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Lathrop Dog Bite Lawyer


Dogs are considered by most people to be members of the family. They provide valuable services to the police, military, and those facing various medical challenges. However, even the most docile dogs can attack or bite those they encounter. When this happens, it can leave a person with often difficult and expensive injuries to recover from.

Common Injuries from a Dog Bite

Injuries from dog bites can be severe. In some extreme cases, they can prove fatal. This is especially true when a dog bites an elderly person or child. Some of the common injuries caused by a dog bite or attack include:

  • Amputations
  • Bone fractures
  • Crush injuries
  • Damage to tissues, tendons, and nerves
  • Emotional suffering such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Head trauma
  • Infections that develop in lacerations, cuts, and scratches, mainly if left untreated
  • Loss of tissue
  • Neck injuries
  • Puncture-type wounds
Infections from a Dog Bite Injury

Dog bites can result in punctures, lacerations, crush injuries, and other dangerous outcomes. This is due to the 450 pounds of pressure exerted for each square inch when dogs bite. The person can suffer rapid blood loss and pass away when multiple bites are involved. Even in less severe dog bites, the person can face infection or disease from bacteria within the dog’s mouth. This can include:

  • Capnocytophaga: From the first day to two weeks after an injury, this infection can cause blistering, swelling, and redness at the wound site. Approximately one-third of people infected with Capnocytophaga die, while others may suffer complications such as heart attack, gangrene, or kidney failure.
  • Pasteurella: This type of bacteria can attack the skin and cause cellulitis. This can sometimes happen within 24 hours of scratch or bite injury. Symptoms may include chills, enlarged lymph glands, and fever. Cellulitis can sometimes develop and cause pneumonia, meningitis, arthritis, and other severe complications. This can lead to extended hospital stays followed by high medical expenses.
  • Rabies: This disease can be contracted if a person is bitten by an unvaccinated dog who is infected. This disease is dangerous as it can make it difficult to swallow. It can also cause high fever and convulsions, often leading to death.
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA): A staph infection typically ranges from a sore throat to swollen tissues and a rash. It can also affect the bloodstream, lungs, and heart valves. It can present as a boil or an abscess, causing swelling, redness, and pain at the site. This can also lead to severe health complications like cellulitis and toxic shock syndrome.
  • Tetanus: Vaccination typically protects most people from tetanus. However, those who contract it may experience stiffness within the abdomen, jaw, and neck, difficulty swallowing, and body spasms. This disease has no cure.
Dog Bite Safety Tips

You can reduce your chances of a dog bite by exercising the following tips:

  • Avoid staring into a dog’s eyes
  • Do not approach a dog that is chained up
  • Do not pet a dog or approach one while it is eating
  • Do not scream or run if approached by an unrestrained dog
  • Do not tease a dog
  • Do not touch a dog that is sleeping

Watch YouTube Video: The video listed below contains some helpful recommendations to help protect yourself from harm’s way when a dog is about to bite or attack you.

Learn the Warning Signs

Dogs communicate with people in many ways. Understanding their body language is essential to know when it is unsafe to approach them. The following are common warning signs exhibited by a dog before becoming aggressive:

  • A stiff or erect tail
  • Ears are flattened back
  • Exposure of teeth
  • Growling
  • Intense staring
  • Standing rigidly still
  • Tense body movement
Dangerous Dog Breeds

Any dog can bite or attack someone if they feel threatened. However, certain dog breeds tend to bite or attack more than others. These include:

  • Australian Shepherd
  • Bulldog
  • Chihuahua
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • German Shepherd
  • Jack Russell Terrier
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Pekingese
  • Pit Bull
  • Siberian Husky
What to Do After a Dog Bites You

Knowing what to do after being bitten by a dog is crucial for your health and any legal action you may consider taking. This includes:

  • Seek medical treatment. Get yourself a safe distance away from the dog and assess your injuries. Even if they seem minor, seek medical attention right away to protect yourself from the risk of infection and other diseases.
  • Identify the dog. This is the first step in locating the owner of the dog. Once this has been done, write down the owner’s name and the address of where the dog lives. This information will be needed to seek damages from the owner.
  • Report the incident to the City of Lathrop Animal Services. You are required by law to report the incident immediately. Be sure to include as much information as possible such as the description and breed of the dog that bit you and the incident’s date, time, and location.
  • Contact law enforcement promptly. You will want to file an incident report with the police. When doing so, be sure to include the names of all witnesses to the attack and the dog’s identifying information.
  • Contact an experienced lawyer. It is essential to contact an experienced dog bite attorney in Lathrop after suffering a dog bite injury. This way, your attorney can protect your right to the fair compensation you need and deserve for your injuries and other damages.
California Dog Bite Law

A dog’s owner is financially responsible for any physical injuries caused by their dog under California Civil Code 3342. If the dog bite occurred on private property, it must be established that the injured person was lawfully on the premises. This includes salesmen, postal carriers, and others. The law does not apply to those committing a crime or trespassing. These people are likely not able to claim compensation for a dog attack. California operates under a system of strict liability. This means a dog owner can be held liable for any injuries caused by their dog, regardless if the dog had a history of biting.

Statute of Limitations

A person who suffers an injury from a dog bite has two years from the date of the incident to file a claim. This deadline is known as the statute of limitations. In these cases, promptly contacting an experienced Lathrop dog bite attorney is essential. This allows the attorney to investigate the incident, look into past complaints, and build a strong case for compensation for damages.

Lathrop Dog Bite Injury FAQs

What if I was bitten by a dog a friend or neighbor owned?

Most people are bitten or attacked by dogs they know. This includes pets owned by friends and family members. You may be worried about filing a claim against someone you know while still needing money to cover your medical treatment expenses. However, most dog bite claims are covered under the homeowners’ or renters’ insurance policy of the dog’s owner.

My child was injured after being bitten by a dog. Am I able to bring a claim and recover damages for his injuries?

Yes. Your child will likely have a claim as long as the dog was not provoked. The dog’s behavior and the circumstances surrounding the dog bite must be carefully analyzed. Simply walking toward a dog or petting one does not constitute provocation. Remember that the statute of limitations for personal injury differs in the case of a minor. The statute is “tolled” or extended until he or she turns 18. From that time, he or she must file a claim within two years for damages.

What if I can’t afford to hire a lawyer for my case?

Most attorneys handle personal injury cases on a contingent fee basis. This means an injured party can retain an injury lawyer without worrying about coming up with the money to pay upfront legal fees. This way, the injured party can focus on recovering while the attorney starts working on the case.

Benefits of Hiring a Law Firm

No matter how careful someone is, there is always the chance of a dog bite or attack. Those who have suffered a severe injury from a dog attack or bite should contact an experienced dog bite lawyer in Lathrop. A lawyer can help obtain a fair recovery from insurance companies who often handle cases of dog bite injuries with scorn and contempt.

Lathrop Dog Bite Lawyers

A bite from a dog often results in severe injuries. I have free and friendly advice if you or a loved one has suffered injuries from a dog attack or bite. Please call me anytime at (209) 227-1931 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400. Go to our Verdicts and Settlements page to see how our law firm has settled prior cases for our clients.

Editor’s Note: updated [cha 10.2.23] Photo by Christopher Ayme on Unsplash ds cha [cs 1642]