California Dog Bite Lawyers

Our California dog bite lawyers at The May Firm love all kinds of animals, especially dogs. But we also understand that being bitten by one can have permanent consequences. If you’ve sustained an injury from a dog bite, call us for a free case consultation. Using your testimony and evidence, we’ll re-create the incident and identify potential causes leading up to the bite that will strengthen your case and earn you a settlement.

Payment for our services is on a contingency fee basis, meaning we’re only financially compensated if your settlement is won.

The May Firm has offices throughout California, including San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Fresno, Bakersfield, Carlsbad, Chula Vista and San Diego. Often times after a dog bite, clients are left needing treatment, yet don’t know where to start.

Once you hire our office, we can arrange medical treatment (commonly plastic surgeons) along with physical and psychological therapy for you by doctors who work on a lien basis.

This means you don’t pay until your case is closed, so no time is wasted in getting you the medical help you need to start your recovery. We’re able to create such partnerships to offer these services because of our case-proven record of success.

We are confident in our ability to get you reimbursed for the damages caused by a vicious animal. Usually, when attacks occur, it’s the result of improper training or supervision by the owners of the canine.

California’s geography and weather offers its residents all sorts of opportunities to get outside and exercise, making it a great place to share with a canine friend. Most dog owners understand the responsibilities they assume when owning a dog or taking it out in public, but despite the owner’s best intentions, getting bit by a dog is an everyday possibility faced by many Californians.

Even the most well behaved canine can lash out if its scared, cornered, or injured. Accidents can happen, and the perception that the bite was out of the dog owner’s control could be part of the reason why only around 1 in 5 dog bites are reported to authorities. Ultimately however, the dog is the responsibility of the owner.

If you are the victim of a dog bite that resulted from an owner’s negligence, contact The May Firm to see if you have a case.

Have questions? Call our award winning California dog attack attorneys with over a 99% success rate at 1(866) 622-6491 anytime, we’re here to help.

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What To Do if You’re Bitten by a Dog

The first thing to do if bitten by a dog is to seek medical attention. Even if the dog’s teeth or claws did not break the skin, other injuries can be sustained like bruises to both bone orboth bone and muscle, or even a sprain in an attempt to fight off the animal. Seeing a medical professional is obviously important for health reasons, but it also helps strengthen your case should legal action be taken.

If the skin is broken, dog teeth will often cause a puncture wound. WebMD suggests placing a clean towel over the wound to stop any bleeding, keep the area elevated, and washing it with soap and water. Dog’s mouths can harbor a lot of bacteria, keeping the wound clean and sterile is of the utmost importance. Redness, swelling, warmth, or pus are all signs of infection, and should be addressed by a doctor as soon as possible. Certain pre-existing health conditions like diabetes or liver disease may be at a greater risk for disease.

The American Red Cross warns against chasing down or trying to capture the dog that bit you; a captured dog will most likely become frightened and attempt to fight its way to freedom. If the dog is one you do not know, it is important to get tested for diseases like rabies. The best chance of surviving rabies is if a vaccine is administered before signs of illness are apparent.

Establishing Fault


After being attacked, exchange information with the dog’s owner if they are present and you are able to. Most circumstances that involve a dog attack will also include other witnesses, and it would be wise to collect their information as well, if they are willing to share it. Testimonials from other people who saw the attack help to serve as secondary accounts of what you, your attorney, will allege happened. The May Firm will use any information available to call witnesses as well as capture a police animal control report from the authorities if they’re involved to make sure the account of the attack is accurate. Accurate reports, accounts and testimony strengthen your case and increase your chance of getting a fair settlement. California is a strict liability state, however, the issue in dog bite cases is often proving ownership of the animal, locating the owner, confirming insurance information and the assets of the owner of the animal.

Children and Dog Attacks


According to safetyarounddogs.org, dog bites are the second most common cause for emergency room visits among 9 activities common around children. The CDC shows that the odds of a dog bite happening to a child are 3.2 to 1. Although around 81% of dog bites that occur to the general population leave little or no injury, it’s still very important to keep an eye on small children when they’re around canines, even if it is a family pet. Karen Delise, author of Fatal Dog Attacks writes: “It is important to emphasize that dogs bite today for the same reasons that they did one hundred or one thousand years ago. Dogs are no more dangerous today than they were a century or millennium ago. They only difference is a shift in human perception of what is and is not natural canine behavior and/or aggression and the breed of dog involved.”

