Dog Bite Attorneys in San Bernardino – Serving Southern California
Dogs can make wonderful companions, but some are dangerous. Each year, approximately 4.7 million Americans get bitten by dogs, and nearly 1 in 5 of those bites require medical attention. Sadly, California leads all states in lethal dog attacks, and in 2019, 9 people lost their lives because of dog bite injuries.
If you or someone you love got bitten by a dog in San Bernardino, you may not know what to do and where to turn for help. Is the dog owner responsible? How can you seek compensation and collect money for damages?
The San Bernardino dog bite lawyers at William D. Shapiro Law, Inc. are here to help you seek justice after a severe dog bite attack. We know how gruesome and tragic these injuries can be, and we work aggressively to protect our clients and their rights after a dog bite accident. Call us now at (909) 890-1000 or fill out our contact form. We offer FREE initial consultations and claim review, so you can quickly get the answers you need.
California’s Dog Bite Laws
In California, all dog owners are liable for any injuries caused by their animal—regardless of whether the owner knew about any prior aggressive behavior by the dog. This is known as “strict liability.” This means that if a person is injured due to a dog bite, the owner could be held responsible for damages caused by the attack—even if they had no reason to believe their pet was dangerous or prone to aggression.
California also has leash laws that dictate where dogs can and cannot go off-leash. If an owner allows their dog off-leash in an area where it is not allowed, and someone gets bit, that owner could face additional fines and penalties for breaking local regulations.
Dangerous Dogs and Aggressive Behavior
It is essential to understand that all breeds of dogs have the potential to become aggressive if not properly trained or socialized. However, some breeds are more prone than others to exhibit dangerous behavior. The American Veterinary Medical Association lists the following as among the most dangerous dog breeds:
- Pit Bulls
- German Shepherds
- Chow Chows
Warning Signs of Aggressive Behavior
Knowing how to identify warning signs of potential aggression in any dog breed is also important. If you spot any of these warning signs while interacting with a dog—particularly one that belongs to one of the breeds listed above—it’s best not to take any chances and stay away from it until an animal behavior expert can evaluate it:
- Showing teeth
- Barking excessively
- Baring its neck or chest
- Lunging forward
- Hackles raised (ruffled fur along the back)
- Ears laid back against the head
- Tail held straight up or pointed straight down toward the ground
Dog Bite Injuries and Complications
Dog bite injuries can often lead to serious health complications and injury to the skin and underlying tissue. Not only can a deep puncture wound become infected, but it can also cause nerve or muscle damage and lead to infections such as tetanus or rabies if the animal isn’t properly vaccinated. Disfigurement, muscle impairment, reduced mobility, infection, and sepsis are serious complications that can arise after a dog bite. Many injured victims undergo extensive reconstructive surgeries to repair tissue damage and prevent future complications.
In addition, scarring can be an unpleasant reminder of the incident even after recovery from any physical trauma. Even seemingly mild dog bites can carry the potential for infection, so anyone on the receiving end should seek medical attention quickly. It is important to address any immediate needs and be aware of any long-term health issues that may arise from a dog bite injury.
How to Handle a Dog Bite Incident in San Bernardino
If you or someone you know has been bit by a dog in California, seek medical attention immediately—even if the injury doesn’t seem severe at first glance. After seeking medical attention, contact local authorities and file a report with animal control or your local police department immediately. Then take photos of any injuries sustained from the incident and get contact information from any witnesses present during the attack. All of this evidence will be valuable when filing an insurance claim or lawsuit against the pet’s owner later down the line.
It’s also important to remember that all dog bite cases are different, and it’s best to consult with a personal injury attorney at our law firm for legal guidance. After suffering an injury in a dog bite attack, you can take legal action against the offending pet owners. With appropriate legal counsel, you will have better chances of receiving proper compensation for any medical expenses incurred due to the attack and other emotional distress-related damages.
dog bite$1 million
against junk yard for guard dog bite
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Multiple six figure recoveries varying level dog bites
Time is of the essence
There are specific time requirements and mandates that apply to certain claims depending on the type of claim being made, age of the claimant and who the claim is being made against. We urge you to contact counsel to find out what applies to your situation. Failure to make, serve and/or file a timely claim or complaint will bar even the chance of recovery thus we urge anyone seeking to make a recovery, to immediately retain counsel without delay.
Contact Our Inland Empire Dog Bite Lawyers Today
The San Bernardino dog bite attorneys at William D. Shapiro Law, Inc. know how devastating a dog bite injury can be. We work quickly to help our injured clients obtain the money they need – and deserve – after a serious dog bite attack. Our lawyers fight aggressively to ensure your rights are protected throughout the legal process. Call our law firm at (909) 890-1000 or fill out our confidential contact form today. We offer FREE initial consultations and reviews, so you can quickly get the answers you need.