San Bernardino Dog Bite Lawyers
Dog bite victims in San Bernardino suffer significant physical, emotional and financial losses. A dog attack not only results in a trip to the emergency room or surgery, but it also leaves serious psychological and emotional scars that could remain with the victim for a very long time. In San Bernardino County, although we have seen a number of recent dog attacks involving children, it is important to remember that adults are equally vulnerable. If you or someone you love has been injured in a dog bite incident in San Bernardino, it is important to understand that you have legal rights.
Contacting an Experienced Dog Bite Lawyer
If you have been injured in a San Bernardino dog attack, please make sure you get prompt medical attention. Report the incident to your local animal control agency. Identify the owner of the dog. If the dog has escaped, it is important that it be caught and quarantined right away so it does not pose a threat to the community. Make sure that you preserve all evidence from the scene including torn or bloody clothing. If anyone saw the attack occur, be sure to get his or her name and contact information. Eyewitness testimony can be extremely valuable.
If you decide to pursue your legal rights, the experienced San Bernardino dog bite attorneys at Bisnar Chase can help you better understand your options. We have successfully handled dog bite cases on behalf of young children and adults of all age groups. We understand that this can be an extremely traumatic and challenging time for you. If you are looking for quality legal representation and top-notch customer service, please contact our law office at (800) 561-4887. We always offer free initial consultations and comprehensive case evaluations to injured victims and their families.
County Ordinance Relating to Pit Bulls
In 2010, San Bernardino County Supervisors passed an ordinance requiring all pit bulls in the county to be spayed or neutered. San Bernardino city officials worked with the county's Animal Care and Control Division to create the ordinance, which authorities believe will reduce the overpopulation of pit bulls countrywide. They also hoped at the time that it would encourage responsible pet ownership and reduce the number of violent pit bull attacks. In the five years preceding the enactment of this ordinance, San Bernardino County saw seven pit bull attacks. No other breed was involved in a dog attack countrywide during that time frame.
This statistic is what led to this particular breed-specific action. The new rule basically means that all pit bulls and pit bull mixes older than four months should be spayed and neutered. Also, all such dogs used for breeding must be licensed. Even though California law prohibits breed bans, it allows local agencies to enact breed-specific programs for spaying and neutering to control over-population of a certain breed.
Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bites often result in major and permanent injuries. Here are some of the most common injuries suffered in dog attacks:
- Puncture wounds: Puncture wounds and tears occur when the attacking dog clamps down its teeth on the victim's flesh. Puncture wounds often result in tearing of the skin and permanent scars. A number of victims suffer such wounds to their face, leg, torso or arms. Scars and disfigurement may require plastic surgery. In some cases, they may result in permanent disfigurement.
- Emotional injuries: Children and adults who have been injured in dog attacks can carry the emotional and psychological impact with them for the rest of their lives. These injuries could manifest in paranoia or other symptoms such as being able to work or being able to sleep at night. Some victims even develop post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD and suffer from flashbacks of the attack, nightmares or emotional withdrawal. Such serious psychological injuries may require long-term counseling or treatment.
- Serious infections: A dog bite could also lead to lethal bacterial infections or diseases such as rabies. These infections are typically transmitted through the saliva of animals infected with the rabies virus. Rabies is a fatal disease if not treated promptly.
- Head injuries: A dog bite victim could suffer severe head or brain injuries if he or she hits his or her head on the ground while being pushed to the ground. Such injuries could cause permanent injuries or disabilities.
- Broken bones: Fractures and crush injuries could also occur if the victim is knocked to the ground or falls while running from the dog attack.
- Deaths: Dog attacks could also result in deaths. Each year, at least 18 people die as a result of dog attacks in the United States.
Damages in Dog Attacks
Under California law, dog owners can be held financially responsible for the injuries and damages caused by their pets. California's Civil Code Section 3342 states: "The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner's knowledge of such viciousness."
Injured victims can seek compensation for damages including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Cosmetic and other surgeries
- Permanent injuries
- Emotional distress
- Psychological injuries
- Physical pain and suffering
Contact an Experienced Dog Bite Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been attacked by a dog, please contact our experienced and compassionate dog bite lawyers for a free case evaluation. You may be entitled to compensation and depending on the extent of your injuries, pain and suffering plus the cost of your medical bills. Call 800-561-4887.