SafetyAroundDogs.org notes that children being unsupervised greatly increases the risk of an attack, and they give some useful information that stresses the importance of adult supervision in keeping children safe:

  • Dogs are much less likely to attack a child in the presence of an adult, particularly in the presence of the owner.
  • In the event that a dog does attack a child in the presence of an adult, the intervention of the adult often prevents the attack from becoming a fatality.
  • Children, because of their small size, are usually not able to sustain an attack until help arrives. Many adults survived severe dog attacks simply by virtue of the fact that they were able to sustain and fend the dogs off to some degree until assistance arrived.
  • Children often engage in dangerous behavior (approaching too close to a chained dog or trying to hug/kiss an unfamiliar animal) that a supervising adult would have prevented.

Clients Testimonials

frequently asked questions

The attorneys at May Firm answer questions clients frequently ask about motor vehicle accidents and wrongful death claims in California.

We are California dog bite attorneys and we know dog attacks leave more than physical scars. Being attacked by a dog is a frightening experience that stays with the victim for the rest of their life. The California dog bite attorneys at The May Firm have represented victims of dog bite/dog attack for years.

With the help of the local residents, the California police have always identified the owners of the dogs. The county laws of California State, regarding dangerous animals like dogs are clear. In the event that you are bitten by a dog in CA you will definitely need the services of a personal injury lawyer.

Our local attorneys are well versed with the county laws of California and have been instrumental in the gathering of the evidence, assisting our clients get medical attention and negotiating on behalf of our clients. Most people usually suffer silently because of ignorance. They do not know that when they are bitten by the dogs they are entitled to compensation from the dog owner. With the help of the California dog attack attorneys at The May Firm, we can compel the dog owner to pay for any lost revenue, medical expenses, emotional trauma and all other recoverable damages by the dangerous animal.

Dog Bite Attorney California

In California, dog bite injuries or dog attacks is one of the most common personal injury accidents that take place in this county. In the event that you get bitten by dog, it is advised that you hire the services of a personal lawyer at The May Firm as soon as possible. This is very important step especially if you want monetary compensation and medical attention. Even if you are sufficiently covered, there are some insurance companies that may take advantage of your lack of experience regarding California dog bite laws, so they do not have to compensate you appropriately.

This is where the California personal injury lawyers at The May Firm will come in handy as they will be able to argue out your case and compel the insurance firms to compensate you for your injuries and losses. The statistics in the county speaks for itself. California residents who have sought legal services from the California personal injury attorneys at The May Firm have won their legal battles with insurance firms and they have been compensated. If you have suffered a from dog bite injury and searching different law firm in CA, call The May Firm for a free consultation.

Find A California Dog Attack Lawyer

A dog bite injury lawyer is well versed with the laws of California. When hiring such lawyers their legal and education background are very important and should be considered. For instance, it does not make sense to hire a personal injury lawyer whose record is lacking as far as the representation of his/her previous clients. Our attorneys have represented those attacked at California dog beach, bitten walking down State Street and just taking a walk in their own neighborhood.

You never know when a dangerous animal will attack and it is difficult to know what to do after the attack. The dog bite attorneys at The May Firm have tremendous experience and success representing dog attack victims. If your dog bite attorney advocates for you effectively, you are likely to get more monetary compensation as a result of the dog bite that you endured in CA.

If you have recently been the victim of an animal attack, there is very little time to act in order to receive full compensation for your injuries. California state law has very specific laws dedicated to the liability for owners of dogs who inflict injuries on other people.

Because of these laws, you are entitled to full compensation for your injuries, costs related to the animal attack and the time that you are off of work due to the animal attack. Dog attacks can occur when a person is visiting another individual’s house, walking along the street or sidewalk, or walking around parks and beaches.

California Dog Bite Injury Law

California civil code directly states that the owner of a dog that inflicts damages is liable for the damages that are suffered by the person who is bitten as long as the attack happened in a public place, or the individual that suffered damages was attacked while he or she was lawfully in a private place.

This private place can be a residence, a business or anywhere else that a person is allowed into. Liability for the dog bite is still placed on the owner, regardless of any prior aggression shown by the animal. Even if the dog hasn’t bitten anyone before, the owner of the animal is still liable to pay for the damages inflicted upon the other person.

In addition to direct attacks, dogs can cause other types of damages to people. For example, if a dog were to run out in front of a vehicle on the road and the animal ran the vehicle off of the road, the owner of the dog would be liable to pay for any damages to the vehicle, damage caused by the vehicle, and damages caused to the driver’s health.

