Turlock CA Dog Bite Injury Lawyers

Suffering from a dog bite can be a traumatic experience. Dog bites and attacks often result in costly medical treatment. However, you do not have to face these burdens alone. 

Silva Injury Law has experienced Turlock dog bite lawyers, prepared to hold the negligent party accountable. Contact us today for a free case review.

Dog Bite Claims in CA

California is a strict liability state. This means that California law allows victims of dog bites or attacks to recover damages from the dog’s owner for any injuries caused by the dog. This is the case even if the dog has never shown aggressive tendencies prior to the atack. In some states, a dog owner is liable only if the dog has bitten before. However, that is not the case in California. 

There are two other requirements for a dog bite claim in California.

First, the victim must have been on public property or lawfully invited onto private property. This requirement prevents a trespasser from recovering against a dog owner.

Second, the victim must not have provoked the dog into attacking him or her. The dog owner is not liable if the victim was harassing the dog when the attack occurred. Additionally, a dog defending its owner or another person is a valid defense to a dog bite claim.

Finally, a dog bite claim must be filed within two years of when the dog bite occurred. This is called the statute of limitations. The two-year limit applies even if you do not know the identity of the dog owner. The sooner you contact Silva Injury Law, the sooner we can get to work on your case and get you the damages you deserve.

Our experienced legal team also handles other types of cases, including:

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What to Do After a Dog Bite

The moments after being attacked by a dog are of the most important. It is usually an unexpected occurrence that catches everyone off guard. Nonetheless, some important pieces of evidence will be available only during these fleeting moments.

Identify the Owner

First, you must identify the dog and its owner. This can be a simple task for a dog with a collar, but in some cases, it can be difficult.

Get Medical Help and Document Your Injuries

Next, seek medical attention. Dog bites, no matter the size, can be critical if left untreated. Depending on the severity of the bite, you may have to rush to the emergency room immediately. Minor bites can be washed with soap and water to remove any harmful bacteria. Take photographs of the injuries caused by the dog as soon as possible following the attack to document the wounds.

Report the Accident

After treating the dog bite, it is time to report the attack. Report the dog bite to your local health department, animal control, and police department.

The health department will determine if you need additional treatment for your injuries from the dog attack. Under California law, animals who have bitten someone must be quarantined. The police department will complete a report and retrieve information from the dog’s owner.

Types of California Dog Bite Injuries

The injuries from a dog attack can be quite serious, requiring a significant amount of treatment and rehabilitation. In many cases, people will incur thousands of dollars in medical bills and be off of work, unable to earn a living. In many dog bite cases, people suffer from the following injuries:

  • Puncture wounds;
  • Cuts;
  • Abrasions;
  • Slashing of the skin;
  • Scarring;
  • Torn muscles, ligaments, and tendons;
  • Disfigurement;
  • Infections; and
  • Rabies.

Damages in California Dog Bite Case

If you have been seriously injured in a dog attack, under the law you would be entitled to compensation for those injuries. How much money you receive would depend upon the facts of the case and how seriously you were injured. Every case is different and will have a different value. Are any of your injuries permanent or long lasting? Have you been out of work due to the  injuries? These are the kinds of questions that an experienced Turlock dog bite lawyer will focus on. There are several categories of compensation you may receive.

Unpaid Medical Bills

If you have any unpaid medical bills for treatment, then that amount would be included in any settlement or jury award. Also, if you will require any future medical treatment, then the projected cost of that treatment should be included as well.

Lost Wages and Lost Earning Capacity

If the dog bite injury prevented you from working, then that amount of lost wages would be included in any lump sum settlement. Also, if the injuries prevent you from working in the future, then your future lost earning potential would also be calculated and added to the pot.

Pain and Suffering

This category of damages is harder to calculate. Every case is different. This money is designed to compensate you for the actual pain and suffering you experienced from the attack and subsequent treatment, including any emotional suffering. The more horrific the injuries, the more the amount of pain and suffering damages should be.

Loss of Life’s Pleasures

This category of compensation is designed to make up for what you have lost during the treatment and recovery from the injuries. These are the things that give you pleasure in life that you could not do after the dog bite.

What Evidence Is Used in CA Dog Bite Cases?

