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Davis Dog Bite Lawyer


Every dog lover knows that dogs can be our closest companions. Research shows that pets bring many health benefits to their owners, such as reducing stress levels, improving heart health, and adding a purpose to life. However, a man’s best friend can sometimes bite. Aside from the pain, dog bites can cause serious injuries, nerve damage, infections, and even death.

Being bitten by a dog is terrifying, but it doesn’t mean all dogs are dangerous. Most dogs will never bite. However, any dog can bite if provoked, regardless of breed, size, age, or gender. Some reasons why dogs bite includes:

  • Stress reaction – dogs in a stressful situation may bite to defend themselves or their territory.
  • Scared or threatened – dogs can bite if startled or threatened.
  • Protection – dogs might bite to protect something valuable, like their puppies, food, or toys.
  • Not feeling well – dogs can bite if sick or injured and might want to be left alone.
  • Overly excited – Dogs may bite or nip during rough play if they become too excited.

Knowing their mental state will help you recognize a potential bite incident.

Knowing the Risks

Children are more likely than adults to be bitten by a dog, and the injuries can be more severe. Among adults, men are more likely than women to be bitten. More than half of dog bite injuries happen at home with familiar dogs. The higher the number of dogs in the house, the greater the chance of being bitten. Families with more than two dogs in the home are five times more likely to be bitten. By knowing the risks, you can prevent dog bites.

  • Don’t allow small children to play with a dog unsupervised.
  • Don’t interrupt a dog eating, sleeping, or caring for puppies.
  • Don’t allow your dog to play aggressively.
  • Always ask first if it’s okay to pet someone else’s dog.
  • Don’t approach an unfamiliar dog.
  • Don’t pet a dog without letting him see and sniff you first.
  • If you get knocked over by a dog, curl into a fetal position, tuck your head, and cover your ears and neck with your hands.

Understanding the risks of dog bites and how to protect yourself will reduce your chance of getting bitten.

Dog Bite Statistics

Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) show that:

  • Over four million dog bites happen nationwide, and about 900,000 bites become infected.
  • 81% of dog bites cause minor injuries that don’t require medical care.
  • 25% of deadly dog attacks were caused by dogs chained up.
  • Most dogs who bite have not been spayed or neutered.
  • Insurance companies paid over $530 million in dog bite claims in 2014.

Although any dog can bite, the breed of dogs that bite the most are:

  • Australian Shepherd
  • Bulldog
  • Bull Terrier
  • Chihuahua
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • German Shepherd
  • Jack Russell Terrier
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Papillion
  • Pekingese
  • Pitbull
Dog Bites Can Cause Diseases

Dog bites can cause injury and pain, but they can also cause diseases. About 18% of dog bites are infected with germs. Although more than 60 different bacteria exist, only some can make you sick. Some of the diseases are:

  • Capnocytophaga – a bacteria that can spread through scratches, bites, or close contact with an animal. Most people won’t get sick, but those with a weak immune system risk becoming ill.
  • Pasteurella –  a bacteria that commonly causes a red, painful infection at the wound but can also cause swollen glands and swelling in the joints.
  • MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) – is an infection that can cause lung, skin, urinary tract, and other life-threatening diseases.
  • Rabies– is an infection that affects the brain and is almost always deadly.
  • Tetanus- a toxin that causes severe paralysis.
What to Do if a Dog Bites You

If a dog bit you, thoroughly wash the wound with water and soap. Apply an antibiotic cream to the injury and cover it with a clean bandage. If the wound is deep, apply pressure with a dry, clean cloth to stop the bleeding. If you can’t stop the bleeding or start to feel weak, call 911 and immediately seek medical attention.

The following video provides more tips on how to prevent dog bite incidents. 

Reporting the Dog Bite Incident

Anyone who is bitten by a dog is at risk of contracting diseases. You should consider reporting the incident to your local police department or animal control agency, especially if:

  • You’re not familiar with the dog and don’t know if he has been vaccinated.
  • The dog looks sick or is acting strangely.

You should also contact the dog owner to see if the animal has been vaccinated against rabies.

Know Your Legal Rights

If you have been bitten by a dog and suffered injuries, you have the legal right to recover full compensation from the dog owner. The state of California holds dog owners liable for the action and behavior of their pets. According to the California dog bite law, if a dog bites someone and causes injury to the victim, the dog owner is responsible for the injuries and any damages related to the incident. The owner doesn’t have to be aware of any past aggressive behavior of the dog.

Davis Dog Bite FAQ

I was playing with the dog before it bit me. Do I still have a claim?

If the dog was not provoked, you likely have a claim. What constitutes provocation is not always clear. The circumstances must be carefully analyzed as the dog’s behavior, and your actions must radically cause a change in the dog’s behavior. For instance, hitting the dog is an act of provocation, and simply petting a dog or walking toward it does not constitute provocation. If it can be established that the dog was provoked, then your recovery may be reduced in proportion to your contributory fault.

Do I have a claim if someone else’s dog injured my pet?

California law does allow people whose dog was injured by another dog to file a claim for damages. However, California’s dog bite statute, CC 3342, does not extend protection to dogs attacked and injured by other dogs. The law is a strict liability statute that solely protects people, and the law classifies dogs as personal property. Therefore, if another dog injures your pet, you must bring a property damage lawsuit against the dog’s owner.

Dog Bite Lawyers in Davis, CA

Dog bites could cause serious injuries, infections, and even death. If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, you may be entitled to receive compensation for any injuries that resulted. Call our Davis injury lawyers today for free and friendly advice. You can reach us at (530) 392-9400 or (800) 404-5400.

Our legal team has been working in and around the Davis community on personal injury and wrongful death cases since 1982.

We are members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the National Association of Distinguished Counsel.

See our client reviews on AvvoYelp, Google, and our past verdicts and settlements.

Editor’s Note: updated [cha 5.19.22] Photo by Kat Jayne from Pexels cha bw [cs 1209]