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Orange County Dog Bite Lawyers

Orange County Dog Bite Lawyers

If you or your child were attacked by a dog, you may wonder what your options are. Do you have to handle all of the medical bills yourself or is there someone you can hold responsible? We recommend calling Harris Personal Injury Lawyers to talk with an Orange County dog bite attorney. Under California law, you may have the right to hold the dog owner responsible for your physical, psychological, and financial injuries. Our attorneys can help you do this. We are proud to have helped many individuals and families after serious animal attacks. Whether we represent you in an insurance claim, personal injury lawsuit, or a wrongful death suit, we will fight for you to receive just compensation. Over the years, we have helped more than 5,000 clients in California obtain over $300 million in settlements and court awards. To talk with us about your dog bite or animal attack, call us at 1-800-GO-HARRIS. We offer free consultations, and if you cannot come to a nearby office, we will come to you.

What to Do After a Dog Attacks You or a Loved One

If you, your child, or other relative are attacked by a dog, our Orange County dog bite lawyers recommend you:

  • Get to a safe place, or, if you are able, subdue the dog.
  • Take a photo of the dog for identifying it and the owner.
  • Take photos of your injuries immediately after the attack and in the hours and days following.
  • See a doctor as soon as possible.
  • Identify the dog’s owner, if you can.
  • Report the dog attack to your local police or animal control agency—in Orange County, you can do this at ocpetinfo.com/services/bite or by calling (714) 796-6421.
  • Call a dog bite lawyer in Orange County for advice.

Who Is Liable for a Dog Bite?

In California, dog owners are strictly liable for their dog’s actions and any harm they cause. Strict liability means the dog owner does not have to act carelessly, recklessly, or maliciously. If their dog bites someone and causes an injury, they are, typically, automatically responsible for the victim’s injuries. However, there are limitations to California’s strict liability law. You must have lawfully been on public or private property at the time of the attack. If you were trespassing, the dog’s owner can use this as a defense to liability. You or your child must not have antagonized the dog. If there is any evidence that you were bothering, teasing, or harming the dog before the attack, the owner can use this as a full or partial defense.

Is There a One Bite Rule?

Many people are under the illusion that a dog owner is not responsible for their dog until they know that their dog may be dangerous or vicious. In other words, the dog would have had to have bitten someone before, therefore, an owner is not responsible for the first bite. This is not true in California. The owner does not need to know that their dog has bitten someone before or acted aggressively or viciously.

Proving Your Claim for Compensation After a Dog Bite

There are three elements you must prove to obtain dog bite compensation:

  • The other party owned the dog at the time of the attack;
  • You were lawfully in the place where the attack occurred; and
  • The dog’s attack caused you to suffer physical injuries.

Our Orange County dog bite attorneys are here to help you prove these elements. When you call us after a dog attack, we will thoroughly investigate what happened. We will identify the dog and the owner. We will look into whether the dog has harmed anyone before. We will identify your status on the public or private property. If you were a trespasser, we will prepare to counter this defense. We also will work with you, your doctors, and experts to gather evidence of the type and extent of your injuries.

Dog Bite Compensation

Through an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit, we will fight for you to receive compensation for your:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Other injury-related expenses
  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement and/or disability
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Loss of normal life

Someone Other Than the Dog Owner May Be Liable

You or your child may have been injured by a dog bite when the dog was under the control of someone other than the owner. This can happen when dogs are being taken care of by a dog walker or sitter or a doggy daycare or kennel. One of these other parties may be liable for your injuries if they were negligent in securing and controlling the dog. If someone else was in charge of the dog at the time of the attack, we will thoroughly investigate that individual’s relationship to the dog, their responsibilities based on their employment, and their responsibilities under the law.

Call us For Help

After suffering a dog bite injury, contact Harris Personal Injury Lawyers for help. Call 1-800-GO-HARRIS to schedule a free consultation with an Orange County dog bite attorney.