We often hear that dogs are our best friends, best companions, and the best pets to have. While these associations can be true, injuries still can occur from our (fur) best friends. According to the CDC, 4.7 million Americans suffer from a dog bite every year, with the age group of 5-9 years old being half of them. Dog bite injuries can be self-treated, while others require medical attention. If your child has suffered a severe dog bite injury and needs medical attention, you might consider pressing charges against the dog’s owner. If you are in this situation, contact a dog bite attorney to discuss your legal options.

Health Steps 

It’s an unfortunate event when someone gets bit by a dog, oftentimes being a dog familiar to the person. If you are bit by a dog, you’ll need to follow these immediate steps.

Clean the Bite

If you have a dog bite that is not severe, you’ll first want to clean the bite. Use a clean towel and place over the bite to prevent any further bleeding. If the bleeding has stopped, apply soap to the towel and apply onto the bite. This will help get rid and wash away any bacteria on the bite.

Apply a Sterile Bandage

Next, you’ll need to use a sterile bandage to place on top of the wound to prevent any exposure.

Apply Ointment

Most importantly, apply an antibiotic ointment to the wound. This will help prevent any future infection. Apply daily.

Legal Steps

From a legal standpoint, all dog owners have a legal responsibility for their dog and its actions toward other people. If a dog does bite someone else causing a severe injury, their owner may be liable. Laws regarding these types of injuries differ by state. In California, the law follows a strict liability, meaning that the owner is completely responsible for all damages involved in a dog bite.

However, there are exceptions to the strict liability law. These exceptions include:

  • Any person or group who was bitten while they entered a private place unlawfully.
  • Someone who is bitten by a dog who is carrying out law enforcement work, such as a police or military dog.

What Damages Can Be Claimed in a Dog Bite Case?

As a victim of a dog bite attack, there is a myriad of damages to be claimed in your case. A few may include:

  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation
  • Anxiety and paranoia
  • Counseling

California’s Statute of Limitations 

It’s important to take note that there is a specific time frame for dog bite injuries in California. A dog bite claim will fall under a personal injury claim which must be filed within two years of the injury. It’s pivotal to file prior to two years; the sooner the better. A judge could dismiss a claim if it is passed the two-year mark.

Speak with a Lawyer

Consider speaking with an attorney to discuss your dog bite personal injury case. An attorney will provide you legal advise on how to proceed with the claim. For information on how to file a personal injury lawsuit in California, click here.