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Everything You Need To Know About Dog Bites in San Diego

California has laws that protect people that have been injured by dogs. Dogs can seriously injure or even kill someone. Unfortunately, most dog bite victims are children.  It is important to know what classifies as an injury in order to receive damages.

Common dog bite injuries include:

  • Brain injuries 
  • Permanent scarring 
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Disfigurement
  • Nerve damage 
  • Psychological trauma 
  • Infection 

Children & Dog Bites

Dog bites are very common in everyone, but specifically in children. Children are most affected by dog bites because they may not know how to act around pets. It is important that children know how to act around dogs they are unfamiliar with. 

Here is a Helpful List of Things Children Should Know About Dogs:

  • Do not approach dogs from behind
  • Do not touch or go near a dog’s food bowl
  • Do not pull a dog by any body part
  • Do not put your face by a dog’s mouth

We understand that children love to play and love dogs (give kisses), but even dogs that we are familiar with can sometimes snap. You should always be visible to a dog so they do not get startled and react negatively. Of course, if you come into contact with an unfamiliar mean dog, remain calm, refrain from screaming and try to stay still or back away from the dog as slow as possible. 

Animal experts warn that even our beloved dogs can sometimes be vicious and territorial. 

What should I do if I am bit by a dog?

If you are bit by a dog, seek immediate medical attention. Also, if you can, exchange contact information with the owner of the dog. It is important that you remember as many details from the incident as possible, such as the breed and color of the dog. If you feel the dog is a danger to your area, please think about calling San Diego Animal Services.

Who is liable if I am bit by a dog?

In San Diego, dog owners are liable when their dog bites someone on a persons’ private property, or while in public. Unlike other personal injury cases, the plaintiff does not have to prove the defendant was negligent before they recover compensation, under California law. However, the statute only applies when the victim was lawfully in a private setting or a public place. Also, this only applies to bites and to the owner of the dog. And of course, it does not apply to police or military dogs. 

“One Bite Rule”

The plaintiff can bring a lawsuit under common law doctrine known as “one bite rule”. Under this rule, the keeper of an animal that attacked someone is liable for damages the dog causes when the owner is aware of the animal’s vicious or dangerous acts and does not exercise reasonable care in containing the dog. 

The plaintiff must be able to prove the defendant had knowledge of the dog’s dangerous propensities in order to prove negligence. This process can be more difficult than statutory strict liability. If the dog caused a non-bite injury, the common law doctrine is absolutely necessary.  

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Our firm represents the following accident types: Car Accidents, Motorcycle Accidents, Pedestrian Accidents, Slip and Fall Accidents, Dog Bite Accidents and more.

If you suffered a back injury, and feel that you have a case, call our San Diego Personal Injury Attorneys. We can help you figure out your course of action and advise you on the best way to go about your case.

How long do I have to file a lawsuit?

Under California law, and like most other personal injury lawsuits, dog bites that resulted in injury must be within two years of the incident. If you do not file your lawsuit within the two years, you will lose the right to file a lawsuit and collect any damages. 

If you have further questions about filing a dog bite lawsuit and collecting damages, please contact us at…

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