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Ione Dog Bite Lawyer


Dog bites are becoming more common in California and around the country, and California ranks number one in the cases of dog bites. Some reports cite the increasing number of poorly bred dogs, while others consider it a random process. Some breeds are statistically more likely to bite. However, even that lovable dog you share your home with can bite someone. Let’s look at the incidence of dog bites, associated injuries, and how to be adequately compensated for financial damages.

Dog Bite Attorney in Ione

I’m Ed Smith, an Ione dog bite lawyer. I’ve helped many Northern California residents injured by dog bites over the past 36 years. Dog bites can cause traumatic and disfiguring injuries that instantly change the injured party’s circumstances. Unfortunately, many people go it alone when making a claim against the dog’s owner or the insurance company. With millions of dog bites yearly (4-5 million), only a tiny percentage (1-2 percent – roughly 16,000) of those injured are compensated. If injured individuals receive damages, the majority will obtain roughly a third of what they could receive if they had legal representation.

At my law firm, we stand ready to help you if you were injured in a dog bite accident. We offer a free consultation to review your case and assess medical, psychological, and financial harm resulting from the bite. Call us immediately after a bite at (209) 227-1932.

Injuries From Dog Bites

There are several common types of injuries, including:

  • Puncture injuries: These are common due to the nature of the dog’s dentition.
  • Lacerations: Disruption of the skin surface can be painful and dangerous since the skin protects the body.
  • Fractures: During an attack by a large canine, bites can fracture the bones in the hands or arms. If the person falls during the attack, other bones, such as the ribs, legs, and pelvis, can be broken.
  • Crush injuries: This injury is caused by the significant pressure of a dog bite. If the hands are involved, bony structures and vital nerves in the hands will be destroyed.
  • Loss of tissue: Depending on the extent, this can cause significant structural and cosmetic damage to the injured person. For example, facial structures such as the nose or eyes can be partially or totally removed or damaged during the attack.
Diseases Associated With Dog Bites

The resulting injuries are painful, disfiguring, and psychologically damaging and can cause disease. The most common are:

  • Pasteurella: This bacteria is found in about 50 percent of dog bites. Usually, the site becomes red and is painful. It is most dangerous for those with a weak immune system.
  • Capnocytophaga: Found in the mouth of canines, this bacteria causes infection after a bite, most commonly in those with a weak immune system.
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA): Carried by dogs, this drug-resistant bacteria can cause not just skin infection but overwhelming blood-borne infection.
  • Rabies: A nervous system disease, rabies is fatal after the symptoms are visible. After a bite, checking whether a dog has been vaccinated is a good idea.
  • Clostridium tetani: This is the bacteria that causes tetanus. A person who has not been vaccinated can develop this life-threatening disease.
Dog Bites Are Common

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 900,000 people will have their dog bite injury become infected. Others will require reconstructive surgery to repair the damage left by the bite. According to MedicineNet, a dog’s rounded teeth and the pressure and strength exerted when biting down can cause severe damage. The damage is not just to the skin but to underlying muscles, nerves, blood vessels, and bones. Since the average dog can exert 200 pounds of pressure over each square inch when biting down, the results of crush injuries can be devastating.

Dog Bite Claims in California

Dog bites result in numerous insurance claims each year in the United States. California is no exception and ranks number one in claims and dog bite injuries. In 2017, 2,228 claims for dog bites were filed with insurance companies in California. This is the highest number of dog bite claims in the nation. Data provided by the Insurance Information Institute states that the average cost of a claim in the state was $40,563, with more than $90 million paid out by insurance companies in 2017. However, considering the damage inflicted by a dog bite, particularly with multiple bites and the injuries inflicted, the average claim may not cover all expenses. By contacting a lawyer experienced with dog bite injury claims, the injured person may receive a more fair amount of compensation.

Dog Bite Law in California

Dog owners are responsible for injuries caused by their pets, whether on private property or public property, under California Civil Code 3342; an exception is when the injured person was provoking the animal at the time. The landlord of a building may also be held responsible if it was known that an animal living in the building was vicious. The landlord may also be responsible if the dog escaped and caused an injury because the landlord was negligent in his/her duty to make appropriate repairs, such as a broken gate or fence in disrepair.

The following video explains why hiring a lawyer for your dog bite claim is essential.

Ione Dog Bite Lawyer

A dog bite can result in significant damage, particularly if cosmetic surgery or hospitalization is required. Even minor bites can have psychological repercussions and involve doctor visits or emergency room visits. Unfortunately, children and adults are killed by dog bites or mauling. If this has happened in your family or you were harmed by a dog bite, call our Ione dog bite attorneys at (209) 227-1931 or (800) 404-5400.

Editor’s Note: updated [cha 10.9.23] Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels cd ds [cs 978] bw