Orange County Dog Bite Lawyer – MKP Law Group Will Help You Win

Orange County Dog Bite Lawyer

Did you know that there are about 89.7 million dogs as pets in the US? As for California, nearly 40% of households have at least one dog.

Unsurprisingly, your chances of having an interaction with a dog are high and subsequently, the potential for a negative encounter is only moreso.

Despite the large amount of love we have for dogs, the truth is that injuries are still likely to occur, especially with dogs you don't know.
If you've been injured following an incident with a dog or dog attack, you may need help to navigate the next steps, not to mention the maze of paperwork required to file a case.
Dog bites fall under the umbrella of personal injury cases. At MKP Law Group, LLP, our attorneys exclusively work with injury victims, helping them to protect their rights, and assisting with navigating the legal maze that stands between the client and fair compensation for damages.
When you need the assistance of our Orange County dog bite attorney, there will be no up-front costs to you. We do not ask our clients to pay out-of-pocket when they are struggling to cope with recent injuries. On the contrary, we work with a team made up of medical experts who ensure that you get the care you need to make a full and speedy recovery.

In the meantime, we work on the legal end to seek compensation for your losses.

5-Step Quick Action List

  1. Seek Immediate Medical Attention: If bitten by a dog, promptly visit a local healthcare provider, such as Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach or UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange, to treat your injuries and prevent infection. Ensure all treatments are well-documented for your records.
  2. Report the Incident: Contact Orange County Animal Services or your local police department, such as the Orange County Sheriff's Department, to file a report on the dog bite. Obtaining a copy of this report is crucial for your legal case.
  3. Document Everything: Take photographs of your injuries, the location of the incident, and the dog involved if possible. Keep detailed records of your medical visits, expenses, and any interactions with witnesses or the dog owner.
  4. Avoid Direct Communication with the Dog Owner’s Insurance: Insurance companies may attempt to minimize your claim. Let your attorney handle all communications to protect your interests.
  5. Consult a Dog Bite Injury Lawyer: Contact an experienced lawyer who specializes in dog bite cases in Orange County to explore your legal options and initiate the compensation process.

5 Key Takeaways

  1. Strict Liability in California: Under California Civil Code Section 3342, dog owners are strictly liable for dog bites, meaning they are responsible for injuries caused by their dog regardless of the dog's history or the owner's knowledge of its tendencies.
  2. Importance of Legal Representation: Engaging an experienced attorney enhances your chances of receiving fair compensation. They can navigate the complex legal system, negotiate with insurance companies, and advocate for your rights.
  3. Potential Compensation: Dog bite victims may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related costs. An attorney can help you pursue all possible damages.
  4. Statute of Limitations: In California, you generally have two years from the date of the dog bite to file a personal injury lawsuit. It is essential to act within this period to preserve your legal rights.
  5. Building a Strong Case: A successful dog bite claim requires substantial evidence, including medical records, witness statements, and expert testimony. An attorney can assist in gathering and presenting this evidence effectively.

What You Need to Know About Dog Bites & Legal Process in Orange County

Seemingly gentle dogs can turn aggressive in an instant. Dogs may become violent if they feel cornered, threatened, or see sudden movements. Other times there is no plausible reason for the dog attack, and the dog has no history of aggression.

Dog bites can occur near your home, at a friend's home, or in your own backyard. It might be a dog that escaped their yard or that is allowed to roam free or that was unleashed by the pet owner. Other dog bites occur in public spaces like in parks or on sidewalks.

If you or a loved one have been a victim of a dog bite, there are certain things to keep in mind.

What to do when attacked by a dog?

1. Seek Immediate Medical Attention

If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog call 9-1-1 immediately. If the wound is bleeding, apply pressure to minimize blood loss and wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water. Mention all injuries sustained in the attack to the doctors so they can document the injuries and properly treat you.

2. Document the Attack

If you are physically able to, after an attack it is crucial to identify the dog that bit you and obtain necessary information from the dog owner. Most dog bites occur in a home and are thus covered by homeowner’s insurance coverage. Gather the owner’s name, contact information, address, and any insurance carrier information. Photographs can also help document the attack.

3. Contact the Police/Animal Services

Call the police and ask them to come to the scene of the attack to write a report. This will help corroborate the attack and provide important contact information of the dog’s owner if they are unwilling to provide it directly to you. You should also contact Animal Services to file a report so that they can take necessary administrative action, including taking custody of the dog, to prevent any other attacks by the canine.

4. Consider Speaking with a Legal Professional

Insurance companies will do whatever they can to limit the amount of money they have to pay to compensate a dog bite victim. Insurance companies often try to use recorded statements to minimize injuries or place partial blame on the victim. They may also send you paperwork to sign in the hope that you will sign it and accept a lowball settlement offer. Speaking with a dog bite lawyer or legal professional can help you understand your rights and what you may be owed in damages.

