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Orange County Dog Bite Lawyer

Orange County dog bite lawyer

An experienced Orange County dog bite lawyer represents injured plaintiffs to receive compensation after an attack. We can help determine your entitlement to compensation, including time lost on the job, medical bills, and emotional and physical damages.

Our personal injury law firm will negotiate with the defendants and insurance companies to ensure proper compensation. Call us at 949-203-3814 for immediate assistance and a free, no-hassle, confidential consultation with a top-rated Orange County dog bite lawyer.

  • Over $850M recovered
  • 99% success rate winning cases
  • Familiar with all Orange County courts
  • Seasoned trial lawyers who fight for you

Orange County Dog Bite Lawyer

How Long Does it Take to settle a California Dog Bite Claim

Receiving compensation for a dog bite claim can typically take a few months to a year. Because no two cases are the same, different circumstances will determine how long it takes to be paid for your injuries. 

If it’s a complex dog attack with serious injuries, it will take time to negotiate with the insurance companies and defense team to make sure you get a fair settlement. 

If your attorney is rushing to settle your case, be cautious. They should be fighting for you, not settling quickly. A good injury lawyer will work every corner of your case to uncover avenues for additional compensation.

At Bisnar Chase, we are dedicated to keeping you informed of the injury lawsuit’s progress every step of the way. We will reach out at least every two weeks to keep you informed about where the case is going.

How Much is an Orange County Dog Bite Case Worth?

We’ve settled cases ranging from a few thousand to seven-figure settlements. The amount you will get in your injury lawsuit will depend on the severity of the injuries and trauma. 

Someone with a few scratches and minor bites will be compensated accordingly: medical bills, pain and suffering, etc. This is usually a few thousand dollars.

Alternatively, someone who suffered severe injuries and underwent surgery or lifelong damage will collect much more. 

According to a 2022 report by the Insurance Information Institute (III) and State Farm, California’s average cost per dog bite claim was $59,561 in 2021. This figure represents a 20.5% increase from the previous year’s average of $49,427.

It’s important to note that these figures are based on insurance claims and may not represent the average settlement amount for all dog bite cases in California, as some cases may be resolved without involving insurance companies.

Factors such as the severity of the injury, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering can influence the settlement amount in individual cases.  It’s essential to consult with an Orange County dog bite lawyer to determine the actual value of your personal injury claim.

Negligence in an Orange County California Dog Bite Injury Case

Liability in a personal injury case involving a dog or other animals may also be based on negligence or negligence per se. If it is shown that a dog was not properly restrained or that the owner knew of the animal’s violent tendencies, the owner can be held liable for damages.

The State of California permits a person to recover damages for canine-inflicted injuries based on the negligence doctrine. To prove negligence, the plaintiff must show that (a) the defendant owned or had responsibility for the dog, and (b) he was negligent in failing to control it or warn of its violent propensities.

Orange County Dog Bite Injury Attorneys Skilled in Major Trauma Cases

The personal injury law firm of Bisnar Chase has a successful track record of proving negligence in dog bite claims. Our trial attorneys have strong litigation skills and vast medical knowledge of injuries caused by dog bite attacks.

Face, chest, and upper body wounds can be severe in these attacks and require a knowledgeable injury attorney with a history of successfully winning these cases.

In significant trauma cases, we will develop a plan of action using our deep understanding of California’s dog bite laws, animal behaviorists, local ordinances related to dog owners, and liability for attacks on-premises.

We will build a case using your medical records, injuries, and the long-term implications of a serious dog attack. Dog bite victims often experience significant emotional trauma, and that should be factored into your financial compensation.

Financial Compensation Based on Negligence

A dog bite victim may be entitled to receive monetary compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. Depending on the circumstances of the case, punitive damages may also be awarded if the defendant acted with malice, fraud, or oppression.

In California, compensatory damages are typically determined using the multiplier method, where the total amount of special damages is multiplied by a number between 1.5 and 5. Dog bite victims may also be entitled to compensation from the dog’s owner, homeowners, or renter’s insurance policy.

