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What to do after a dog attack in California

Animal attacks are more common in California and the rest of the United States than we would like to think. A dog bite or attack can not only be extremely traumatic for a child or adult, it can also lead to expensive medical bills, lost wages and other costs.

For that reason, many individuals who are injured by dogs or other pets choose to file personal injury claims against the animal's owner.  In California, the owner of a dog that bites someone and causes injury can be held "strictly liable."

Strict liability means that it doesn't matter if the owner knew that the dog was dangerous or was otherwise negligent before the attack occurred. All that matters is that the victim was bitten, regardless of the circumstances surrounding the bite.

Of course, not all animal bites are alike and it can be difficult to determine whether an injury qualifies as a bite for purposes of seeking damages. For California's strict liability law to apply, a "bite" must break the skin, which means a bruise or a scratch does not count.

If you or someone you love is attacked or bitten by a dog, it's important to take the following steps:

Get information regarding the dog and its owner.

  • This includes the contact information for the owner, vaccination records for the dog, and the dog owner's homeowner's insurance policy information.

Get treatment for any injuries that have been caused.

  • Make sure to tell the attending physician that the victim was bitten by a dog so that the necessary treatment can take place and the dog owner can be contacted, if necessary.

Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer.

  • An experienced lawyer can help you figure out whether filing a claim for damages may be possible in your case.

For more information, please visit our California Dog Bite Information page.

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