As the adage goes, a dog is a man’s best friend. However, sometimes man’s best friend can become man’s worst enemy when they bite and severe injuries or disability results. Have you or a loved one been injured as a result of a dog bite in San Francisco?

Being the victim of a dog bite is a frightening ordeal. Following an attack, you may feel scared, angry, and confused. Additionally, you may be faced with gigantic medical bills as a result of your accident. As the victim of a dog bite attack, you shouldn’t have to pay for the bills and expenses you accrue as a result of the injuries that weren’t your fault. You need the San Francisco personal injury lawyers of OnderLaw on your side.

It is important for you to know that you are not alone and that there are options available to you following a dog bite accident. Call the skilled and experienced San Francisco dog bite accident lawyers at OnderLaw today. Feel free to call us to schedule a free consultation. We can discuss your situation and guide you on your next best steps.

How Dog Bites Occur

There are several reasons why dogs may bite. Commonly, dog bites occur because dogs react badly to something they dislike or to protect their territory.

Dogs are territorial animals. As a result, a dog may feel threatened if you come too close to their puppies, food, or toys. For example, if a dog doesn’t know you and you’re in their home, they might feel scared and want to protect their territory. If they feel provoked or threatened, they may bite.

Another reason a dog may bite is that they are ill or suffer from an injury. Dogs also bite during play, but even their play bites may be dangerous to small children and adults.

Although there is no way to completely guarantee that you won’t be bitten by a dog, there are some steps you can take to minimize your chances of being involved in a dog bite attack. For example, you can avoid actions or activities that will excite a dog to the point that they feel the need to begin nipping or biting.

Common Injuries Suffered in Dog Attacks

Dog bites can lead to severe injury and, in some major cases, even death. Additionally, dog bite accidents are more common than people think. In fact, according to data collected by the Insurance Information Institute, across the 2020 calendar year, homeowners’ insurers paid $854 million in liability claims due to dog bites and dog-bite-related injuries. Further, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported that some 27,000 Americans received reconstructive surgery following a traumatic dog bite injury in 2018.

Some of the most common injuries sustained as a result of a dog bite accident include:

  • Puncture wounds
  • Fractured or broken bones
  • Eye injuries
  • Disfigurement
  • Abrasions
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Face injuries
  • Nerve damage
  • Emotional trauma
  • Rabies
  • Scrapes
  • Bruises
  • Rashes
  • Torn ligaments
  • Avulsions
  • Amputations

Of course, this list is not exhaustive. There are many other injuries and diseases that may come about as a result of a dog bite accident. Following a dog bite accident, it is crucial for you to see a medical professional as soon as possible to perform a comprehensive physical exam and examine your injuries.

Dog Laws and Regulations in California

There are several laws and regulations about dogs in the state of California. Some of the most important ones surrounding dog bite accidents include the following:

  • In most municipalities within the state of California, owners are required by law to keep their dogs on a leash. The only exceptions to this are areas that specifically designate themselves as being leash-free zones.
  • Additionally, California is a “strict liability” state, which means that pet owners are responsible for their dog’s biting accidents and associated injuries.
  • According to California Penal Code 398, if the owner or guardian of a dog knows that it has bitten another person, they must provide that person with their contact information, including their name, address, phone number, as well as the name and license tag identification number of the animal who bit them within 48 hours of the bite occurring. If this code is not followed, the owner or guardian of the animal will owe a fine of $100.

As a victim of a dog bite accident, you should educate yourself about the laws and regulations concerning dogs and dog bites. An experienced dog bite accident lawyer can discuss your rights and the laws associated with dog bite accidents with you and help you through the legal aftermath of such occurrences.

Compensation for Dog Bites

There are several factors to be considered when determining the compensation owed to you as the victim of a dog bite accident. One of these factors is the severity of the injuries you sustained as a result of the accident. The most common types of compensation paid to victims of dog bite injuries may include:

  • Medical Bills — all the medical costs associated with the accident, such as hospital bills, x-rays, health insurance premiums, and prescriptions.
  • Pain and Suffering — the pain and suffering you experience as a result of a dog bite accident.
  • Emotional Trauma — this could be anxiety, PTDS, or other emotional difficulties that stem from the dog bite incident.
  • Lost Income — all income lost as a result of your inability to work following injury or disability due to the dog bite accident.
  • Property Damage — includes the dollar value to repair or replace all property damaged or destroyed as a result of a dog bite accident, such as broken glasses and torn clothes.

For specific information regarding your case, contact an experienced dog bite accident lawyer today to discuss the full amount of compensation owed to you following your accident.

Often, homeowners’ insurance policies cover dog bite accidents under liability coverage. Further, although the name ‘homeowners’ insurance’ has implications of coverage within the home, dog bites that happen within and outside of the home are covered by homeowners’ insurance. Homeowners’ insurance payouts for dog bites depend on the type of liability coverage included in the dog’s owner’s policy and the value of your claim.

Anyone can be the victim of a dog bite accident. Generally, dog bite victims are neighbors and friends — people who are familiar and perhaps friendly with the dog that bit them and caused their injuries. However, according to UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, an overwhelming 50% of all dog bite victims are children. Many of these accidents involving children occur within the home of the victim. Additionally, dog bites are more devastating for children and may require urgent medical attention.

Statute of Limitations on Dog Bite Claims

A dog bite injury falls under the scope of personal injury claims. As such, a dog bite injury claim is subject to the same statute of limitations as any other personal injury claim. In California, the statute of limitations for personal injury and dog bite claims is two years from the date the accident or dog bite occurred. Should you attempt to file a claim for a dog bite injury after the statutory deadline has passed, your claim will likely be dismissed by the court, and you will lose your opportunity to pursue compensation through the court system.

This is one of many reasons why it is important for you to seek the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer following your dog bite accident. Whether or not you have a lawyer on your side can mean a world of difference for the outcome of your case. A skilled attorney can be of great benefit to you and your case. We can help you submit a dog bite injury claim with the insurance company or file a lawsuit within the allotted time frame to obtain the compensation you deserve for your dog bite accident.

Why Choose OnderLaw?

Over the past two decades, the partners at OnderLaw have provided legal counsel to victims of personal injury cases. We are dedicated to seeking justice and the full compensation available to those who are injured in dog bite accidents. We at OnderLaw pride ourselves on forging compassionate relationships with all of our clients and working with them to ensure that they are taken care of.

We are proud to report that many of our attorneys have been recognized by several reputable attorney rating services and are generally within the top 1-2% of lawyers in the state and nationwide.

At OnderLaw, we believe that everyone is entitled to high-quality legal representation. For that reason, we operate on a contingency-fee basis. That means that we take no money from you upfront. Once we obtain compensation for you, we will get paid an agreed-upon percentage of that money. If we don’t get money for you, we don’t get paid. The quality of your legal representation should not depend upon the size of your wallet.

Call a San Francisco Dog Bite Lawyer Today

If you have been bitten by a dog in San Francisco, call the legal team at OnderLaw today to schedule your FREE consultation.