There are few things in life that are more traumatic than being attacked by an animal. Their unpredictable nature takes people back to a more primitive time when it was humanity versus nature. If you have been bitten by someone’s dog, there are several things you should do immediately (prior to pursuing legal action):
- Take care of the injury (if necessary) with medical care
- Get the information of the dog’s owner or caretaker (similar to exchanging information in the event of a car accident)
- Make sure to get statements/eye witness accounts from anyone who may have seen the incident
- File a report with animal control
- Document your injuries
Pursuing a legal claim after a dog bite injury
After documenting the experience, you may contact an experienced attorney who deals with personal injury claims to pursue action. California is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites, meaning that owners are responsible for any dog bite injuries caused by their dog, even if the owner was unaware of the dog’s dangerous propensities and/or the dog had never bitten anyone before. However, the owner may claim that the victim provoked the dog or that the victim was trespassing at the time of the incident. In such cases, it will up to your attorney to prove that the owner was in fact liable for the damages you incurred.
It is your responsibility to pursue an action as dogs who have attacked a human are more likely to repeat the behavior. Protecting yourself and the community from animals who may be aggressive or violent is a dog bite victims responsibility.