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Orange County Dog Bite Lawyers

Justice for Dog Bite Victims

attorney Aaron HicksBeing attacked by a dog could traumatize you for life. This out-of-control animal is focused on injuring, if not trying to kill you. You can’t reason with it, it won’t listen to you, and you may be unable to stop it. Depending on the breed, it may also have long teeth and powerful jaws. Your physical, emotional, and psychological wounds may take a long time to heal.

The Hicks Law Firm represents victims of dog bites. Injuries can be severe, especially to children, and these attacks can be living nightmares. We fight for our clients’ legal rights to the most compensation possible. If you or a loved one are in this situation, call Orange County dog bite lawyer Aaron Hicks today at (949) 541-9944.

Dogs live in about 69 million US households, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). There are about 85 million dogs in the country. Each year about 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs. Most of them are children.

What is a “Dog Bite” Under California Law?

It need not break your skin or cause bleeding for it to be considered a bite that allows you to seek compensation. You only need to be grabbed by its teeth. A dog owner could also be responsible for other harm related to the bite. If you’re knocked down and injured in the fall, or the wound becomes infected, you can claim pain, suffering, and related costs as compensation for the attack.

What Injuries May I Suffer Due to a Dog Bite?

Dog bites can result in a range of injuries. They depend on the dog’s size and breed, the bite’s location, and the victim’s age and physical condition. Here are some common injuries:

  • Puncture wounds: Dog bites often involve the dog’s teeth penetrating the skin. These wounds can be deep and may require medical attention to clean, disinfect, and possibly suture them

  • Lacerations: In more severe cases, dog bites can cause deep lacerations, which are longer and wider cuts in the skin. Gashes may damage underlying tissues, muscles, and even nerves or blood vessels, requiring stitches, complex wound management, or plastic surgery

  • Tissue and muscle damage: Dog bites can cause significant damage to tissues, including muscles, tendons, and ligaments. These injuries can impair mobility, cause functional limitations, and may require surgical intervention or physical therapy

  • Infections: There’s a risk of infection because bacteria’s present in a dog’s mouth. If not promptly and adequately treated, an infected dog bite can lead to cellulitis (skin infection), abscesses, or more serious systemic infections

  • Nerve damage: Depending on the location and severity of the dog bite, nerves can be injured, leading to temporary or permanent nerve damage. This can result in loss of sensation, muscle weakness, or even paralysis in the affected area

  • Fractures and bone injuries: Powerful dog bites or the force of being shaken by a dog can cause fractures or other bone injuries, especially in smaller or more vulnerable individuals such as children or the elderly

  • Psychological trauma: Dog bites can have long-lasting psychological effects, particularly on children. The experience of a traumatic event like a dog bite can lead to anxiety, phobias, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Seek medical attention immediately after a dog bite, even if the injury appears minor. Medical professionals can assess the wound, provide appropriate treatment, and administer vaccinations (such as for tetanus and rabies) if necessary. Additionally, reporting the incident to local authorities or animal control is essential for tracking and ensuring the dog’s and community’s safety.

What is California Dog Bite Law?

California law applies “strict liability” on dog owners for dog bites. Unlike other personal injury cases that involve negligence, where you need to prove the other party owed you a duty of care and that legal obligation was breached, you just need to show that the dog bit you and the defendant owns it.

You don’t have to show that the dog bit others in the past or that the owner knew it was dangerous or vicious. The owner could be liable even if there were no prior problems before it bit you. You would need evidence of the harm to be awarded compensation.

What Role Does Insurance Play in Dog Bite Cases?

We’ll contact the dog owner and let them know we represent you and that you were injured by their dog, and advise them to contact their insurance company. We can take your case to court if we can’t negotiate a settlement with their insurer.

Dog bite homeowner’s insurance claims are very common. The III states nationwide there were 17,597 in 2022. The average cost per claim was $64,555. That cost has increased 131.7% from 2013 to 2022 because of increased medical costs, settlements, judgments, and jury awards for plaintiffs. Compared to other states, California had the highest number of dog bite claims in the US at 1,954 in 2022 and the highest average cost of $78,203.

Nearly all personal injury cases settle without going to trial, but we’re ALWAYS prepared if we need to. Our Orange County dog bite attorneys are experienced negotiators who help most of our clients reach their objectives without the costs in time, energy, and stress that comes with going to trial.

Get the Help You Need from Orange County Dog Bite Lawyers You Can Trust

Our team of lawyers is experienced in handling dog bite cases. We can help you file your claim and receive fair compensation as soon as possible.