Dogs are typically considered friendly and are affectionately known as man’s best friend. Sometimes, however, dogs may act aggressively and bite an individual. A dog bite can cause physical and financial damage.
If you were injured as a result of a dog bite, a West Sacramento personal injury lawyer can help you obtain financial compensation for your damages. Our West Sacramento dog bite lawyers at Triumph Law can investigate your dog bite accident, identify your damages, and establish liability for your injuries. It is recommended that you reach out to us today to discuss your dog bite accident and begin your journey to healing and obtaining justice.
California Dog Bite Statistics
The Insurance Information Institute (III) reports that 69 million households in the United States own a dog. Unfortunately, some of those dogs bite, and California tops the list of dog bite claims. In 2022, there were 1,954 dog bite claims that cost each victim more than $78,800, on average.
The harm caused by a dog bite is physically and financially costly. If you have been injured by a dog bite, you deserve compensation. An experienced dog bite attorney in West Sacramento can help you obtain maximum payment for the damages you incurred as a result of your dog bite.
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Dog Bite Laws in California
Pursuant to California law, a dog’s owner is liable for any injuries the dog causes to a person. This responsibility includes bites that take place on public or private property, as long as the victim is on the property lawfully. Because the dog owner is accountable for the injuries their dog causes from a bite, they are also responsible for compensating you for your damages.
There are a few exceptions to the state’s dog bite law. These exceptions include dog bites incurred during the course of police or military work or while trespassing on private property. In these instances, a dog bite victim is usually unable to recover damages for their injuries.
In California, it does not matter if the dog’s owner was unaware of their dog’s prior bite history or even if they had one. If you were bit by a dog and have injuries as a result, you need the help of a West Sacramento dog bite attorney. Our personal injury lawyers at Triumph Law will investigate your dog bite and determine whether you can recover compensation on behalf of the dog’s owner.
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Levels of Dog Bites
Dog bite injuries can range from minor to severe. The Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) identifies six levels of dog bites. Dog bites are categorized into these levels based on the bite wounds and are as follows:
This level consists of aggressive behavior by the dog, but its teeth do not make contact with a person’s skin. This level and the next make up more than 99% of dog incidents.
At this level, the dog’s teeth make contact with a person’s skin but do not puncture it. There may be small nicks in the skin that are less than .1% of an inch deep.
This level consists of one to four punctures from one dog bite. None of the punctures are deeper than half the length of the dog’s canine teeth.
This level involves one to four punctures from a single bite, as well. However, at least one puncture is deeper than half the length of the dog’s canine teeth and can result in bruising around the wound.
At this level, there are multiple incidences of bites by the dog. At least two of its bites are level 4.
This level consists of a dog bite so severe that it causes a fatality. Many times, bites at this level are more than just a single bite and include mutilation.
Depending on the level and severity of your dog bite, you can suffer from mild to severe physical injuries. Dog bite injuries can range in severity from puncture wounds and lacerations to disfigurement and nerve damage. Nearly all dog bites will result in psychological trauma.
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Steps to Take After Your West Sacramento Dog Bite
If you are bitten by a dog, it is important for you to take certain steps. Performing these actions can help you recover physically and support your dog bite claim. The following steps should be taken after your dog bite accident:
- Take photos of the dog, where you were bitten, and your injuries.
- Get contact information for the dog’s owner.
- Seek immediate medical treatment, even if you have injuries you cannot see.
- Report the dog bite to your local health department.
- Contact a dog bite lawyer in West Sacramento as soon as possible.
Reaching out to our dog bite attorneys at Triumph Law immediately after your dog bite is important. We can investigate the circumstances surrounding your dog bite and determine who is liable for your injuries. Then, we can file a claim against the at-fault party to recover your damages.
Liability in West Sacramento Dog Bite Claims
As discussed above, a dog’s owner is generally responsible for injuries their dog causes to a person it bites, with a few exceptions. To recover compensation for your damages, you need to prove certain elements. In California, you must establish the following factors to prevail in your personal injury claim:
- The dog’s owner owed you a duty of care to keep you safe from their dog.
- The dog’s owner breached that duty.
- The dog owner’s breach caused your injuries.
- You suffered damages as a result of the dog bite.
In California, these elements must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence. This means that it is more likely than not that the dog owner’s negligence caused the damages you sustained from your dog bite. Our dog bite lawyers at Triumph Law are knowledgeable regarding the evidence needed to prove liability in your dog bite claim and can help get you the compensation you deserve.
Recoverable Damages for Your West Sacramento Dog Bite
After successfully establishing that the dog’s owner was liable for your damages, there are several types of compensation you can obtain after your dog bite. In California, you may be entitled to compensatory damages and punitive damages. Compensatory damages include special and general damages.
- Special damages: These are your economic losses, such as your medical expenses, loss of earnings, and other out-of-pocket costs.
- General damages: These are your non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and disfigurement.
- Punitive damages: These damages are rare and can be awarded in cases wherein the liable party acted recklessly and maliciously.
Our Triumph Law dog bite attorneys can determine what damages you may be eligible to collect after your dog bite. We can file a claim against the liable party and work to get you maximum compensation for your losses. It is in your best interest to contact us as soon as possible after your dog bite accident so we can begin working to get you the justice you deserve.
Retain a Dog Bite Lawyer in West Sacramento to Help You
If you have suffered injuries from a dog bite, you deserve compensation for your physical, emotional, and financial trauma. Our experienced dog bite attorneys can investigate your dog bite accident, determine liability, and file a claim to get you the most compensation possible. Contact our personal injury lawyers at Triumph Law today for a confidential consultation regarding your West Sacramento dog bite claim.