According to the Humane Society of the United States, there are 78.2 million dogs in the country, with 46 percent of households owning at least one dog. But it only takes one to bite or assault you and do real damage. Unfortunately, in many dog bite cases, the victim and the owner are friends, family member or otherwise acquainted, making for a socially challenging situation. Steven P. Roberts Personal Injury Attorney will make sure that whoever is responsible for the dog is also accountable for your injuries.
Owner responsibility in Fresno and the surrounding area
California state law holds the owner of a dog responsible for any attack the dog makes against a person who is in a public place or lawfully on private property. However, if the dog was being harassed or attacked, or if the dog was involved in official military or police work, then the owner is not liable for damages. But in most cases, if you weren’t agitating the dog and it attacks you, the dog’s owner can be sued for monetary compensation.
Why dogs bite and how to prevent it
Even the most docile and well-trained dog can unexpectedly bite another person. Certain circumstances can make a dog more likely to bite, and oftentimes the victim is not at fault.
- Encroaching territory — Dogs are very protective of their owners and their home, and any stranger or visitor may be viewed as a threat. It is important for pet owners to socialize their dogs from an early age so they get used to new people in their space.
- Sudden, invasive motions — A common dog bite scenario occurs when a person meeting a new dog moves to pat the dog on the head. Most dogs don’t like this and will either cringe or attack the hand. An owner should redirect you or warn you when you first meet the dog.
- Aggressive stance — If dogs feel like someone is taking an assertive role by rushing up to them or staring them down, they may try to assert their dominance by attacking. It is best to approach a new dog casually to put it at ease.
If a dog does attack you, working with a dog bite attorney can help you get properly compensated without needing to directly confront the owner.
Types of bites
Dog bites range in severity from a playful nip to a vicious assault. The resulting injury can range from a small pinch or skin puncture from a minor bite to severe disfigurement and muscle damage. In addition, if you don’t know whether the dog has been given the rabies vaccine, you will need to have a series of shots yourself to prevent infection.
If you’ve been bitten, contact a skilled Fresno attorney for legal assistance
Set up an appointment for a free consultation with Steven P. Roberts Personal Injury Lawyers. You can contact us online or by phone at 805.250.1511. The office is located at the entrance of the historical district in downtown San Luis Obispo. We have recently opened a Fresno location as well. We’ll discuss your injuries, the medical care you’ll require and the best way to get the compensation you deserve from the insurance company, whether through arbitration or settlement or in court.