If your child was bitten by a dog, its owner is strictly liable to compensate him or her for injuries under California’s dog bite law. However, this doesn't mean it will be easy to secure rightful compensation from the animal owner’s insurance company.
Five Steps to Take Right Now If Your Child Suffers Dog Bite Injuries
To protect your child’s legal rights and build a strong case against the dog owner and any other responsible parties, it's critical to act quickly.
- Get immediate medical care. Call 911 if your child needs an ambulance or take him to an emergency room, urgent care, or his doctor for treatment.
Not only are you protecting his or her health, but you also reduce disputes with the insurance company by making a connection between the attack and the resulting injuries.
- Report the attack. Under California law, both you and the dog's owner are required to report the incident to your health department or animal control agency. In addition, this report adds to the necessary documentation for filing an insurance claim.
- Obtain contact information. This includes details about the dog's owner, any other potentially liable parties, and insurance carriers. Also, get information from eyewitnesses before they leave the scene and you lose their corroborating evidence.
- Preserve evidence. Take pictures of your child’s injuries, blood on the ground, the dog, and the attack scene. You also need to save your child’s clothes in the same condition they were after the dog attack in a sealed plastic bag.
- Hire an attorney. A skilled dog bite lawyer will respond right away to help file your child’s claim and negotiate a fair settlement. He can also help you follow California’s special procedures for obtaining court approval once the claim is resolved.
Was your child bitten by a dog in San Diego or Southern California? I'm committed to aggressively fighting for the compensation and justice he or she deserves. I handle these cases on a contingency fee basis, which means you won't have to pay attorney fees until I settle your child’s claim. To learn about your family's legal options and how I successfully helped other dog bite victims, start a live chat to schedule a free consultation.