No Fee No Win Orange County Dog Bite Lawyers

Bisnar Chase offers a no win no fee contingency fee basis for personal injury cases. The law firm and attorneys are motivated to win your case because we are only paid if you win. 

If there is no winning outcome in your case, you will not pay us. We know what it takes to win dog bite claims, and we are confident we can maximize your compensation for your injuries. 

Contact us to discuss the details of your attack and let us evaluate your evidence. A top-rated Orange County dog bite lawyer at Bisnar Chase will clearly communicate to you if we are able to help you and if we think you have a case. If we take on your case, we promise to communicate all updates to you in a timely manner so that you are not left wondering the status of your claim.

Is my California dog bite settlement taxable?

The victim of a dog attack who receives a settlement will receive non-taxable compensation.  

Like other personal injury settlements, dog bite settlements are often not taxable under US federal law. This allows you to receive compensation for losses you suffered, including medical expenses, lost wages, and non-economic damages like pain and suffering and emotional anguish.

There are a few exceptions to this rule, though. There may be potential tax repercussions if the settlement includes money for mental distress or other losses unrelated to your physical ailments.

For instance, if a dog chased you but did not injure you physically, and you later acquired post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), damages for mental suffering would be taxed.

Punitive damages are ultimately taxed because they are meant to penalize the defendant. Furthermore, any interest received on compensation for personal injuries is subject to taxation as interest income.

Contact our Orange County dog bite lawyers to see if you have a qualifying personal injury claim. The initial consultation and legal advice is free. Call 949-203-3814 today.

Do I have an Orange County Dog Bite Injury Case?

The terror of a dog bite attack can be life-changing and create an immediate fear of dogs that can last a lifetime (Cynophobia).

The animal’s owner is liable if the attack occurred on private or public property. The following circumstances apply:

  • The defendant owned the dog.
  • The dog bit the plaintiff.
  • The plaintiff was lawfully on the premises where the bite or attack occurred.
  • The dog’s bite caused the plaintiff’s injuries.

Once these prerequisites are met, further action can be taken. A skilled Orange County dog bite lawyer can combine all the case facts to attain fair compensation for you.

We have had dog bite injury cases where the at-fault party (or their insurance company) offered only a few thousand dollars. Still, through our personal injury pre-litigation negotiations, we collected more for our clients—some seven-figure settlements.

We have gone to a jury trial to win the cases that could not be successfully negotiated in pre-litigation and will always fight to receive proper compensation for you. Call 949-203-3814 for a free case evaluation.

How Long Do I Have to File a Dog Bite Lawsuit in California?

In California, the statute of limitations is two years. You must file your injury lawsuit within that timeline to seek compensation for your injuries. However, some exceptions to the two-year time limit could apply in your case.

Some exceptions that could apply:

Minor: If the injured person was a minor at the time of the injury, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the injured person reaches the age of majority. This means a minor must file a personal injury lawsuit two years from their eighteenth birthday.

Mental incapacity: If the injured person is mentally incapacitated at the time of the injury, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the injured person becomes mentally competent.

Fraud or concealment: If the defendant fraudulently concealed the injury from the injured person, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the injured person discovers or should have discovered the injury.

Government immunity: If the defendant is a government entity or employee acting within the scope of their employment, the statute of limitations may be tolled (paused) until the government entity or employee waives immunity or until the statute of limitations is extended by law.

Multiple injuries: If the injured person sustains various injuries from the same accident, the statute of limitations may not begin to run until the injured person has recovered from all of their injuries.

To protect your right to file a personal injury claim, contact an experienced Orange County dog bite lawyer as soon as possible to start the claim.

With the short statute of limitations, getting the case going immediately is essential. If you are too injured to come to us, our staff is happy to travel to you. Call 949-203-3814 to discuss your dog bite case.

What to do After a Dog Attack

The most crucial aspect of prosecuting a dog bite attack claim is to secure evidence as quickly as possible. If the dog bite victim calls us as soon as the attack happens, we can rapidly start preparing proof to build your case.