Would It Make Sense to Hire an Orange County Dog Bite Attorney for Your Unique Case?

dog in cage

What happens after a dog bites you? Did you know that you, as the victim, still have the obligation to report the attack? While it is true that the dog’s owner and any witnesses also have to do so, do not make the mistake to forget about reporting your side.

Next, Orange County dog law requires the animal’s owner to give you their information and the dog’s license number. What are you supposed to do with them? An attorney will guide you through the information collection process and handle your end of the legal requirements.

What should you do if the dog’s owner protests? Would you know how to make a dog bite case for the state’s strict liability standard? When you are hurt, worried, and still trying to get back on your feet, there is a good chance that you are not able to take it all in and do what you need to file a case in a timely manner.

Therefore, hiring an attorney is the best decision you can make in your case. The lawyer evaluates your case. They help you define a strategy that lets you work through the situation at a pace that is comfortable for you. Also, they do the heavy lifting of filing documents, negotiating with insurance companies, and dealing with obstinate dog owners who might try to blame you for the bite attack.

Stats on Dog Bites in the United States and California

While dogs may be some of human's most beloved best friends, they are also a significant cause of injuries for Americans.

Dog bites annually infographic
In a CDC report from as far back as 1994, an estimated 4.5-4.7 million Americans suffered from dog bites annually. However, this doesn't account for unreported incidents.
In 2017 California was found as the top state for dog-related injury claims according to State Farm. The insurance company paid out $18.7 million for 468 dog-related injury claims for incidents that occurred in California. Overall, including all dog-related injury claims across the country, State Farm paid a total of $132 million for the 3,600 cases.
California not only has the largest number of dog bite claims in the US (2,103 in 2020), but also some of the highest valued claims with an average cost per dog bite claim of $64,622 (vs. the national average of $50,245)., 2020.

Dog bites can cause severe medical injuries and disabilities. They can also cause emotional and economic distress for the individual and the family.

Courts keep many factors in mind when determining the damages incurred. The fact is, animal bites are very traumatic events and can easily cost victims innumerable losses, including medical, physical, economic, psychological, and more.

What Makes a Dog Bite Such a Serious Problem for OC Residents

It is not just about the puncture wound. For example, in addition to the dog bite itself, there is the potential for soft tissue injuries, bone fractures, and extensive bruising or even emotional distress. Although others around you might try to downplay the event, you are the one left having to deal with the aftermath.

Open wounds do carry the risk of infection. Plus, there is a chance that scar tissue develops, which may require you to undergo plastic surgery depending on the location of the injury. You may live in fear of contracting rabies. Some people ask for the rabies vaccine and then deal with the side effects.

Solely from a financial point of view, in terms of medical expenses, dealing with a dog bite can be a very expensive undertaking.

However, what happens if the injury made it impossible for you to go to work? There is a chance that you are out of sick time and will not get paid. Now, you are looking at financial losses on top of the medical costs. If the bite injury is so severe that it keeps you from performing your job, you could lose future earning opportunities. In a worst-case scenario, you may have to undergo training for an entirely different profession. Who pays for that?

Suddenly, the situation that others claim is not such a big deal could actually turn into a life-changing event. An Orange County dog bite lawyer gives you the space to breathe. They help you make sense of the changes that you are struggling to implement. Most importantly, they know the ins and outs of Orange County dog laws, so that an insurer cannot hide.

You need this kind of help to sort your damages by medical, financial, and emotional losses.

Contact MKP Law Group, LLP Today

Remember, in California, there is a two-year statute of limitations for filing a dog bite personal injury claim from the date of the incident. However, waiting to hire an experienced dog bite attorney is never recommended as there are many factors that can reduce the value of your claim.

So do not delay, and call MKP Law Group, LLP today for your 100% free consultation. It is never in your best interest to negotiate with an insurance company or accept their offer without first consulting with an experienced dog bite attorney. The dog bite & attack lawyers at MKP Law Group, LLP will provide expert legal advice and handle the insurance claims on your behalf and negotiate with the insurance company to get you top dollar. If the insurance company refuses to negotiate fairly and only makes low-ball offers, our attorneys are experienced litigators and will file suit in court.

At MKP Law Group, LLP, we have personal injury attorneys that are highly experienced in handling dog bite injury & attack cases and have obtained large settlements on behalf of our clients.

Call 310-285-5353 or fill out the contact form below to discuss your case and legal options with our dog bite lawyers.

We proudly service clients in Orange County and other cities in Los Angeles County including Santa Monica, Westwood, West Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Long Beach, Pasadena, Glendale, and more. We also represent clients in Long Beach, Riverside County, and San Bernardino County as well.

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