Most of the evidence will be your medical records and the notes from your treating physicians. We can help you gather notes that detail the types of injuries you suffered as well as what you had to endure to heal and hopefully be 100% again. We will also take professional grade photographs of any scarring that you will have to see for the rest of your life. Our experienced Turlock dog bite attorney can make sure to preserve all the evidence to ensure that you can receive the full and fair compensation you deserve.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Will My Case Take?

It depends upon the case and how complex it is. It also depends upon how long your treatment lasts. We wouldn’t want to settle your case until we know for a fact that your treatment will be complete. Some cases can settle within a year, but some may take several years to resolve.

Do I Have to Pay Any Money up Front?

No. You will not have to pay anything up front. Your case will be handled on a contingency fee basis. This means that if we are successful and win money for you, then we will take a percentage of that lump sum amount, and you get the rest. If we do not get you any money for whatever reason, then you will not have to pay an attorney’s fee.

Will I Have to Testify at a Trial?

It’s possible that you will have to testify at a trial. Most dog bite cases settle before the case goes in front of a judge and jury. But if you have to testify, don’t be too worried or nervous. Our skilled and knowledgeable dog bite attorneys will take all the time necessary to prepare you to answer questions.

Talk to an Attorney

Contact our Turlock dog bite attorneys at Silva Injury Law to represent you today.

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Promoting Healing Through Compassionate Advocacy

We believe that our duty goes beyond achieving large monetary awards for our clients. We strive first to be decent human beings who seek not to stir up fights, but to solve problems.

As a peacemaker, the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be enough business.

- Abraham Lincoln

Common Injuries Caused by Dog Bites

Injuries resulting from dog bites can range from minor scrapes and bruises to significant cuts and gaping wounds. There are some injuries that are internal as well. Some of the most common injuries seen in dog bite cases include: Facial injuries, Vision loss, Abrasions, Lacerations, Fractures, Broken bones, and Emotional trauma. In addition to these potential injuries, dog bites pose a heightened risk of infection because of the bacteria in dogs’ mouths. Even if your physical injuries are minor, you may have psychological trauma from the dog attack. An experienced dog bite attorney will connect you with the resources you need to determine the extent of your injuries.

Damages Recoverable in Dog Bite Cases in CA

Dog bite victims are entitled to recover compensation from the dog owner. Typically, the dog owner’s insurance company will pay this compensation. Compensatory damages you may be able to recover include: Medical expenses, Lost wages, Loss of earning capacity, Pain and suffering, Loss of the use of a limb, and Disfigurement. While no settlement will erase the pain caused by the dog attack, recovering damages for your suffering can ease other concerns. In extreme cases, punitive damages are available for dog bite claims. Punitive damages are designed to punish the dog owner. This applies only in situations of malice or extreme neglect. The dog owner’s insurance company may try to offer you a settlement immediately after the attack. Do not accept this offer. Speak to one of our experienced Turlock dog bite attorneys to fight for your interests.

At Silva Injury Law we strive to promote healing through compassionate advocacy.

Why Do I Need a Dog Bite Lawyer?

Dog bite claims are complicated. The complexities are difficult to understand. Having an experienced dog bite attorney in your corner can help ease the stress of the process. Our Turlock dog bite lawyers at Silva Injury Law will work on your behalf to help secure the compensation you deserve. Our attorneys will assist in gathering the evidence for your claim, including any official reports, witness statements, and photographs. We will properly investigate your claim so you can focus on healing from your injuries. We will also negotiate with the dog owner’s insurance company on your behalf. Insurance companies are most interested in settling cases for the least amount of money possible. Insurance companies accomplish this by offering settlement agreements immediately after the incident occurs, before the victim has contacted an attorney. However, the impacts of a dog attack can be long-lasting and not fully appreciated until some time has passed. Our dog bite attorneys in Turlock can ensure that you receive compensation not only for your temporary injuries, but also for any future issues that may arise because of the dog attack.

Contact Our Turlock Dog Bite Lawyers Today

Silva Injury Law fights for victims of dog bites in the Turlock area to get them the compensation they deserve. Michael Joe Silva transitioned from a prosecutor to a personal injury attorney to secure his clients a favorable resolution. We offer free consultations to determine if you have a valid dog bite claim. You only have to pay if we secure a settlement for you. Reach out to Silva Injury Law’s dog bite lawyers in Turlock to see how we can help you recover.