Immediately after the dog attack:

  • Seek emergency medical care
  • Obtain the identity of the dog and its owner
  • Obtain the dog’s vaccine records/vet information
  • Photographs/video of the dog
  • The identity of the witnesses
  • Witness written statements
  • Photographs of the injuries
  • Photos/videos of the location of the attack
  • File a police report
  • Contact Orange County Animal Control to report the attack (mandatory)
  • Call an experienced Orange County dog bite lawyer

Collecting and preserving evidence to prove the defendant’s negligence or carelessness and the extent of your damages is essential.  Additionally, you should keep a written log of all expenses related to the injury and how the injury has impacted your daily activities and overall life, including any mental issues because of the attack.

Record your medical treatment and medical bills and provide them to your attorney. This will be critical in proving the severity of the dog bite.

Common Injuries in a Dog Attack

  • Lacerations: Deep cuts, tears, and puncture wounds from the dog’s teeth are common. These can require stitches and leave scarring.
  • Bruising: Dogs often cause bruising from their bites and just from knocking a person down.  Areas like the neck and shoulders usually bruise.
  • Fractures: It’s common for dog attacks to break bones in the fingers, hands, wrists, and arms when a victim tries to defend themselves.
  • Sprains & strains: The sudden motion of a dog attack can quickly cause sprains and strains to joints, muscles, and tendons. Knees and wrists are especially prone to sprains.
  • Infection & rabies: Bacteria from a dog’s mouth can cause severe infections in bite wounds.
  • Scarring: Lacerations or disfigurement from a dog attack, especially on the face or neck, can leave significant disfiguring scars requiring multiple surgeries.
  • Nerve damage: Deep bite wounds can sometimes sever or damage nerves, potentially causing disability or loss of function.
  • Amputation: In severe dog attacks, the injury to hands, arms, or fingers may be so extensive that amputation is required.
  • Loss of vision: Dogs may bite or scratch the eye area, damaging the eye itself and the eyelids/tissue around it.
  • Emotional trauma: PTSD is common among dog bite victims and can cause prolonged anxiety and fear of public spaces.
  • Physical mutilation: In severe cases, attacks focused on the face can result in severe facial mutilation requiring extensive plastic surgery.
  • Death: Though rare, death can occur from significant blood loss after a brutal dog mauling or from infection complications later on.

If you or a loved one has suffered a dog bite injury, we recommend seeking medical attention immediately and contacting an Orange County dog bite lawyer to understand your rights. Call us today at 949-203-3814 for a free consultation.

Orange County Dog Bite Laws

Strict Liability

Orange County follows strict liability laws for dog bites, meaning the owner is liable for injuries regardless of the dog’s history or propensity for biting (CC §3342.5). The only exceptions are if the victim was trespassing, committing a crime, or provoking the dog.

Negligence

In cases where the strict liability rule doesn’t apply, an injured person may still recover damages if they can prove that the dog owner was negligent in controlling or restraining their dog.

Reporting Dog Bites

The owner or person in charge of a dog that bites a person must immediately report it to Orange County Animal Control. It is a crime not to report a bite.

Dangerous Dogs

A dog ruled dangerous/vicious by Orange County animal control must be registered, microchipped, neutered, confined, and insured for liability.

Comparative negligence

If the victim’s negligence contributed to the dog bite incident, their damages may be reduced by the percentage of their fault.

Reporting Requirements

Dog bites must be reported to the local animal control agency or police department.

Fines and Penalties

Owners of dogs involved in bite incidents can face fines up to $2,000 and/or imprisonment for up to six months if negligence is proven.

Dog bite victims need to consult with an experienced Orange County dog bite lawyer to understand their rights and options under these laws.

Orange County Leash Laws

According to the Orange County Code of Ordinances, it is unlawful for any person to have control of a dog on public property unless the dog is restrained by a chain or leash not exceeding six feet in length. This law applies to all public property, including streets, sidewalks, parks, beaches, and schools.

There are a few exceptions to this law. Dogs are allowed off-leash in designated dog parks, and service dogs and guide dogs are always exempt from leash laws.

If caught violating the leash law in Orange County, you could be fined up to $100 for a first offense and up to $500 for subsequent offenses.

