Four Steps You Should Take After a Dog Bite Injury In California

steps after dog bite injury

A dog bite is a serious and scary event.

If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, you may be fearful and in shock.

However, there are important steps you should take after a dog bite injury.

The purpose of these steps is to ensure the victim’s safety and to preserve information for reporting the bite.

Generally, the purpose of dog bite reporting in California is to keep track of rabies rates.

However, it also plays an important role in keeping records of potentially dangerous dogs. 

1. Get Treatment for the Injury

The very first thing you should do following a dog bite is to treat the injury. The type of wound will dictate the level of treatment needed.

There are two main types of dog bite wounds: superficial and puncture wounds.

Generally, a superficial wound—a scratch or cut—will be treated with topical antiseptic care. 

On the other hand, a puncture wound has the possibility of being more severe depending on its location and depth.

No matter the severity of the injury, it is imperative to seek medical treatment immediately. 

2. Document the Attack

The second important step to take after a dog bite injury is to document everything. You will want to document any and all information you can relating to the incident.

Among other things, you should document:

  • Pictures of the wound,
  • Pictures of the bite’s location,
  • Medical records,
  • Description of the dog, and
  • Witnesses and their contact information.

Should you choose to pursue legal action, you will need certain information to recover damages including copies of medical bills.

Further, the more information you have, the stronger your case will be. 

3. Understanding Your Rights Under California Law 

Under California law, a dog owner is liable for the damages suffered by any person bitten by their dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place.

This includes the dog owner's own property if you were invited or otherwise lawfully present. 

Dog bite liability in California follows a “strict liability standard.”

This simply means even if a dog owner had no reason to believe their dog would bite or act viciously, they are liable for the injuries caused by their dog.

If you were bitten by a dog, you may be entitled to damages for your injuries.

However, there are exceptions to the strict liability standard, such as a law enforcement dog or if the victim was trespassing.

It is also important to know that dog bite reporting in California is required by a doctor that treats or evaluates the injury, regardless of severity.

4. Speak with an Experienced Attorney 

If you or a loved one has suffered a dog bite, it is in your best interest to speak with an experienced attorney. You may want to initiate a dog bite lawsuit in California courts.

At the very least, you may want or need to report the bite.

For more information on filing a lawsuit or the steps to reporting a dog bite, contact the attorneys at Starpoint LC today.

Contact the Attorneys at Starpoint LC 

If you have been the victim of a dog bite, do not wait any longer to speak with an attorney.

Our experienced team is ready to listen and personally fight for you.

Initiating a dog bite lawsuit in California can be complex; call us today!

Author Photo

Aidin Ghavimi

Aidin is a partner at Starpoint LC, Attorneys at Law, and focuses on personal injury cases in and around Southern California. He earned his Juris Doctorate from Loyola School of Law and his Bachelor’s from USC. Aidin’s primary goal is to bring justice to his clients and to ensure they are able to move on with their lives after a serious injury.

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