How To Tackle A Dog Bite Lawyer Cases

Do I need a lawyer if my dog bites someone?

Out of a total of about 4.5 million incidents of dogs biting per year, there are more than 350,000 that end up in US emergency rooms. Only a small percentage of those bitten sue the dog’s owner, but do you want to be one of the few who loses your dog, loses a home, or even goes to jail as a result of a dog bite?

Why Do Dogs Bite?

  • Some dogs bite because they have been trained by their owners to be aggressive; the owner may not even be aware he is teaching this behavior.
  • Some dogs bite because of previous incidents of maltreatment, like being subjected to misguided “trainers” practicing alpha rolls, being sprayed in the face with a water bottle, or being slapped with a rolled-up newspaper.
  • Some dogs bite because they feel trapped by a human’s inappropriate attempt at affection.
  • It doesn’t matter why he does it, though, because if your dog ends up biting someone, you are in for a lot of headaches.


Dog Bites and Other Injuries: A Dog Owner’s Legal Defenses

When a dog hurts someone, its owner might be able to avoid legal responsibility based on the victim’s actions. Dog owners are usually responsible when their pets bite people or hurt them another way (such as by knocking them over or chasing them). That means that the injured person may sue the owner to seek compensation for the damages, including medical expenses. But it’s not always fair to hold the owner responsible if the victim was to blame for the injury. Depending on the circumstances, dog owners (and their homeowners’ insurance companies or attorneys) may fight back by arguing that the injured person:

  • provoked the dog
  • was trespassing or breaking the law at the time of the injury
  • voluntarily risked getting hurt by the dog, or
  • contributed to the injury by being unreasonably careless.


My Dog Just Bit Someone, What Do I Do?

Most people see their pets in a light similar to their own children. So, when a dog misbehaves it may be easy for an owner to overlook the bad behavior and forgive the errant puppy. But, what if the dog bites someone? Are there legal ramifications? What should an owner do?

When a dog bites someone, initial reactions can range from humor to shock and panic. But, it is important to take swift action to make sure the incident does not escalate and to avoid liability. It is critical to remain calm, even if the bite is serious. Immediately confine the dog to a crate or another room and offer first-aid to the bite victim. Be sure to clean any wound thoroughly and immediately to avoid infection. If the injury warrants, contact 911 for emergency medial attention.

Exchange information with the victim much as you would after a motor vehicle accident. Get their name and contact details and be prepared to provide your homeowner’s insurance information (it will be the most likely policy to cover the dog bite). Avoid becoming confrontational with the victim or blaming them for the incident, as this may invoke their anger enough to file a lawsuit against you and/or seek the destruction of the dog by animal control.

If there are any witnesses to the incident, be sure to get their contact information, as well. As soon as you are able, be sure to get a copy of your dog’s medical records, and particularly their vaccination history. If necessary, inform local authorities of the incident and comply with their orders. It may be frightening to discuss your dog’s fate with animal control, but it will usually be better if you are the one to report the incident than the injured party.

As a general rule, though, owners are liable for the damage caused by their pets, even if someone was trespassing on the owner’s property at the time of the incident. Warning signs are generally required to avoid some liability to trespassers, but even this may not fully protect the owner under some circumstances. Check with your attorney to find the best course of action for your location.

From the state’s perspective, dogs that bite people may pose a serious risk to the community. It is not uncommon for a dog to be quarantined at a state facility for a period of time to ensure the dog is not rabid or otherwise infected with a communicable disease. If this is not the first time the dog has bitten someone, the government may designate the dog a “dangerous dog.” This could lead to enhanced supervision requirements for the owner or even the euthanization of the animal in question.

The state may also hold you, as the owner, responsible for the dog’s actions in a criminal setting. The attack may be considered a form of battery, and the dog may be considered an “aggravator” (i.e., something that makes the battery more dangerous, like a weapon). Such charges are very serious, even if the injury caused by the dog seems minor, and must be taken seriously. Otherwise, you could end up with a criminal record, heavy fines, or even jail time.