Dog Bite Prevention

Educating the public can help reduce the number of dog bites we often see here in Orange County. Our personal injury law firm gets calls and emails daily about dog attacks; responsible ownership is the key to reducing them.

  • Supervise your children around dogs at all times.
  • Teach your children how to behave around dogs. This includes teaching them not to hug or kiss dogs on the face, pull on dogs’ tails or ears, or disturb dogs while eating, sleeping, or taking care of their puppies.
  • Socialize your dog from a young age.
  • Spay or neuter your dog. This can help to reduce aggression in some dog breeds.
  • Be aware of dogs’ aggression signs, which include growling, snarling, snapping, and baring teeth.
  • Always ask the owner before petting a dog.
  • Let the dog sniff you before petting them.
  • Pet the dog on the chest or back. Avoid petting the dog on the head or face, as this can be perceived as a threat.
  • If an aggressive dog approaches you, stand still and avoid eye contact.  Do not run or scream; this can trigger the dog’s predator instinct.

Dog Bite Attorneys Winning Big Cases

AIOLP Lawyer of the Year 2024

Bisnar Chase represents a variety of personal injury clients. From severe dog bite cases to catastrophic injuries due to a defective product, our experienced injury attorneys have a vast knowledge of California injury laws. They will fight for our client’s right to fair compensation.

We work to get you the best possible settlement for your dog bite injuries, pop numerous insurance policy limits, and expose the 998 rule for maximum compensation.

  • $3,000,000.00
  • $1,478,819.00
  • $1,050,000.00
  • $1,000,000.00
  • $900,000.00
  • $600,000.00
  • $565,000.00
  • $500,000.00
  • $325,000.00
  • $310,000.00

If you have been attacked, contact us for a free case review. We can review the evidence and build a path to compensation. Call a top-rated Orange County dog bite lawyer at Bisnar Chase for a free consultation at 949-203-3814.

Why Do Dogs Attack?

You are required by law to report any animal bites or attacks. Here in Orange County, on average, 3-5 dog bites are legally reported daily, not to mention all incidents that are not reported. While some believe only specific types of dog breeds are dangerous biters, every dog is a risk, even with no prior history of aggressive behavior.

Most Orange County dog bite cases involve dogs that have never shown any aggression before the bite incident. Some key factors to consider before stereotyping breeds: reasons for dog attack situations can result from any of the following:

  • Reaction to a stressful situation
  • Scared, fearful, or threatened (animal shelters or rescued dogs are often fearful)
  • Protecting themselves, their puppies, or their owner (territorial)
  • Startled
  • Sickness, illness, injury or rabies
  • Over-excitement, especially during rough play
  • Mental issues with the dog
  • Predatory drive
  • Poor training
  • Ignored warning bites or signals

If you or a loved one were a victim of an attack, contact our Orange County dog bite lawyers for a free case evaluation. Call 949-203-3814.

Nationwide Dog Bite Fatalities

nationwide dog bite statistics

Out of 78 million dogs nationwide, 4.5 million dog bites were recorded last year, with 41 US fatalities.

All breeds can bite or attack randomly or due to a specific situation. Statistic information reports these breeds to be accountable for last year’s annual report:

  • Pit bulls contributed to 71 percent of these deaths, with 22 of the 41 deaths recorded
  • Labradors made up 3 of the 41 deaths
  • Rottweilers, American Bulldogs, Belgian Malinois, Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds, and mixed breeds each contributed to 2 deaths per breed

These fatalities included:

  • 31 percent were infants ages 3-6 days old
  • 42 percent, or 13 of the deaths, were children nine years and younger
  • 58 percent or 18 of the deaths were adults ages 30 and older

Danger for Postal Carrier Dog Attacks in California

Southern California is a hotbed for dog attacks on postal carriers. Los Angeles to San Diego ranks top 4 for reported postal carrier dog bites.

Dogs are protective and may view letter carriers as a threat. Statistics show that one California city had 58 attacks in a single study year, trailing behind only Houston with 77. Fifty-one cities make up the top 30 rankings. See the national statistic report for postal carrier-related dog bites here.