The first thing to do if bitten by a dog is to seek medical attention. Even if the dog’s teeth or claws did not break the skin, other injuries can be sustained like bruises to both bone orboth bone and muscle, or even a sprain in an attempt to fight off the animal. Seeing a medical professional is obviously important for health reasons, but it also helps strengthen your case should legal action be taken.

If the skin is broken, dog teeth will often cause a puncture wound. WebMD suggests placing a clean towel over the wound to stop any bleeding, keep the area elevated, and washing it with soap and water. Dog’s mouths can harbor a lot of bacteria, keeping the wound clean and sterile is of the utmost importance. Redness, swelling, warmth, or pus are all signs of infection, and should be addressed by a doctor as soon as possible. Certain pre-existing health conditions like diabetes or liver disease may be at a greater risk for disease.

The American Red Cross warns against chasing down or trying to capture the dog that bit you; a captured dog will most likely become frightened and attempt to fight its way to freedom. If the dog is one you do not know, it is important to get tested for diseases like rabies. The best chance of surviving rabies is if a vaccine is administered before signs of illness are apparent.

After being attacked, exchange information with the dog’s owner if they are present and you are able to. Most circumstances that involve a dog attack will also include other witnesses, and it would be wise to collect their information as well, if they are willing to share it. Testimonials from other people who saw the attack help to serve as secondary accounts of what you, your attorney, will allege happened. The May Firm will use any information available to call witnesses as well as capture a police animal control report from the authorities if they’re involved to make sure the account of the attack is accurate.

Accurate reports, accounts and testimony strengthen your case and increase your chance of getting a fair settlement. California is a strict liability state, however, the issue in dog bite cases is often proving ownership of the animal, locating the owner, confirming insurance information and the assets of the owner of the animal.

California is one of the states that make dog owners strictly liable when their dogs cause injuries – under Civil Code section 3342. Although fatalities are few, a dog bite can result in hospitalization, lost income due to lost time from work, emotional trauma and pain.

If you have been bitten by a dog, you can file a personal injury claim within 2 years of the actual date of the dog bite. In California, if your claim is more than $7,500, you will need to file a proper lawsuit in a California Superior Court. Claims less than $7,500 can be filed in the California Small Claims Court that has jurisdiction.

The state of California has clearly written laws set out on the liability of owners when their dog attacks an individual. The owner of a dog that attacks an individual is fully responsible for the actions of the dog and although there was once a rule that stated that each dog had a “one-free bite” pass, meaning that a dog that has never previously shown aggression towards people or other animals or a dog that has never previously attacked someone has a free pass on the first occasion that this happens, this rule has since been revoked. This line becomes somewhat blurry however when the dog is in the care of a non-owner such as a pet sitter or dog walker and then attacks another individual.

California civil code currently has a statute that protects non-owners from being liable to the actions of the dog. A non-owner is anyone that was overseeing the care of the dog when the dog attack occurred, but is not the owner of the animal. Since there are so many situations in which a dog attack can occur, the state decided to pass a statute to protect non-owners from being held liable in the event of a dog attack. A “keeper” or anyone who is watching the dog for the owner is not liable to pay for the damages and related costs that the dog inflicts upon another human-being as long as the keeper is aware of the past history of aggression that the dog has and has taken the necessary precautions to avoid a situation in which someone could potentially be injured. These precautions include special dog collars to keep the dog from running off and hurting someone and an understanding of any potential harm that the dog could cause.

Since non-owners are not held liable for the dog attack, the damages must be paid by the owner of the animal. Non-owners that have taken the necessary precautions to avoid harming anyone are not held responsible for the attack in any way and are therefore able to avoid paying for the damages and related costs.

In addition, if the injured party was not lawfully in the residence of a non-owner and the dog attacked them, this is seen as an act of defense. Neither the non-owner or the owner pays for the damages caused in this case, as an act of defense is not seen as an attack.

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When injuries occur due to someone else’s negligence we answer the call. Your family’s been through enough. We have serious experience in a variety of accident cases.

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If you or a loved one has suffered an attack from a dog, call us at 1-(866) 619-6679 to set up a consultation to see if you have a case. Speaking with us won’t cost you anything, and we’ll be able to help determine what your next steps should be. We only take payment if a case is won, and most of our cases settle out of court, which gives you faster access to resources for your recovery. Like many Californians, we’re dog lovers, but we know how much of an emotionally traumatic experience getting attacked by a dog can be. Don’t let your emotional and physical healing process drag out into a long, painful ordeal. Our team of lawyers has the knowledge and experience to help you recuperate funds from missed work and medical bills. Our goal is to help you get your life back to normal as quickly as possible, while fighting for the proper settlement amount owed to you. Contact us to get started.

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