant with a dog bite. Dog owners may be responsible for these injuries, depending on how the situation occurred, and a Davis dog bite lawyer can help you figure out if you have a potential case. Contact Triumph Law to speak with a Davis personal injury lawyer.
Some of the Most Common Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bites can lead to a variety of serious injuries. Lacerations, puncture wounds, crushed bones, and bacterial infections are some of the most common physical traumas. Children are especially vulnerable to these injuries because of their small size and less developed immune systems. Scarring and permanent disfigurement may also occur when bites are severe.
Besides physical wounds, dog bites can cause long-lasting emotional and psychological harm. Being attacked by what is often considered a man’s best friend can lead to anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Fear of dogs or public places may develop, impacting daily activities and quality of life. The suddenness of a dog attack further contributes to this emotional turmoil.
The injuries caused by dog bites often require extensive and costly medical treatment. Reconstructive surgery, rabies vaccinations, counseling, and even hospitalization may be necessary, depending on the severity. Post-attack pain and rehabilitation can disrupt work and school for extended periods. As expenses add up, the financial burden compounds the physical and emotional struggles.
Your Triumph Is Our Triumph(916) 500-0000
When to File a Claim in California
In California, you generally have two years from the date of injury to file a dog bite claim. However, if the injured party is a minor, the two-year deadline starts once they turn 18 years old. Claims against government entities typically must be filed within only six months of the incident.
Filing early can improve your chances of success in your case. Witnesses’ memories fade over time, evidence can disappear, and bills continue accumulating. An experienced dog bite lawyer in Davis can help gather information, negotiate with insurance companies, and file before deadlines pass.
Keep in mind that an animal control report should be filed as soon as possible after an attack. These reports can be crucial evidence for your claim, and without them, you may not have a high chance of winning. They can also prevent future bites through increased oversight or penalties for owners.
Contact Us for A Free (916) 500-0000
& Confidential Consultation
What Vicious Propensity Is and How to Prove It
In California, dog owners can be held liable if they knew or should have known their dog had vicious tendencies prior to an attack, known as “vicious propensity.” This focuses on the particular animal’s history and knowledge of aggression, not just the breed. To prove vicious propensity, attorneys investigate past biting incidents, complaints against the owner, and reports filed with animal control demonstrating awareness of danger.
Documentary evidence can also be key in vicious propensity claims, like veterinary records showing treatment for aggression or recommendations of training, behavioral therapy, muzzling in public, or other restrictions. Statements from neighbors, mail carriers, or others with past threatening encounters with the dog help establish knowledge. Photos of “Beware of Dog” signs posted on the owner’s property before the attack provide compelling proof.
Eyewitness accounts of the incident itself are important for reconstructing events leading up to the bite. Detailed descriptions of the circumstances, the dog’s behavioral warning signs like growling or baring teeth, and the owner’s handling can reveal foreseeability. A dog bite attorney in Davis can take a variety of evidence types to make vicious propensity more provable.
Receive the Triumph You (916) 500-0000
Need & Deserve Today
How California Can Be Stricter for Dog Bites
California imposes strict liability when a dog bite occurs in a public place or legally permitted private area. This means the owner is responsible regardless of previous knowledge or preventative measures taken. The only defense is if the injured person was trespassing or provoking the dog into attacking. Strict liability motivates owners to control dogs in public spaces through leashes, muzzles, secure fences, etc.
The state also recognizes the “first bite rule” in certain scenarios. This means owners cannot evade responsibility just because their dog has never been bitten before as long as other signs of aggression exist. Prior displays of threatening behavior or temperament issues help prove first-bite foreseeability when combined with expert testimony. Imposing liability, even without a known bite history, removes an easy defense for irresponsible ownership.
California also allows enhanced civil damages exceeding just medical expenses and lost wages, including compensation for emotional distress, pain and suffering, permanent scarring or disability, loss of companionship, and punitive damages in extreme cases. Contact Triumph Law to see what you can potentially claim with a dog bite lawyer in Davis.
When a Dog May Be Euthanized in California
In California, a dog that attacks may be euthanized if it is deemed vicious and dangerous by a judge. According to state law, a vicious dog is one that has either severely injured or killed a person without being provoked. Dogs that have a known history of aggression and display unprovoked violent tendencies can potentially face euthanasia if they attack again.
Local animal control departments and city councils typically oversee vicious dog hearings, where evidence and testimony help determine the risk of repeat offenses. Veterinarians, behavior experts, victims, and the investigating officer usually participate. If a judge orders euthanization, the owner has limited appeal rights but must comply with time mandates or face criminal charges.
Euthanization is generally viewed as an action of last resort if all other preventative measures, like muzzling in public, specialized training programs, or relocation, have been exhausted without success. The ultimate goal of hearings is prioritizing public safety when a dog has clearly and repeatedly demonstrated unmanageable aggression issues. Dogs with past behavioral issues likely still pose a danger to people, and the owner should be extra cautious.
Get Legal Help with a Davis Dog Bite Attorney
After getting bit by a dog, you have to deal with the potential traumatic aftermath. After that, you may attempt to seek compensation, but it can be overwhelming on your own. Contact Triumph Law for a free consultation and see if your situation has the potential to form a case.