Postal workers, couriers, and drivers – the statistics for dog attacks

  • The US Postal Service reported 48 dog attacks on USPS postal carriers in Orange County in 2021. This was a 33% increase from 2020.
  • UPS said over 1,100 UPS drivers reported dog attacks in 2021.
  • FedEx reported over 450 dog and animal attacks on couriers in California in 2021.
  • In a 2018 survey of letter carriers in Southern California, 80% admitted to having been bit or attacked by dogs at least once. Over half reported needing medical attention.
  • As the Insurance Information Institute reported, an estimated 12,400 delivery drivers nationwide required medical attention for dog bites in 2018.

To find additional help or to report a dog attack, contact Orange County Animal Control. If you are a postal carrier or a courier and have been injured, contact our Orange County dog bite lawyer for a free review of your attack. Call 949-203-3814 for a free consultation.

Who is at Fault in an Orange County Dog Bite?

In a dog bite case in Orange County, the owner is usually the first person to be held responsible for the damages. Dog owners have a certain level of responsibility when they decide to take ownership of a dog, and if they do not adhere to this standard, they can be held accountable for their failure.

Depending on the circumstances of the case, other parties may also be liable for a dog bite, such as a landlord who has knowledge of a tenant’s dangerous dog but fails to take action. In some cases, there may be shared liability among multiple parties.

If the dog owner has homeowner’s insurance, it typically has a provision that covers canine attacks on their property. Dogwalkers can also be liable for a dog attack since the dog was in their care at the time.

To determine who is at fault for a dog bite case, an experienced dog bite lawyer in Orange County will need to review the facts of the case and the applicable laws of the state where the bite occurred.

Do you take dog-on-dog attacks?

Most personal injury law firms do not take dog-on-dog attacks because a pet is considered personal property. You can, however, sue the person yourself, most likely in a small claims court. The maximum in a California small claims court case is $12,500.00.

California Ranks Top for Canine Attacks

  • According to this report, dog bites in California led to almost 50,000 ER visits in 2022, the highest number in almost 20 years.
  • An LA Times report states that dog bites were the cause of 96 deaths nationwide in 2022.
  • The LA Times report also discovered that more severe dog attacks are common in rural areas of California.
  • Insurance companies nationwide pay over $1 billion in claims related to animal bites annually.
  • One-third of the money paid out through homeowners’ liability claims is related to dog attacks.

At Bisnar Chase, our Orange County dog bite lawyers handle numerous California dog bite cases yearly. We can use our knowledge and experience to represent you and achieve great results.

In our experience, August is the most dangerous month for dog attacks. The days are long, it’s been hot for months, the gardeners are coming and going, and children are generally home from school—a dangerous combination.

Our law firm saw more dog bite cases in August 2023 than in the previous three years. Many of those came from Santa Ana, Anaheim, and Huntington Beach.

In April 2024, we settled an Orange County dog bite claim for $500,000.00. We have extensive knowledge of litigating dog attack claims.

Parks and beaches are especially hotbeds for dog attacks. Dog parks, where large and small breeds mingle unfettered, are accidents waiting to happen. Owners typically jump in the middle of a dog fight and end up with serious injuries.

Nationwide Dog Bite Insurance Claims Staggering

  • According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), around $797 million was paid out by homeowners insurance companies for dog bite liability claims in 2020. This number has risen steadily over the past two decades.
  • The Insurance Information Institute reported that dog bite liability claims increased by 2.2% from 2019 to 2020. If this rate of increase held steady, estimates for 2022 would be around $815 million and $834 million for 2023.
  • State Farm reported a 1.2% increase in dog bite claims from 2018 to 2019. Extrapolating forward, claims for their policyholders could reach $194 million in 2022 and $196 million in 2023.
  • The American Veterinary Medical Association’s most recent data estimates that around 800,000 Americans annually require medical attention for dog bites. Those numbers would likely hold steady for 2022 and 2023.
  • A 2023 insurance industry report predicted dog bite claims would continue to rise by about 2% per year due to increased pet ownership during the pandemic.
  • Several industry sources project that pet liability insurance rates will rise by 8-10% in 2023 to keep up with increased animal bite claim costs.
  • Dog bites make up over one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claims paid out in the U.S. The average cost per claim was $55,671 in 2020.
  • In 2020, homeowner insurance companies’ medical payments for dog bite injuries reached $213 million. The average claim for medical costs was $6,887.
  • Annually, around $100 million is estimated to be paid by rental/commercial insurance policies for dog bite claims.
  • Pet liability insurance has boomed into a $300 million-a-year industry to cover dog bite claims and other pet-related incidents.
  • The amount that insurance companies pay out in settlements and jury awards specifically for dog bite injury lawsuits increases by hundreds of millions yearly.

