Have you or someone you love suffered a dog bite in Fremont? Did this dog bite cause you trauma or financial loss? If so, you should speak to the Fremont personal injury attorneys at OnderLaw right away about filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit to obtain compensation for your losses. We have years of experience helping our clients get compensation for injuries of all types and the skills to get the results our clients need. Call now for a free consultation.

How Dog Bites Occur

With over 52 million dogs in the United States, dog bites are one of the most common causes of unintentional injury in the country. A dog bite happens every 36 seconds in America. There are over 4.5 million dog bites a year, with 800,000 of those requiring medical attention and nearly 400,000 requiring hospitalization. Dog bites are a serious public health problem.

Any dog can bite under the right circumstances, regardless of size, temperament, or breed.

It may surprise most people to know that the majority of dog bites occur at or near the home, and 77 percent of dog bite victims are bitten by dogs they know and are familiar with. Dog bites also disproportionately affect children. It’s estimated that almost 50 percent of children will suffer a dog bite at some point in their lives, and many of these bites can cause severe injury, especially in children under 12.

Children are more likely to suffer severe injury from dog bites than adults and are far more likely to require emergency treatment. There are several reasons for this. Young children are closer in size to most dogs and may be seen by a dog as a threat or competition for food or affection. Children’s small size also makes them more susceptible to bites on the head, face, and neck, as opposed to adults who tend to be bitten more on the extremities. Children have less self-control than adults and don’t acknowledge or understand when a dog may not want to be touched or handled.

Dogs bite for many reasons. They may bite when they feel threatened, when provoked, when startled, when they are hungry, to protect someone or something, when they are stressed, when they are sick or injured, or during play.

It’s important to note that although dog bites are common, fatalities from dog bites or attacks are exceedingly rare. Although there are millions of dog bites across the country, there were only 46 fatalities nationwide in 2020.

Common Injuries Suffered in Dog Attacks

Injuries from dog bites usually depend on the victim. If they are a young child, the injuries tend to be more severe and occur on the face and head. Most adult dog bite victims suffer wounds to their hands, arms, or legs.

Some injuries common to dog bites include the following:

  • Puncture wounds
  • Broken bones
  • Lacerations
  • Crushing injuries
  • Abrasions
  • Infection
  • Internal injuries
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Amputation


Dog Laws and Regulations in California

California is one of the top ten states in the country for dog bite injuries, and in 2019, it led the nation in dog bite fatalities.

California has more strict liability laws with regard to dog bites than other states. In California, a dog’s owner is responsible for any and all injuries caused by their dog. Even if the owner had no previous knowledge of vicious behavior or the dog has never bitten anyone before, as long as the bite occurred while the victim was on public property or legally on private property, the owner is liable. This means that a dog bite victim does not need to prove the negligence of the dog’s owner to obtain compensation for a dog bite, although it should be noted only dog bites are covered under this provision, and not dog attacks.

Here are some additional regulations concerning dog ownership in California:

  • If a dog bites someone, the dog’s owner must provide the victim with their contact information and information regarding the dog’s vaccination status.
  • If an owner allows a dog with known vicious behavior to roam freely and the dog kills another person, the owner can be charged with a felony.
  • It’s required to provide a dog kept in an enclosed area with adequate room to exercise.
  • It is illegal to let a pet in California go without proper medical care.


Compensation for Dog Bites in California

Compensation for a dog bite largely depends on the losses you suffer as a result of the bite, but to understand which losses apply to your case and how to quantify them, you’ll need the help of a qualified attorney.

You can be compensated for almost any losses related to the injury, material or immaterial. These losses are called damages. The amount you may be able to receive is impossible to determine without a full review of the accident and injury. Generally, the greater your losses, the more compensation you should demand.

Most dog bite claims are handled through the dog owner’s insurance company. It’s important to note that when you submit a claim, you’re not going after the dog owner’s personal finances or affecting their livelihood. Most homeowners’ insurance policies cover dog bites, so you would receive your settlement or award from the insurance company, not from the owner themselves.

Losses related to the treatment of the injury that have a definable monetary value are called economic damages. Some examples of economic damages include property damage, medical bills, lost wages, or lost opportunity.

Losses related to the experience of the injury and the effect it has on your quality of life or well-being are called noneconomic damages. These are subjective and vary widely depending on the circumstances of the injury. They can include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, or emotional trauma. For instance, a dog bite with minor puncture wounds to an arm that requires a short hospital visit will not be as traumatic as a dog bite with severe wounds to the face and neck that will leave significant scars and perhaps emotional trauma, and so may receive less compensation.

There is a third type of award called exemplary damages. Exemplary damages are not compensatory, and they are not meant to make up for any loss but are specifically intended to punish the dog’s owner for their behavior. They can only be awarded in a trial by a judge or jury, carry a higher burden of proof than economic or noneconomic damages, and are only allowed in cases of intentional malice, oppression, or outright fraud.

Statute of Limitations on Dog Bite Claims

As with most personal injury claims in California, you have two years from the date of injury to file a personal injury lawsuit, or if the injury wasn’t discovered until later, you have one year from the date of discovery to file your lawsuit. Talk to your attorney about other possible limitations on claims.

Why Choose OnderLaw to Represent Me?

There are many personal injury firms in Fremont, so why should you choose OnderLaw ?

First off, there’s no need to take our word for it. Head over to our Testimonials page to hear from some of our past clients why they chose us for quality legal counsel.

We’ve been helping our clients and communities for almost two decades. Since 2002, OnderLaw has worked hard to gain a reputation as a firm that anyone can turn to when they need personal injury help. We handle any and all personal injury claims, from workers’ compensation and dog bites to defective product lawsuits worth hundreds of millions of dollars. No claim is too big or too small for us.

We also work hard to provide a level of customer service that’s a cut above the rest. You won’t be treated like a statistic at OnderLaw . You’ll be treated with the respect, dignity, and compassion that we would show to our family and friends. We’ve seen firsthand how a dog bite can affect an individual and a family, and we understand the strain you’re under. We will be standing by at all times to give you not just top-tier legal counsel but the support you need to process the trauma of a severe injury.

We support more than our clients. We support organizations and causes we believe in. We regularly donate time and money to MADD, the Lupus Foundation of America, and Toys for Tots.

OnderLaw understands that not everyone can afford legal help, which is why we work on contingency. There are no up-front costs for our services. We will build your claim from the ground up and provide excellent legal counsel, and if we are successful in getting money for you, we will take our payment out of any settlement or award we obtain. If we aren’t successful in getting you the help you need, we don’t get paid. It’s that simple.

Call OnderLaw Today

Don’t let a dog take a bite out of your family’s future. Call today for a free, no-obligation consultation, and let us determine whether you’re eligible for compensation. There are no up-front costs, and the consultation is absolutely free, so you have nothing to lose. Call OnderLaw today.