Dog Bite Attorney
Silverthorne Attorneys | Orange County Dog Bite Lawyers
Why Choose Our Orange County Dog Bite Attorney?
Choosing the right Orange County dog bite attorney who can empathize and understand your needs can be a difficult task, especially if you have just been bitten and are unsure of what to do next. Here at Silverthorne Attorneys we know and believe that you and your family are more than just a case and not another statistic. We pride ourselves on being compassionate and dedicated to our clients and their needs. Our goal and number one purpose is to strive for the best possible outcome in your case, no matter how much time and work are required. Many dog attack attorneys will often choose to settle a case as soon as possible; that is not something we do here. The last thing we want is to settle your case without getting you what you need in order to cover any costs during your recovery. Unlike lawyers who are not willing to fight for you, Silverthorne Attorneys is made up of the most caring dog bite lawyers in Orange County, and we are willing to fight to get you the best possible settlement.
related: What happens if my dog bites someone?
Orange County Animal Attack Accidents
Being bitten by a dog can be a very scary thing for anyone. After the initial shock, one of the most important things to do after you have been bitten is to be examined immediately by a physician. This is especially important if the wounds are serious. Most common areas for dog attacks include the nose, mouth, and parotid regions, which is why it is crucial to have a doctor examine you for any fractures around the eyes, nose, and jaw. Having a physician check for infections, especially if the dog is a stray, will better help your doctor determine the best course of treatment. If the dog is not a stray, it is very important to not only identify the owner, but to get as much information from the owner as possible.
Long lasting injuries can range from scaring, nerve damage, crush wounds and infections, to emotional trauma. Some dog attack victims have been known to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and have reported feeling depressed, nervous, or fearful after an attack.
Any dog is capable of an attack if they are feeling threatened, but certain breeds have a tendency to bite more than others. The CDC reported the approximately 50% of all dog bites are committed by Pit Bulls while other aggressive breeds that are prone to biting are as follows: German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Mastiffs, Akitas or Chows, Doberman Pinschers, and Bulldogs, to name a few.
Hiring a Dog Bite Attorney to Protect Your Rights in Orange County
The legal right to recover damages for a dog bite can and will depend upon where the attack took place. Orange County dog bite laws are very strict, and depending on the circumstances, the victim of an attack may recover compensation from one or more of the following:
- The owner of the dog, through what is called “strict liability;”
- A negligent person who caused the attack;
- A person who violated a leash law or a law prohibiting dogs from “running at large;”
- A person who kept a dog with the knowledge that the dog had a history of injuring people.
Discussing your case with an experienced attorney is vital for protecting your rights and recovering damages. It is possible that you may be able to recover damages for medical expenses, loss of wages, permanent scarring, disability, or wrongful death.
To better serve your needs, we have offices in Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange County, and Los Angeles. Call an Orange County dog bite attorney at Silverthorne Attorneys and get a free case evaluation. There is no cost or obligation, and every conversation is confidential.
Dog Bite Statistics
Merritt Clifton, editor of Animal People compiled U.S. and Canadian press accounts between 1982-2011 which showed that there are certain dog breeds that are known to be the culprits of dog bites that have resulted in serious injuries and deaths.
The combination of Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, their close mixes, and wolf hybrids are responsible for:
- 77% of attacks that caused bodily harm;
- 73% of attacks on children;
- 81% of attacks in adults;
- 68% of attacks that result in fatalities;
- 76% that result in maiming.
For more information on dog bite statistics for cases Silverthorne Attorneys handled in 2016, click here.
related: What is the most dangerous dog breed?
We Are Devoted to Helping You Get the Maximum Compensation
Silverthorne Attorneys is aware of how difficult it can be to recover from a dog attack; especially when children are involved, there can be a great deal of psychological damage that does not easily fade away. We are here to make sure that you are given a devoted Orange County dog bite lawyer who works diligently so that you are fully compensated for the impact that a dog attack has had on you and your family. We will fight to ensure that every expense you have incurred will be recovered, as well as any additional injuries that may have compromised your future earning potential as well.
We are fully aware that the damage done to you and your family is far beyond a number that can be easily calculated, but as a truly empathetic dog attack attorney, we will do everything in our power to make sure that you receive maximum compensation for your injuries. The money will never completely make up for the suffering you and your family are going through, but it will go a long way towards helping to rebuild your life after the crushing expenses and trauma you have endured.
related: Who pays for medical bills if my dog bites someone?
Our Dedicated Orange County Dog Attack Lawyer Will Fight For You
After being attacked by a dog the last thing you probably want to do is wade through the complexities of the legal processes. Our dog injury lawyer in Orange County does not want you to be fighting an experienced, disciplined group of insurance lawyers and analysts without dedicated representation. The goal of the opposing team will be to pay you as little of a settlement as possible. They know that you are likely to have pressing medical bills as well as high levels of stress, and they can manipulate you into feeling like you have to take the offer they present you with. It is crucial for you and your family to have a strong, aggressive dog bite attorney on your side who will represent you to the best of their capabilities.
