In San Francisco and throughout the Bay Area, our skilled San Francisco dog bite lawyers at MJQ Law are here for you and your family during a desperate time. We will work on your behalf to help you achieve results on a physical, emotional, and financial level after you have suffered from a dog bite injury. Contact us for a consultation to find out what your claim is worth and what options you may have.
San Francisco is home to thousands of individuals, many of whom have pets. Luckily, Sam Francisco is also home to many places where dogs can roam around for exercise and fun, such as on-leash and off-leash dog parks like Channel Street Dog Park and Berry Street Dog Park. Though you expect dog parks and many other places throughout San Francisco to provide a safe environment for you, a dog bite injury can occur anywhere and at any given time. These injuries can leave you with many questions and concerns as you face a long physical recovery and bills you cannot pay on your own.
Common Injuries Reported in Dog Bite Attacks
A dog bite can happen anywhere in San Francisco, from a place of business where dogs are permitted to a family member’s home. The circumstances of a dog bite can vary from person to person but some dog bite injuries are more forceful and severe than others. Some of the most common injuries that stem from San Francisco dog bite attacks include the following:
Hand Injuries: In the event of a dog attack, the hands are always some of the most common targets. Hand and finger injuries are sometimes so severe that they lead to amputation or months of physical therapy so a victim can use their hands properly again.
Ankle/Foot Injuries: Because dogs are closer to the ground in many bite instances, they are within striking distance of an individual’s ankles and feet. This can lead to nerve damage and other serious injuries that signal a long road to recovery.
Puncture Wounds: Some bite wounds caused by dogs are so deep and severe that they tear straight through soft tissue, leading to extensive damages.
Facial Injuries: If a victim falls on the ground during a dog attack, they could receive facial injuries and injuries to the eyes. This can lead to permanent nerve damage and scarring.
Infection: When an individual is bitten by a dog, it can easily lead to an infection that increases the chances of a slow or unsuccessful recovery.
Threat of Rabies: Rabies is a virus that leads to serious results, including nerve damage, confusion, and weakness that eventually causes death. A victim should always be given a round of shots after a dog bite if they cannot prove that the dog had a rabies shot previously.
It is important that, no matter the severity of your injuries, you think of your health and well-being before all else following a dog bite.
Steps to Take After a San Francisco Dog Bite Attack
After a dog bite attack, it is crucial that you understand what steps to take to protect yourself and the future of your claim. Some of these first steps include:
- Seek medical attention before anything else. You want to ensure that you are vaccinated against rabies and receive treatment to prevent life-threatening infection. Going to the emergency room can help you receive a diagnosis and treatment plan for any injuries.
- Take photos and videos of any dogs involved, any injuries you sustained, and the location in which your attack occurred.
- Document any medical expenses and treatment that you receive.
- Talk to witnesses at the scene who may have witnessed the incident. Eyewitness accounts can come in handy as far as the future of your claim is concerned.
- Contact law enforcement and/or animal control to file a dog bite report.
Holding an Individual Liable for a Dog Attack
San Francisco, as well as all of California, follows strict liability laws in regards to dog bite incidents. This means that the owner is responsible for paying for any damages that their dog causes, such as medical treatment and any other damages associated with your bite. The owner will be liable even if the dog never bit anybody previously or acted in an aggressive manner in the past.
There may, however, be some exceptions to strict liability laws. This occurs if any of the following aspects are true about the incident:
- The dog attack occurred on private property and the bitten individual did not have permission to be there
- The victim provoked the dog into attacking them
- The victim attacked the dog’s owner, which led to the dog bite attack
- An actual bite did not occur
Why a Dog Bite Lawyer May Be Necessary
It can be frustrating and confusing to navigate California law after you have suffered from a dog bite injury. Having a lawyer on your side who has handled claims like these in the past can help with the following:
- Prove negligence and liability in a claim
- Use investigators as a way to gather useful evidence
- Investigate the dog’s previous bite incidents, when necessary
- Speak with eyewitnesses about the incident
A lawyer can also be a vital tool when it comes to communicating and negotiating with the big-name insurance companies. An insurer will typically attempt to call you and use your words against you or downplay the injuries that you have sustained. They do this so that they can pay you as little as possible for your claim. By speaking with a legal advocate as soon as possible, you can show the insurance company that you are serious about your injuries and your financial recovery.
Contact a San Francisco Dog Bite Lawyer
If you have sustained a serious injury due to a dog bite attack in San Francisco, it is important that you understand your rights and options. California dog bite laws can be confusing and leave you with more questions than answers. You want to make sure that a liable owner accepts full responsibility for the actions of their dog.
At MJQ Law, our San Francisco dog bite lawyers will compassionately assist you as you navigate the legal system after a dog attack. When the insurance company comes knocking, we don’t want you to feel helpless and alone without answers. Please contact us for a no-obligation case review today.