Riverside Dog Bite Lawyer

Riverside Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog bites aren’t always minor scrapes that can heal with antibiotics. Many dog bite injuries involve serious puncture wounds, torn muscles, broken bones, and sometimes even life-threatening infections. It can be unimaginable to suffer a painful and costly injury because of pets, but this happens all too frequently, and often due to the negligence of pet owners.

What legal recourse do you have when someone’s dog injures you? California state laws and the Riverside municipal code provide a legal basis for you to claim compensation. To do this, get the help of Gavel Law Firm. We know the inner workings of a dog bite claim as we have previous experience in the insurance industry. This advantage lets us obtain maximum compensation for our clients.

Discuss your dog bite injury with us. Your consultation is free. Call Gavel Law Firm at (951) 289-0202 today.

What are the Dog Bite Laws in Riverside County?

Riverside County follows the California “strict liability law” regarding dog bites. This means dog owners are strictly responsible for bite injuries their pet caused – even if the owner took precautions or didn’t expect their dog to be aggressive. This rule is stated in California Civil Code Section 3342, commonly referred to as the Dog Bite Statute.

Strict liability applies whether the dog bite occurred in a public place or on someone’s private property, as long as the victim was not trespassing. For example, you may have been bitten while passing someone walking their dog in a park, or while lawfully visiting a friend who has pets.

The city of Riverside in particular also has provisions in its city code that address the responsibility of pet owners. The following are some of the most important dog-related rules under Riverside City Code Title 8:

  • Dog owners or persons having custody of a dog must restrain the dog within their property, either with a leash or by securing them within the house or fence.
  • Pet dogs cannot be unleashed in public places or on someone else’s property unless the property owner expressly allows it.
  • The City may designate certain dogs as “potentially dangerous” or “vicious” based on the dog’s history of aggressive behavior. When a pet dog has this designation, the owner must get a liability insurance policy of at least $100,000.

With these laws, dog owners in the Riverside area are held to a high standard of care when it comes to preventing dog attacks. Thus, if you or a family member was bitten by someone else’s dog in Riverside County, you likely have legal pathways to obtain compensation.

Can You Sue for a Dog Bite in California?

Yes, it’s possible to sue a California dog owner whose canine attacked you or your loved one. For this, you would file a personal injury lawsuit, which seeks compensation for your physical injuries, financial losses, and psychological distress.

Under the California statute of limitations, you have two years to file suit, starting from the date of injury. While this seems like more than enough time, it’s best to take action right away as numerous delays can derail your timeline. You can start by consulting with us for free at Gavel Law Firm.

Can I Sue for a Minor Dog Bite in Riverside, California?

The short answer is yes, you may seek compensation for a minor dog bite because California subjects dog owners to strict liability. They don’t get a ‘free pass’ if their dog bites you at a place where you are lawfully present. Our state’s dog bite law is broad, allowing a wide range of injuries and losses to qualify for compensation, including:

  • Dog bites that break the skin
  • Deep puncture wounds
  • Open wounds
  • Fractures or shattered bones
  • Face injuries
  • Scarring or disfigurement
  • Muscle damage
  • Nerve damage
  • Head injuries
  • Rabies or other infections
  • Pain and suffering
  • Psychological trauma (such as post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD).

The challenge in most dog bite claims is proving what you’re entitled to. Defendants and their insurers may contend that your dog bite injury was less serious than you say, or that it didn’t need extensive medical treatment. They can use various methods to downplay your suffering and minimize their liability.

To protect your claim, enlist an experienced dog bite lawyer who can recognize and counter insurance tactics. At Gavel Law Firm, our dog bite attorney Bryan A. Mason has invaluable experience as he formerly worked as an insurance adjuster. He uses that unique insight today to strategically negotiate with insurers and maximize his clients’ settlements in dog bite cases.

What is the Average Settlement for a Dog Bite in California?

Dog bite settlements in California can range from several thousand to over a million dollars. However, there is no true ‘average’ settlement amount for these cases because each one is unique, involving many specific factors that affect the outcome. If you want to learn how much you could receive in your particular dog bite claim, it’s best to get an assessment from a dog bite attorney.

A successful dog bite claim in California can compensate for economic and non-economic losses such as:

  • Medical bills (past, present, and future)
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Reconstructive procedures (like skin grafts)
  • Lost income
  • Diminished ability to earn
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental/emotional trauma.

If your family member tragically died due to a dog attack, you may likewise pursue compensation through a wrongful death claim. This may compensate for funeral and burial expenses, related medical bills, lost benefits, lost companionship, and the like. While monetary payment cannot replace the life lost, it can help you deal with the financial aftermath so you can focus on healing.

How Common are Dog Bites in California? Statistics

Thousands of dog bite incidents occur in California each year. According to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association:

  • From 2005 to 2019, a total of 523,689 dog bites resulted in emergency room visits in California. That’s an average of 37,406 victims per year.
  • The most vulnerable age group, according to this analysis, were children aged 5 to 9. This age group had an incident rate of 148 dog bites per 100,000 people.
  • Dog bite incident rates from rural areas were nearly 30 times higher than those in urban settings.
  • The most common dog attack injuries were to the upper limbs, head, face, and neck.
  • Patients aged 85 and older were the most prone to dog bite infections.

Though dog bites seem to be common in California, it’s vital not to dismiss these injuries. Anytime a dog bite penetrates the skin, you should seek immediate medical attention, as even small bite wounds could lead to major complications.

The costs of a dog bite can be substantial, but the law provides avenues for you to recover your losses. To determine your best legal options for getting dog bite compensation, talk to a competent dog bite attorney. 

Contact a Riverside Dog Bite Lawyer from Gavel Law Firm

Gavel Law Firm has been serving the Inland Empire since 2016, and we have quickly earned an excellent track record in the field of personal injury. Southern Californians now trust us to handle their dog bite claims, as we have obtained full settlements for our injured clients and their families. We can help you if:

  • You were bitten by someone else’s dog.
  • You need legal guidance on a seemingly minor dog attack.
  • A dog knocked you down and injured you.
  • You suffered an infection from a seemingly small dog bite.
  • You lost a loved one in a dog mauling incident.

Your consultation with us is free, and you won’t have to pay us lawyer fees until we obtain compensation for you. Call Gavel Law Firm now at (951) 289-0202.

About Gavel

Gavel Law Firm is committed to serving people through our practice. Our dedication makes Gavel Law Firm the most effective and valuable representation you will find.

Gavel Law Firm, P.C.

Office Location

4100 Latham Street, Suite H
Riverside, CA 92501
Tel: (951) 289-0202