While you may or may not end up being found either criminally or civilly liable to pay for the bite victim’s medical expenses, it is a good idea to offer to do so anyway. If possible, this offer should be made immediately after the biting, as this may soften the victim’s resolve with regard to reporting the incident to authorities or hiring an attorney to pursue legal action against you. It would also moot a portion of the damages to which the victim would be entitled, making it difficult for them to pursue legal action against you should things turn sour later.

As a responsible dog owner, it is your duty to ensure that your dog does not bite people. Make sure your dog is properly trained, that you have warning signs if your dog is allowed to run free on your property (even behind fences), and that you know how to treat a dog bite should it occur. If it is already too late, act quickly to mitigate the situation, as your rights (and your dog’s life) may depend on it. And, contact an attorney at once if a dog attack does occur to be sure you take all of the appropriate actions to protect yourself and your pet.


Can a dog bite lawyer help me if I was bitten?

Most of a dog bite lawyer’s cases involve helping the victims of a dog attack. A dog bite lawyer can pursue compensation for the victim’s injuries. Victims could have been hurt when the dog bit them, jumped on them, or knocked them down.

Dog bite lawyers pursue compensation on the victim’s behalf. The attorney does this by:

Proving that someone else is liable, or legally responsible, for the victim’s injuries, and

Recovering compensatory payments from the liable person or party.

A dog bite attorney may pursue several legal theories:

  • California’s dog bite statute, which can hold the owner strictly liable,
  • The dog’s owner or caretaker knew or should have known of the dog’s dangerous propensities,
  • Someone acted negligently and failed to prevent the dog bite, and
  • The keeper of the dog violated a local law or regulation in a way that was negligent per se.
  • Once a lawyer has established a defendant’s liability for a dog bite, he then must find a way to collect compensation. This can be difficult if the defendant or dog owner was not insured.


Avoiding a lawsuit

If you have a big dog or one that shows signs of aggression (whether because it likes to eat, likes to sleep, likes to hoard its toys, or likes to bite people — the reason doesn’t matter), you need to protect yourself by keeping the dog away from people, muzzling it when it is around people, and strictly following all animal control laws (like leash laws, anti-trespassing laws which apply to dogs, and anti-running at large laws). If your dog bites someone or causes injury in other ways, you might find yourself on the receiving end of a dog bite claim. Before it escalates, there are measures you can take.

The best and easiest is to be very, very nice to the dog bite victim (and his family). Show concern without necessarily accepting blame, and take the other steps described above. Be sincere, don’t be defensive, and don’t blame anyone.

Choose Wisely Your Car Accident Lawyer


Clear Communication

A good lawyer will make it easy for you to understand what they will do to help you with your case. They will provide you with clear information about their process, fees, values, and more. If you have any questions, they should be direct and to the point. You should not leave their office with more questions than answers. If they are unable to provide clear insight into their practice during your initial conversation, there’s a good chance you’ll have issues with communication further along the line if you hire them.

An engaged conversation

A good lawyer should be interested in your case. A lawyer that’s not engaged will only put in the minimum amount of required effort. You can end up getting a smaller settlement than you could have gotten because of this. How can you tell if a lawyer is engaged? They should ask you many detailed questions about your case and what your legal goals are.

Willingness to provide references

Always ask a lawyer for a list of references you can contact and speak to. These references should speak to the reputation of the lawyer. Even if you don’t contact their references, you can have confidence in the fact that they provided them to you. A lawyer that doesn’t have references or won’t provide you with any should be avoided.

An organized office space

The more organized their office looks, the more organized they probably are. Keep an eye on how their staff does their work and how tidy the lawyer’s desk is. If they have to shuffle through piles of paper in order to find what they’re looking for while their staff struggles to handle incoming calls, they’re probably not very organized, which doesn’t reflect well on their ability to handle your case.


Ask the lawyer about their experience. Make sure they have specific experience handling car accident cases. You will also want to be sure they have experience arguing cases in court and have a winning track record.



Experience– Choosing a car accident attorney with years of experience under his or her belt is essential. After all, this means your attorney will have a great deal of knowledge of personal injury law, as well as a good amount of expertise in handling cases just like yours in court. This can give you the edge you need to receive the settlement you deserve!