Our Orange County dog bite attorney will tactfully pursue negotiations in order for you to receive the settlement you deserve and need. When you first meet with a Silverthorne Attorneys dog bite lawyer he will assess your case and work with you to decide the best course of action. He will almost always begin with sending a legal letter that will demand appropriate compensation from the insurance company. Depending on how reasonable the opposing party is, he may continue negotiations with them directly or he may have the opportunity to bring negotiations before a judge. While it may take a little longer to pursue through tough dialogue, our Orange County dog bite attorney is determined to aggressively fight for you in order to obtain the result you want.
related: What if my dog knocks someone over?
Our Dog Bite Attorney Will Manage Everything so You Don’t Have to
Even relatively simple cases can take a great deal of paperwork to prove the events surrounding the attack. Our skilled and experienced Orange County attorneys are familiar with navigating the legal system so you don’t have to. We will handle the stressful and time-consuming aspects of your case so you can focus solely on your recovery.
When you contact Silverthorne Attorneys, you will have a trained dog bite attorney who will be responsible for verifying and documenting the details of your case; they will gather all medical and financial documentation in order to negotiate a reasonable outcome. Should your case need to go to trial, your lawyer will be responsible for presenting your case convincingly to a jury. A Silverthorne Attorneys dog bite attorney is an excellent choice to represent you and take the burden off of your shoulders. Please call today for a free consultation.
Who Pays for Dog Attack Damages and How Are They Calculated?
Most commonly, it is a homeowner’s insurance company that will be involved in negotiations with our Orange County dog lawyer, and they will be responsible for paying whatever settlement is reached. The reasoning behind this is due to the fact that most dog attacks often occur at or near the dog owner’s home. Insurance companies are likely to have an entire team dedicated to reducing the amount of compensation they must pay, however, our dog bite lawyer knows that there are many aspects of your case that deserve compensation, thus making them work hard and diligently to get you the settlement you deserve.
Besides the costs of medical bills, there may be expenses related to other possessions that were damaged or destroyed during the attack. For example, if you fled into your vehicle or home and the dog continued to follow and attack, then the dog may have caused considerable damage to your property. Also, you may suffer from lasting injuries, scarring, or trauma that demands to be considered in the calculation of your settlement. In the tragic case of a lost life, it can be difficult, but also very important to determine a sufficient amount of restitution and our Orange County dog bite attorney will take every aspect of your case into consideration in order to cover all of your losses.
How Your Dog Injury Lawyer Will Handle Your Case
The first thing that your attorney will do is listen. They will listen attentively to you and your family in order to fully understand all of the events surrounding your attack. This is so your dog bite lawyer can put together the best possible case and get a desired settlement. Silverthorne Attorneys and Ian Silverthorne are highly sympathetic to your traumatic experience and guarantees that you will receive strong, resilient representation.
After taking time to understand your case, our attorneys will proceed with gathering all necessary evidence documenting the attack and your resulting damages. This includes – but is not limited to – medical bills, income statements, police reports, witness testimonies, police reports, and any results from psychological evaluations you and/or your family members have undergone.
Once enough evidence has been gathered, our Orange County dog bite lawyer will draft a firm and substantiated letter to the insurance company. Included with this letter will be all of the documentation that Silverthorne Attorneys has gathered in order to establish the desired amount of compensation.
If the insurance company does not come back with a sufficient offer then your attorney may move to have the case be seen by a judge. If a settlement is still not reached then your attorney may request a trial. It is imperative that you choose an attorney who will be able to handle all of the tough negotiations and see your case to the end. A Silverthorne Attorneys dog bite lawyer can and will go above and beyond for you.
related: What kind of insurance pays for a dog bite injury?
Identifying the Dog’s Owner And Showing Negligence
Most of the time the dog owner will be easy to identify, as most attacks tend to occur nearest to the owner’s home. However it can sometimes be difficult to identify the owner of the dog that attacked you or a family member – the dog could likely be a stray or could not have tags on. If the animal is not claimed by an owner after the attack, there are several ways to help locate them: calling the local animal control immediately after being attacked is something that our dog bite injury attorney suggests you do right away. They will capture and contain the animal and once immediate danger is resolved, they will check the dog for identification of ownership. Identification evidence may include a dog ID tags, a personalized collar, and/or microchip implant. Additionally, witnesses who may have seen the animal, or know the owner may be procured as well. Negligence in dog bite cases generally can be very easy to prove; for instance, Orange County law dictates “strict liability” towards the owner of the dog. This simply means that the dog’s owner is always responsible for ensuring the safety of those around their dog. If the dog was improperly secured at the home and managed to escape, then the resulting attack is due to the negligence of the owner. If the dog escaped from the owner while wearing a leash, then it is still the owner’s fault when the dog attacks. Once the owner of the dog has been identified, it is usually very easy to prove negligence in a dog attack case.
related: Am I responsible for my dog biting someone I do not know?
related: What if my dog bites another dog?
What if I or My Loved One Was at the Dog Owner’s Home?
