Unfortunately, dog bites are a common occurrence, and serious injuries often result. Just yesterday, a 16-year-old girl was seriously injured when bitten by her family’s six dogs, according to news reports. The high likelihood is that the victim will never fully recover as the physical and emotional scars could last for years and years. If you are a victim of a dog attack, you should know what to do after the attack in order to protect your rights.
Secure as Much Evidence as You Can
As surprising as it might seem, one of the more difficult things to prove after you’ve been bitten by a dog is ownership of the dog. If a dog bites and seriously injures someone, owners often deny their ownership of the dog in order to escape liability. Since California is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites (you need not prove negligence), dog owners tend to try and avoid responsibility by denying ownership or control of the dog. Consequently, if you can do so safely, you should always try to document the identity of the person or persons who seemed to have control of the dog just before and right after the attack. This can go a long way to defeating a claim that the dog belonged to no one and was simply roaming the streets.
In a recent case handled by this office, a woman was viciously attacked by two dogs near a Garden Grove park. After the bloody attack, a witness who was mindful of the importance of gathering evidence at the scene took pictures of the victim’s injuries as well as photos of the owner of the dog. For good measure, the bystander also took a picture of the license plate of the dog owner’s car. With all of this information, a private investigator was able to locate the owner almost immediately. While the case is still in the investigative phase, it is likely the Good Samaritan’s actions will prove critically important to the injury claim and any lawsuit that has to be filed with the court. It should be remembered that animal control investigators and even police officers don’t always have the time or the resources to fully investigate every dog bite incident. It’s often better to do your own investigation and secure your own evidence, where that can be done safely.
What Injuries and Damages Can Be Recovered After a Dog Bite
Typically, the injuries suffered after a dog attack can be quite severe and usually include deep lacerations and puncture wounds. Additionally, it is not at all uncommon for a victim to be knocked to the ground and suffer head, neck and back injuries requiring medical treatment, including orthopedic consultations and physical therapy. The lacerations and puncture wounds often leave significant scarring, and the entire incident can leave life-long emotional injuries and distress. The scarring can sometimes be treated with revision surgery, and counseling is often necessary to help the victim deal with the emotional trauma, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Contact an Orange County Dog Bite Attorney for Help
If you were injured or a loved one killed by a dog attack, seeking the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney is likely the best first step to take toward obtaining compensation for the injuries and damages suffered. Mr. Ralph has more than 30 years of experience at handling personal injury and dog bite cases in Orange County and the Southern California area. His office is centrally located in Orange County for the convenience of his clients. Mr. Ralph’s services are provided on a contingency basis so if there is no recovery there are no fees. He can be reached for a free consultation by calling the number below or simply sending a message with the details of your potential case.