Any type of animal attack is concerning and can cause potentially devastating injuries. Dog bite injuries, however, tend to be particularly dangerous, as they can easily become infected, can result in permanent muscle and tendon damage, and can leave victims suffering from debilitating scarring. Fortunately, California takes a hard line when it comes to most animal attacks, which means that injured parties are more likely to recover damages compensating them for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. For help with your own dog bite claim, please contact one of our dedicated Los Angeles dog bite attorneys today for assistance.
California law holds dog owners strictly liable for injuries caused by their pets when the injured party can prove that he or she was:
- Bitten by the defendant’s dog; and
- Bitten while in a public place, or while lawfully on private property.
Under strict liability claims, a dog’s owner’s lack of knowledge that an animal was aggressive or potentially dangerous is irrelevant. It’s also important to note that a dog’s owner can still be held liable for injuries that the animal causes, even if the injured party’s skin wasn’t broken by the dog’s teeth. In one case, the court found that an animal’s owner could still be held liable for injuries that his dog caused when it grabbed a worker by his pants and caused him to fall from the ladder on which he was standing.
If, however, a dog didn’t actually bite the person, but still caused an injury, the plaintiff would need to demonstrate that the dog’s owner didn’t use reasonable care to control the animal, such as keeping it in a fenced-in yard, which resulted in the injury. This is a common course of action in cases where a dog jumps on a person and knocks him or her down, thereby causing an injury.
Dog Bite Complications
Those who are bitten by dogs, whether on the leg or somewhere else on the body, often suffer serious complications as a result of their injuries. For instance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that as many as one in five dog bite cases results in an infection, the most common of which include:
- MRSA, which is a deadly bacteria that is resistant to most antibiotics;
- Tetanus, which is a toxin that can cause paralysis in unvaccinated victims;
- Pasteurella, which is a type of bacteria that is found in more than half of all infected dog bite wounds and causes redness, swelling, fever, and pain; and
- Rabies, which is a virus that is transmitted through an animal’s saliva and primarily affects the brain.
Aside from infections, dog bite victims could also suffer from excessive blood loss, muscle damage, torn ligaments or tendons, and nerve damage. These injuries are especially common in those who are bitten in major muscles, such as the calf or quadriceps, or in important tendons like the Achilles tendon.
Call Today for a Free Consultation
If you were bitten by a dog and suffered an injury as a result, you need someone in your concern who can protect your legal interests. Please call the dedicated Los Angeles personal injury lawyers at El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers today to learn more about how we can help you with your own claim.