Costa Mesa Dog Bite Attorneys
Every year, innocent Orange County residents are bitten by dogs. If you have been injured in an animal attack, the Costa Mesa Dog Bite Lawyers at Bisnar Chase will fight for you. We are proficient in dog bite law and know all the fine details to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
In most cases, individuals involved in a dog attack or any other personal injuries may have the legal right to recover damages from the responsible parties. Bisnar Chase is one of the few law firms that operates under a contingency fee basis.
Call us now at 949-203-3814 for a free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions About Costa Mesa Dog Bite Cases
Dog bite statistics have indicated that approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur each year in the United States. Nearly 1 out of 5 bites become infected. In California alone, State Farm reported that out of 3,600 claims, 488 of those claims were associated with dog bites.
If you pursue legal action, you may have many questions on how to handle your claim.
Frequently asked questions about dog bite claims include:
If you have been a victim of a dog bite before anything else seek medical attention immediately. Your wellbeing takes priority and later you will be able to use your medical records when you pursue legal action with an experienced Costa Mesa dog bite attorney. If left untreated, dog bite attacks can lead to infections, and in some cases, these injuries can even be fatal.
There is not a set amount of compensation that each individual collects for a dog bite case. The amount you will receive is dependent on how many damages you have accumulated from the incident. You can win compensation for losses such as medical bills and lost wages.
You should be able to provide the contact information of the dog's owner to your lawyer. If you don't have this information, ask the neighbors of the owner or another witness who saw the dog attack firsthand. In addition, get the contact information for the eyewitnesses as they may be of help as you pursue legal action against the at-fault party.
If a dog owner has admitted that he/she is at fault for an attack then this the settlement can be decided in mediation, which usually takes a couple of days. If the owner does not admit to being at fault, the case can go to trial and may take up to two years to settle.
Yes, you may file a worker’s compensation claim for a dog bite but experts say you should file a claim against the owner. If for example, you are a mailman who was bitten by a dog while on the job, you can make a claim against the owner yourself. A dog owner may have homeowner's insurance to provide you with what you need to recover from your injuries.
California Dog Bite Law
Costa Mesa imposes what is known as "strict liability" upon local dog owners whose pets attack pedestrians. A dog owner is legally responsible ("liable") for a dog's behavior according to California Dog Bite Statute.
Even if the owner didn't know that their dog was dangerous, if the dog bit someone, the owner would still be liable.
Outside the state of California, the dog owner can be held liable for the injuries it inflicts, provided that the owner knew that his or her dog is dangerous and could cause injury to a person. However, determining whether this is a case of negligence can be difficult.
For example, when an owner has a pit bull as a pet, does that mean the owner should know the pet will be harmful just because pit bulls have been labeled as the dogs most likely to bite?
Dangerous Dog Breeds
Levels of Dog Bite Injuries
Animal bites can range from a minor puncture wound to extreme facial disfigurement. Many are not aware that there are different levels of dog bite injuries. The severity of the injury can determine how much you can potentially earn for your losses. There are six types of dog bite injuries.
The six levels of dog bite injuries include:
- Level 1: This level of a dog bite does not involve any physical contact. This is referred to as a snap which means that a dog bites the air as a warning to stay away from them.
- Level 2: Level 2 does involve a bite, but the bite does not lead to the tearing of the skin.
- Level 3: When a dog bites and punctures the skin, this is known as a level three bite. A level three dog bite leaves a victim with a single wound. At this level, it is highly encouraged to report the incident.
- Level 4: Dog bite victims who suffer from this injury can suffer deep puncture wounds. A person who experiences a level four bite will have multiple puncture wounds from a single bite. These bites can be deep due to the length of time the dog was holding on for. Bruising can develop around the wound as well.
- Level 5: If a dog has caused a person to suffer from level five bites then it is no longer safe for a dog to be around people. A dog that has bitten a person to this extent means that the dog has left multiple serious level four bites on a person.
