Every year, roughly 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs in the United States. Thankfully, many of these injuries are not severe, but nearly one million people need medical treatment after a dog bite injury.
Many dog bite victims are children attacked by animals when they believe that the child poses a threat to them or has encroached on their territory. At One Law Group, we take dog bite injuries in Santa Clarita seriously and believe you deserve the maximum amount of compensation available to satisfy your claim.
Aggressive Dog Breeds That May Bite
Depending on the type of animal, dogs can bite with an incredible amount of force. Their two canine teeth can be extremely sharp, making even smaller dogs dangerous to humans.
The most dangerous breeds of dogs are:
- Pit bulls
- Mixed breeds
- German shepherds
Although pit bulls are not the largest dogs, their bites are the most damaging, given the dog’s aggressive nature and the force of its bites. Pit bulls are also responsible for the highest share of dog bites, followed by mixed breeds and German shepherds.
Common Dog Bite Injuries in Santa Clarita
Dog bite injuries can range from moderate to severe. Here are some injuries that require medical treatment:
- Punctured skin
- Nerve damage
- Tissue damage
- Permanent scarring
- Head injuries
- Eye injuries
In addition, victims may also suffer from emotional trauma and distress in the aftermath of an animal attack. The feeling of powerlessness while being attacked by an aggressive animal may remain with the victim for the rest of their life.
These injuries may be even worse when children have been bitten. The dog is more on the child’s level, so they will often bite the face and neck.
A dog bite victim is especially susceptible to infection when the skin has been broken. Therefore, they will need prompt medical treatment.
Treating a dog bite can be expensive. When the damage is particularly severe, the victim will need extensive reconstructive plastic surgery. Not only is the procedure expensive, but there is also considerable pain and discomfort involved. Some dog bite victims may have permanent injuries.
California Is a Strict Liability State for Dog Bites
The good news for dog bite victims is that California laws are relatively friendly to you. Once a dog bites someone, the owner is strictly liable for the damage the animal caused unless one of a limited number of exceptions applies.
The most common exception is that someone provoked the dog, but that is a very high standard to show. You can even receive compensation when the dog bite occurred on the owner’s property (except when you trespassed).
This strict liability applies to dog bites. It does not matter whether the dog has a track record of biting or aggressive behavior. The breed of the dog also does not factor into liability. The owner will be liable after the first bite.
However, a different standard may apply when you suffered an injury trying to escape a charging dog or when a dog jumped on you. For any dog-related injuries other than a bite, you must show that the dog owner was negligent, failing to take steps to contain a dangerous animal. To meet this standard of proof, you will need to show the dog’s history and what the dog owner did not do to keep you safe.
Dog bite injuries are covered by a homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance policy. All insurance companies act in the same way. They will try to pay you less than you deserve on your claim, even when the owner’s liability is clear. You will need to negotiate compensation to get the money you need to pay your damages.
If the insurance company does not make you a reasonable settlement offer, you can file a lawsuit against the dog’s owner. An experienced attorney can deal with the insurance company on your behalf.
Contact a Santa Clarita Dog Bite Lawyer Today
The One Law Group represents dog bite victims and their families as they seek full and fair compensation for their injuries. You should contact an attorney soon after the incident because the insurance company may pressure you to accept a low settlement offer. To schedule your free initial consultation, contact us online or call us at (844) 626-1529.
Dog Bite FAQs
How do I prove that the dog owner was negligent when their animal attacked?
Negligence means the defendant failed to uphold their duty of care by acting unreasonably under the circumstances.
How much is my dog bite case worth?
The average dog bite settlement now exceeds $50,000, but your case might be worth more if you suffered severe injuries.
Why do I need a dog bite lawyer?
You may end up settling your case for far less if you do not know what it is worth or try to negotiate with the insurance company.