Reputation– In the age of online reviews, it’s easy to find out what others are saying about a car accident attorney you are considering hiring. Highly reputable car accident attorneys are certain to have many good reviews about their level of expertise and care from former or existing clients. Additionally, you can always ask your friends and neighbors if they have any trusted recommendations for a car accident attorney they like- an attorney’s reputation speaks volumes about his or her practice.

Professionalism– When you visit a prospective car accident attorney for your initial consultation, make sure you feel as though you are in a highly professional environment. If the attorney says or does anything that puts you off or makes you feel like he or she may not be qualified to effectively represent you, go with your gut and look elsewhere. A trustworthy car accident attorney should conduct his or her practice in a professional manner at all times.

Personality– One of the most important factors of your relationship with your car accident attorney is whether his or her personality is a good fit for yours. While you and your attorney don’t necessarily have to be best friends, it is crucial that you feel comfortable enough with him or her to let down your guard and give all the important details of your accident. If your personality doesn’t mesh with that of a prospective car accident attorney, keep looking.

Reliability– You are trusting your car accident attorney to handle your case, and the care with which he or she handles it can make or break the settlement agreement you receive. Because of this it is vital that your car accident attorney is 100 percent reliable and trustworthy. This means you can trust him or her to handle all evidence properly, return your calls within a reasonable amount of time, and file paperwork and other necessary court documents ahead of the deadline. An unreliable car accident attorney can make your entire case can fall apart- it’s important to find one you can count on!



Asking Questions Will Help Secure the Right Representation

Ideally, to secure a strong injury claim, you should contact an attorney within a day or two of your accident. This way, you can get started on the case right away while it is fresh in your mind. Furthermore, you must remember that you need time to focus on your recovery while still gathering evidence of liability, police reports, contact information from any witnesses, and photos of property damage and any visible injuries. However, once you secure your attorney, he can gather the necessary evidence while working to ensure that all of your current and future financial, emotional, and physical losses are being thoughtfully considered. That leaves you with only one task: getting better from your ordeal.

  • What kind of experience does he have with car accidents?
  • Has he ever had a case similar to yours?
  • When was the last vehicle accident case he handled?
  • Will he personally handle your case?
  • What is his retainer and fee policy?
  • Will he be available for questions during the day, if needed?
  • Does he have past client testimonials that you can read?



Personality.Often the most overlooked factor in hiring an attorney is personality. When you’ve been injured the last thing you need is an attorney who is not going to be there for you to ask questions, give you a status on your case, or return your calls in a reasonable time. Be sure you are comfortable with your lawyer’s ethics and experience.

Objectivity.Make sure your injury attorney is objective and isn’t looking to settle your case too quickly in order to move on to the next client.

Reputation. A lawyers reputation provides that added value as it will precede them- not only from a plaintiff’s perspective, but from the defendant’s perspective and the court’s perspective for handling cases and doing things the right way. It puts a client in the best situation to recover as much as they deserve as a result of their injuries.

Focus. A personal injury lawyer has unique skills when it comes to determining issues of liability such as negligence and causation and is probably better equipped when it comes to accurately valuing the compensation for damages. Approximately 95% of personal injury lawsuits settle before trial, so knowing how to negotiate a fair settlement is important as many factors are involved. Hiring a criminal lawyer or corporate lawyer will not prove as beneficial.

Experience. Never underestimate the value of an attorney’s experience when it comes to assessing and investigating a claim. Hire a personal injury lawyer who knows what to look for and understands what it means to your case. So, before hiring an attorney, ask them about similar cases they’ve handled, their success rates, and whether they are prepared to take the case to trial if needed.


Tips for Choosing the Right Car Accident Lawyer

Pick an Attorney You Personally Like and Connect With

Often, you will be deciding between several competent attorneys. While many bad attorneys do exist, a large number of really good attorneys also exist. If you are struggling to pick between winners, choose the attorney that you have the best rapport with.

Ask the Right Questions During Your Consultation

How an attorney responds to questions is a good way to gauge whether they are a right fit for your case.

These are some of the questions that you might consider asking.

Research the Reputation of the Attorneys You Are Considering

An attorney’s reputation is a good indicator of the quality of their work. After all, an attorney will not have a good reputation if they are not known for performing good work. Asking people who you know personally in the legal community for references are a good starting point.