- Level 6: The final level involves a person dying from the dog attack. Dogs can potentially be euthanized at this level due to the wrongful death. An attorney who deals with dog bite law will be able to tell you whether you have a legal claim for your dog bite injuries, and what damages you may be able to recover. The skilled personal injury attorneys at Bisnar Chase are experts when it comes to dog attack cases and has had a successful track record of 96% for over 40 years.
Euthanasia After an Attack in California
The West's Ann. Cal. Food & Agric. Code § 31645 states that: “A dog determined to be a vicious dog may be destroyed by the animal control department when it is found, after proceedings conducted under Article 2 (commencing with Section 31621), that the release of the dog would create a significant threat to the public health, safety, and welfare.”
What classifies a dog as dangerous though?
California categorizes a dog as dangerous if the dog has rabies, a dog has bitten two people or if the dog seriously injured or killed a person.
Why Do Dogs Bite?
Every dog, even if they have never had a history of hurting someone has the potential to attack someone. Dogs do not bite without reason though. Much of the time it is due to an underlying issue that the owner has not alleviated. The following are factors can potentially lead to a dog being aggressive.
Reasons why a dog would bite include:
- Fear: If a dog is not socialized from a young age it has the potential to be nervous around people. Experts say that you should not only socialize your dog at the beginning of their life but also surround them with different groups of people such as children, elderly and people with disabilities.
- Territorial: Different types of dog breeds are known to be territorial by nature. A dog can also become territorial due to a specific situation. For example, if a dog just gave birth to her pups, if a person were to come near the puppies too early the mother would snap to protect them.
- Untreated medical condition: Owners should make sure that their dog's physical health is up to par. Dog owners may confirm that their dog's current state of health is well by visiting the vet for yearly checkups. Dog owners should also pay attention to the behavior of a dog to make sure they are not ill or in pain. Dogs can attack a person if they have a sore spot or if they are touched in a very painful area. When a dog is sleeping more than usual, having trouble being mobile or excessively panting, they should be taken in to see a veterinarian.
The Costa Mesa Dog Bite Epidemic
This Orange County city has experienced several dog attacks over the years, particularly in Costa Mesa’s public dog park. Due to the incidents, officials have decided to enforce new regulations for dog owners. New regulations will require owners to prove that their dog has been vaccinated, spayed and neutered before being able to enter the dog park.
Dogs that are younger than six months are not allowed in the park as well. Residents like Janice King are willing to abide by the new regulations of the Costa Mesa dog park.
“As dog owners, we agree with licenses and vaccinations and being spayed or neutered. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t do what we can to make our dog park safer for the folks who use it, but I also feel that this is not the way to go,” shared King.
Potential Defenses in Various Dog Bite Cases
There are cases in which an owner of a vicious dog in Costa Mesa might not be held liable for a dog attack.
For example, if the owner proactively cautioned neighbors that the dog was vicious, and took action to keep the dog away, an individual who ignored these warnings and was bitten might not have a case that would stand up in court.
This situation is what we would call in legal terms "contributory negligence."
An injured person is negligent when he or she puts themselves in danger compared to the average individual would take measures for personal safety.
For example, if a person is bitten by a dog after hopping a fence, it's possible that the dog owner wouldn't be held liable.
In addition, if a "Beware of Dog" sign is promptly displayed and a person is bitten after ignoring this sign, the owner might not be responsible for that person's injury.
A dog owner can also argue that the injured person(s) had provoked the dog as a way to escape liability.
Getting Legal Help for your Costa Mesa Dog Bite Injury
If a dog has bitten you or a loved one, you may be entitled to recovery for your damages.
Determining your rights will complicated, and it may be unclear where to take legal action..
Although this may be a complex process, have no fear because the Costa Mesa Dog Bite Lawyers at Bisnar Chase will take on any dog bite cases, big or small, and will win you the compensation that you deserve.
If you or one of your family members have been injured in a dog bite accident, call the law office of Bisnar Chase now at 949-203-3814 for a free consultation. There is a statute of limitations with dog bite cases, so your time is limited.
Don't wait and contact us today!