Dogs are man’s best friend, and you’ll find them sprawling around San Diego. While most of these dogs are friendly, some can be vicious and attack other humans, causing severe injuries.
Ehline Law and our San Diego dog bite attorneys have over 15 years of experience handling dog bite accident claims and protecting the rights of our injured clients.
Contact us to learn more about your rights as an injured dog bite victim and discuss your case with our legal experts.
San Diego Dog Bite Statistics
According to American Veterinary Medical Association, about 38% of the households in the United States own a dog, and the San Diego Humane Society reports more than half a million dogs in San Diego County.
The State Farm’s annual report suggests that the country’s highest number of dog bite claims comes from California, with the San Diego County Animal Services investigating, on average, 6,000 dog attack cases annually.
Although most dog bits are not life-threatening, serious dog bite injuries can cause medical problems and emotional trauma and are financially taxing on dog bite victims.
In 2021, State Farm Insurance paid $23 million to claimants in California for dog bite injury claims.
Where Do Dog Bites in San Diego Occur?
Dog bites can occur anywhere in San Diego, but the San Diego County Animal Services reported the following areas with the most dog bites in the county:
- City Heights and Encanto neighborhoods
- Golden Hill neighborhood.
Most dog bites occur at home or when the victims interact with the dogs in their neighborhood or at dog parks.
Pit Bulls, German Shepherds, and Chihuahuas are the breed that comes up the most in San Diego dog bite cases.
Postal workers in San Diego are at a higher risk of dog bites as a recent report placed San Diego County as the 10th most common place for postal workers to suffer dog bites.
What Should You Do Following a Dog Bite in San Diego?
If someone else’s dog bites you, you must take the following steps to ensure your safety:
- Call 911 for emergency medical attention if you’re seriously wounded, and If not, you can wash the wound and head to a medical provider for help. Dog bite wounds can result in painful infections if you don’t receive immediate medical treatment.
- Before heading to the hospital, take down the dog owner’s contact details and insurance information.
- Reach out to any witnesses around for their contact details. A witness statement can help bolster your case.
- Take pictures of your wounds for insurance purposes.
- Although it is the dog owner’s responsibility to report the incident to San Diego County Animal Services, they probably won’t, so make sure you call them and report the dog bite incident after your treatment.
- Reach out to our experienced San Diego dog bite attorneys to learn about your legal options.
Who Is Responsible for Dog Bites in San Diego?
California has strict liability laws that hold dog owners responsible for dog bites and injuries.
Under the law, it doesn’t matter whether the dog owner knew about their dog’s previous history of attacks or should’ve known that their dog was dangerous. Even if the dog owner was not negligent, they are still responsible for dog bites and attacks under the law.
However, there are a few exceptions to the strict liability under California law, and these include the following:
- The victim was trespassing on the dog owner’s property.
- The victim suffered a dog bite from a military dog or a dog defending someone.
- The police dog was on law enforcement duty.
It could be possible that there could be other parties responsible in addition to the dog owner for the dog bite injuries.
For example, an employer may be responsible for not providing a safe working environment if one of its employees suffers a dog bite while on the job.
Dog bite victims need to speak to experienced San Diego dog bite attorneys to learn more about their rights and hold the responsible party accountable for their loss.
Can Injured Victims Sue a Dog Owner for Dog Bite Injuries in San Diego?
An injured victim in San Diego can bring a civil action against a dog owner for dog-bite injuries if their dog bites them.
Under California’s strict liability law, the plaintiff must prove the following elements of a dog bite claim to recover compensation successfully:
- The dog belonged to the defendant
- The dog bit the plaintiff in a public place or on private property (lawfully)
- The plaintiff suffered injuries
- The injuries occurred due to the defendant’s dog
In most dog bite cases, the dog owner’s insurance company pays for the damages arising from the dog bite, and the dog owner’s homeowners insurance might provide coverage if the dog bite occurred on private property when you were lawfully there.
An experienced San Diego dog bite lawyer can help assess your case and discuss any insurance policy that may provide coverage for your injuries.
Statute of Limitations for Dog Bite Injuries in San Diego
Under California law, dog bite victims have two years following the date of injury to pursue a dog bite lawsuit against the dog owner.
Victims who do not bring a civil claim within two years lose the right to recover compensation, but there are certain exceptions to the statute of limitations.
If it’s a little over two years since the dog bite injury, speaking to an experienced dog bite attorney can help determine whether you qualify for an extension.
Recoverable Damages in a Dog Bite Case
Injured dog bite victims can pursue compensation for the following damages in a San Diego dog bite claim:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Reduced quality of life
- Scarring and disfigurement
There are many other damages a dog bite victim may be able to recover, which is why it is crucial to speak to an experienced San Diego dog bite attorney.
Do You Need an Attorney for Your San Diego Dog Bite Claim?
You can pursue a San Diego dog bite claim without an attorney, but then you risk jeopardizing your only chance to obtain compensation.
Remember, you will be dealing with an insurance company that will most probably decline your claim or reduces your damages.
You must seek the help of a San Diego dog bite attorney with extensive experience handling claims arising from animal attacks.
Ehline Law dog bite attorneys in San Diego have over 15 years of experience handling dog bite claims and protecting the rights of injured victims against greedy insurance companies.
Our dog bite attorneys can help with the following:
- Determine the applicable insurance policies that can provide coverage for your dog bite injuries while building a strong trial-ready case by gathering evidence and establishing the critical elements of a dog bite case.
- Hold the dog’s owner accountable for your loss by filing a dog bite claim against their insurance provider, and handle negotiations with the insurance company in your best interests.
- If the insurance company refuses to settle, our attorneys can take them to court and make them pay for your damages.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Ehline Law
If you suffered injuries due to another’s dog, contact us at (833) LETS-SUE for a free consultation, as you may be eligible for compensation.
Most people put off hiring a California lawyer due to expense. We offer free consultations using video conferencing, email or text messages, even if someone is just looking for basic information about California’s laws. Don’t make the mistake of seeking justice from an insurer hiding behind the cover of darkness without attention from a trained professional at our firm.
Our job is to answer any type of question you may have. We can help resolve legal issues and protect your rights in the event of a bad accident. If you suffered moderate to severe injuries during an accident, Ehline Law Firm is the one you call to cover your back. We’re considered one of the top law offices in the country in a crash for cash lawsuit.
After you call us, a San Diego personal injury lawyer at the Ehline Law group team will promptly review your claims. We’ll take steps to explain all areas of the law and procedure at no cost with superior customer service.
Seeking an attorney in San Diego? Our top-quality firm is ready to help defend your rights today with extreme professionalism. Schedule a free consultation. Call us today at (619) 312-6050 or use our convenient online contact form. Our personal injury firm’s job is to protect the rights and success of accident victims and their family members.
“The Ehline Law Firm team was spot on. Alan, returned all my calls, and helped us receive a fast settlement. My wife and I are extremely happy with the end result and incredible six star service we received from this inactive U.S. Marine devildog run law firm.” – Staff Sergeant Jim Basilone of Camp Pendleton, CA.
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