Irvine Dog Bite Lawyer
Orange County residents love their dogs. From Irvine to Costa Mesa, we often see owners out walking their four-legged friends. Unfortunately, while most animals make for excellent companions, some are aggressive and can lash out, causing injury. A small number of dog breeds are responsible for most dog bites, but any breed can become aggressive and create real physical harm, either to humans or other animals. Consider a couple of likely scenarios:
- A Mission Viejo resident is out walking her small dog when she sees another dog with its owner approaching. Without warning, the larger dog attacks and overpowers the smaller one. As a reflex to help her troubled friend, this woman comes between the two animals, sustaining a bite in the process.
- At a dog park in Irvine, a dog is let off its leash to play. A child approaches the dog to pet it, and the pup, surrounded by other canines free of their tethers, becomes aggressive and bites the child.
Being attacked by an animal can lead to extreme physical and emotional harm. If the animal is not up to date with its vaccinations, medical complications can be severe. Victims of dog attacks may face bills from plastic surgery, as well as physical or occupational therapy. If other dogs are attacked, vet bills quickly mount, as they are not typically covered under any insurance plan.
While we ordinarily think of bites when it comes to dog injury, there are other ways to be harmed by these animals. For example, you may be knocked over if a large dog barrels past you, causing orthopedic injury.
What if I am Injured by a Dog?
If you have been bitten by a dog, safety should be your top priority. Contact Animal Control to report the bite immediately. This is for your protection as well as the protection of others. If you are not seriously injured, take pictures of the dog and get the owner’s contact information. Animal Control should work cooperatively with your medical provider to determine if the dog that bit you has rabies or any other disease that can be transmitted to humans.
Some dogs are covered by their owner’s home insurance, so an insurer may ask you for a recorded statement. It is essential that you do not provide this statement. In fact, the only documents you should sign or allow recording are those done by local law enforcement.
Even then, it is a good idea to have a lawyer present to advise you. Insurance companies will do anything in their power to avoid a payout, so they will twist your words and use them against you whenever they can. Once you are feeling well enough, cooperate fully with Animal Control’s investigation. Their job is to investigate the attack and determine whether the dog is a threat to the community and act accordingly. Provide them with all the information you can.
We Are an Experienced Irvine Dog Bite Law Firm
At the Law Offices of Mann & Elias, we believe establishing ownership of the dog is the most important step in receiving compensation. A common defense is for the dog owner to say the animal is simply not his or hers so he or she cannot be held liable for any damages. Not all areas require dog licenses, making this area of law complex. Our goal is to rise to the challenge by proving ownership of the dog and holding that person accountable for your injuries.
If you have suffered personal injury as the result of a dog bite or attack, we can help. We proudly serve all of Orange County and work hard to secure favorable outcomes for our clients who suffer from dog bite injuries. For a free initial consultation, contact our office of skilled attorneys today.