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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.

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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.

Call The May Firm Today

If you or a loved one has suffered an attack from a dog, call us at 1-844-MAYFIRM 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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