Award-winning Orange County Dog Bite Lawyers

If you or a loved one has suffered an animal attack, contact a highly skilled Orange County dog bite lawyer at Bisnar Chase for a free consultation. We will use our experience, knowledge, and resources to achieve the best possible results for you and your family.

  • 2024 Super Lawyers
  • 2024 Law Firm of the Year AIOC
  • Lawyer of the Year, AIOLP
  • Nation’s Top One Percent

Hire a personal injury attorney with a long history of pursuing dog attack cases in Orange County courts. You don’t pay anything until we win your case. Call 949-203-3814.

Supporting Our Community

We think it’s important to highlight that you are considering a law firm that cares deeply about our neighbors. We proudly donate to Orange County residents and organizations to help others. We have created several programs to help those in need.

  • Backpacks4life provides backpacks filled with personal care items and gives them to veterans, students, and the homeless.
  • Crafting for a Cause provides knitted blankets and skull caps for babies in local Orange County NICU wards. Our staff knits all of the blankets and caps.
  • The Branchout Scholarship awards two students a $1,500.00 check annually to help with their student costs. This scholarship is offered every June and December.

Case Results

  • 1

    $117,500,000

    Consumer Class Action

  • 2

    $38,650,000

    Motor Vehicle Accident

  • 3

    $32,698,073

    Auto Defect – Seat Manufacturers, Johnson Controls

  • 4

    $30,000,000

    Motorcycle Accident

  • 5

    $24,744,764

    Defective Seatback

  • 6

    $16,444,904

    Bicycle Accident

Client Reviews

Bisnar Chase Google Review

Great people in this office, everyone was really helpful explaining everything. I was referred by my aunt for my car accident in October and the case went pretty fast. No problems and very professional. I was kept in the loop thru the whole process and was able to get a better settlement than my insurance company said I would. I can’t really compare them to other law firms because it was the first time I had to use an attorney, but my bad experience with the car accident was handled as well as I could have hoped.

P. Montgomery
Bisnar Chase Google Review

It was a pleasure working with such an amazing team. You will definitely feel welcomed and kept in the loop throughout the entire process. They do a great job making you feel like you are a part of their team which is how one should feel. The superb customer experience from finish to end. You can trust they will do all possible to promptly and efficiently handle your case.
Yes! I recommend this team…

Queen V
Bisnar Chase Review - Natalie

I’m so impressed with this law firm. I lost my mother because of a seat defect when she was rear-ended in an auto accident and Bisnar Chase stepped up and took our case. The staff is wonderful and Brian Chase took his time explaining everything via phone with me. I’m honored to have the best of the best working on our family’s behalf, trying to get justice for my Mom, because of a negligent car company still manufacturing faulty seats. I look forward to working with this firm and am hopeful for a positive outcome. Thank you so much, Brian Chase. I know you will work your hardest on this case. God Bless you.

Natalie C.
Bisnar Chase Google Review

I had an attorney for my truck accident who wanted almost 60% of what my case was worth. Worse than that, he was willing to settle for $5,000.00 with the insurance company even though I was still treating for whiplash and back pain. I contacted Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys because a friend recommended them. My case was handled exceptionally well! I was being kept notified throughout the whole process and only when I was comfortable with the settlement figure, did my attorney Gavin Long, accept it. I felt like we were working together and I felt listened to. I would refer Bisnar Chase to anyone who wants quality over quantity!

Lauren B

Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys, LLP

1301 Dove St. STE 120, Newport Beach, CA 92660

949-203-3814

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