Like any animal, dogs have basic instincts. Among the most commonly known of these instincts is the one to protect its territory and owners. Unfortunately, this can sometimes result in bite incidents. When a dog bites you or one of your loved ones, it frequently results in a wide range of injuries, some of which can be quite severe and have far-reaching implications as you and your loved ones move forward with your lives. Obviously, being bitten by a dog in Salinas–or anywhere else in California, for that matter-is a very serious issue. So serious that California law has specific statutes relating to these incidents, as well as options for victims. In order to better understand dog bites, it’s helpful to look at how the law in California is written and what you can do if a dog bites you.
Contact Maison Law After a Dog Bite in SalinasAs experienced Salinas personal injury lawyers, Maison Law is here to help. With our team on your side, we can help you understand your legal rights and options if you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog. We understand how serious these incidents are, and can help guide you through what can be a difficult and challenging recovery process. If you need legal assistance with a dog bite case, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We can help you hold the responsible party accountable for their actions while also making sure you get the benefits and support you deserve.
Who is Most Vulnerable to Dog Bites in Salinas?Virtually anyone that comes in contact with a dog runs the risk of being bitten. Most of the time, a dog is only reacting instinctually when they bite someone, and these incidents usually occur in specific conditions like getting too close to their owner or being startled. At the same time, there are certain groups of people in Salinas that are more vulnerable to dog bites. Usually, this includes the following group of people:
- Children – According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, one in five dog bites require medical attention, and children are the most common victims. Children are more likely to be bitten because they may not be able to recognize the warning signs that a dog is feeling threatened or uncomfortable. Additionally, they may approach dogs too quickly or inappropriately, such as by reaching for the dog’s face or putting their face close to the dog’s face.
- Elderly – While children lack the situational awareness that could prevent a dog bite, elderly people sometimes lack the physical or mental awareness that could lead to a dog bite. Thus, elderly people are also vulnerable to dog bites due to their reduced mobility and be less able to defend themselves if a dog becomes aggressive. In addition, they may have a harder time recovering from injuries caused by dog bites.
- Delivery people – Delivery people, such as postal workers and food delivery drivers, are particularly vulnerable to dog bites due to the nature of their work. These workers often visit a large number of homes and businesses daily, which increases their likelihood of encountering a dog. Additionally, they are often unfamiliar with the dogs they encounter and may have difficulty assessing a dog’s behavior or temperament. Protective instincts and inadequate fencing or restraints may also contribute to a dog’s aggression toward delivery people.
What Do I Need to Do After a Dog Bite in Salinas?No matter what caused a dog to bite you in Salinas, there are important steps you need to take in the immediate aftermath to ensure your health and safety. It’s important to take a dog bite seriously, even if your injury seems minor. Prompt medical attention and reporting can help to ensure that you receive appropriate treatment and that the risk of infection and future bites is minimized.
- Seek medical attention – The first step after a dog bites you in Salnias is to immediately seek medical attention. Even if the wound seems minor, it is important to have it examined by a medical professional to determine the risk of infection or other complications.
- Report the bite – Once you’ve received medical attention, you should contact the Salinas Animal Services Department to report the bite. This will help to ensure that the dog is quarantined and checked for rabies, and will also help to prevent future bites.
- Gather information – If possible, obtain the name and contact information of the dog’s owner, as well as any witnesses to the bite. This will help you determine who to file a potential claim against.
- Document the bite – Take photos of your injuries and keep a record of any medical treatment you receive, including the names and contact information of healthcare providers. This is another important step for the claims process, as it will determine the extent of your injuries.
What is The Claims Process After a Salinas Dog Bite Incident?Every dog bite incident in Salinas has its own unique set of circumstances, from the cause to the extent of the injuries. But what doesn’t differ from case to case is how the law approaches these incidents. California law in dog bite cases is clear: the owner of the dog is “strictly liable” for any damages. Obviously, depending on how serious your injuries are, these can be quite extensive. Usually, these damages include the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Property damages
- Scarring or disfigurement costs
- Emotional distress
- Investigation: After our initial meeting with you, our lawyers will help you investigate the circumstances surrounding the dog bite. This usually includes gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses.
- Demand letter – Once we have helped you gather all necessary information, we will prepare a demand letter to the owner’s insurance company outlining the damages you are seeking, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any other losses resulting from the dog bite. This letter will also include a formal settlement offer to the insurance company.
- Negotiation – The dog owner’s insurance company may respond to your demand letter with a counteroffer, or they may not respond at all. No matter what stance they take, our experienced team will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to try to reach a fair settlement.
- Litigation – If a settlement cannot be reached through negotiation, we may file a lawsuit on your behalf. The case may be resolved through mediation or a trial, but we will handle all the case-related responsibilities that come with a lawsuit.