As we stated above, it is up to the owner of the dog to ensure the safety of those around the animal; it doesn’t matter if you or a loved one were at the owner’s home – inside their house, yard, or street – the responsibility for the dog attack will rest solely on the owner of the dog. Do not let an acquaintance try to convince you to overlook the attack; an aggressive animal will just keep on being an aggressive animal – especially after an initial attack. The next attack can be even more damaging or can result in even more serious injuries.
Do NOT Confront the Dog’s Owner
We know that this can be a very stressful time. But confronting the owner of the dog who attacked you, a friend, or family member will not result in an outcome that will be favorable for you. Getting angry will only increase your risk of a violent confrontation that may result in charges being filed against you. The most important thing to do is focus on yourself or those who have been injured in the attack. Call the police and/or animal control to get the assistance you need right away. If you know how to safely administer first aid, it is okay to go ahead and do so as well. Once the immediate threat has been dealt with, it is important to reach out to a qualified dog bite attorney. Contacting us immediately will ensure that we can begin to build a solid case before any evidence is lost.
Helping Children Recover After a Dog Attack
Children are particularly prone to suffering from sever psychological trauma after a dog attack. After an attack your child may experience mood swings, nightmares, antisocial behavior, and other serious side effects – friendships and grades may also be affected. Giving your child as much love and support they need during this time is absolutely crucial to their healing. As a dog bite lawyer in Orange County, we encourage you to seek out any counseling or psychological treatment your child may need in order to prevent their trauma from affecting any more of their lives than it already has. Be sure to document the details of your child’s side effects, as these details will be crucial for your case.
Common Diseases a Dog May Carry
Besides sustaining severe injuries during an attack, you should also be aware of the diseases that can be transmitted from dog to human. One of the most feared and most common diseases that dogs can carry is rabies, but there are also other diseases that can be contracted by a dog bite. After your attack it is important that the doctor who treats you performs any necessary tests and administers the correct treatments. Make sure to inform your treating doctor if you were attacked by a dog that may be a disease carrier. Some of the diseases and symptoms you should know include:
Rabies – generally the symptoms that the dog displays will help to provide strong evidence of the rabies infection. If the dog’s vaccination status is unknown, animal control can determine whether or not the dog is suffering from excessive saliva production (also known as foaming at the mouth), muscle tremors, seizures, disorientation, and other common signs of rabies. While rabies is a serious disease, it is quite rare for it to be transmitted by dog in the United States.
Bacterial Infections – bacterial infections are the most common complication after an animal attack. Depending on the severity of the wound and the location, your doctor will likely prescribe an antibiotic treatment – wounds on the face and hands are more prone to infection.
Tetanus – While many people have already received their vaccinations against tetanus, it is important to ensure that the victim of the attack receives a booster shot – this is only precautionary and depends on how long it has been since the last shot was administered. When you go in for your examination with your doctor after the attack, be sure to go over your vaccination history.
Other Common Diseases and Symptoms – Those that fall under this category are those diseases that can be transmitted due to internal parasitic infections, ticks, other known and unknown pests, and fecal matter. Scabies can be caused by mites that are oftentimes found on dogs that spend a lot of time outside. Lyme Disease can be transferred to the dog from ticks and therefore can then be transferred to the person the animal has attacked. Roundworms can be transmitted from the dog’s fecal matter – which could have potentially been transmitted to you during an attack from the animal’s claws, mouth, or fur. Ringworm is another disease that can be transferred – it is a fungal condition that can be passed to humans – symptoms of an infected animal include round hairless patches of fur that look like a worm.
related: What if my dog’s teeth do not puncture the skin?
Dog Safety Tips
We know that not all dogs are dangerous, but there are some safety measures to take when you encounter an animal that you may or may not be familiar with. First thing is to avoid interacting with any animals that you are not familiar with – or if you do, make sure that you ask the owners permission to approach the animal. It is better to be safe then sorry and it is not worth the risk of aggravating an unknown dog. The next best thing to do is to teach yourself and your children the signs of aggressive behaviors in dogs – early aggressive actions in dogs include standing rigidly still, ear flattening, barking, growling, exposure of teeth, to name a few. If you are a dog owner, it is very important to make sure that your children and relatives know how to behave around dogs in order to reduce their odds of being victims of an attack in the future.
Being a Responsible Pet Owner
Being a responsible pet owner is one of the most important facets of keeping others safe while in the presence of your dog. This includes providing pets with appropriate enclosures – when needed, clean surroundings, adequate medical care, food, water, and compassionate treatment. Many acts of animal aggression stem from abuse, illness, and a multitude of avoidable factors. All animals should be treated with care and respect and doing so will help to inhibit aggressive behaviors from forming. In case your dog escapes or runs away from you, they should be registered, tagged, microchipped, and/or documented in whatever way possible.
Always remember that you are responsible for both the animal and every other animal, person, and item that your pet comes in contact with. If someone is injured by your pet, it is highly likely that you will be considered a negligent pet owner and held responsible for any damages.
related: What happens if I take my dog off its leash and it bites someone?
If you have been injured in a dog attack, or have lost a loved on, please contact us today to discuss your case.