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What to Do If Your Child Was Bit By A Dog In California, Explained by the Best Dog Bite Injury Lawyers

Unfortunately, man’s best friend makes mistakes. According to recent research, dogs bite over 4 million people each year and one out of five of those attacks needs medical attention. Sadly, because of their size and lack of animal experience, children are at the highest risk of receiving a dog bite.

When a dog bites a child there are many factors to consider: perhaps the child bit the dog first. Or maybe aggravated the dog in some way? California law has “strict liability” laws which render a dog owner liable if the dog bites or attacks anyone.

However, with children, the rules may be a bit obscure. West Coast Trial Lawyers practice dog bite law in California and can answer any questions about your dog bite case.

Why A Dog May Bite A Child

Children under 12, particularly toddlers and preschoolers, are subject to the worst bites from dogs. This is usually because the child does not understand how a loving hug or squeeze might become too tight for the dog. When this happens and the pup feels in danger or in pain, the only way of communication it has is to react with its teeth. 

This does not mean the dog is inherently violent or evil, just that it reacted out of the instinct of self-preservation. Whether the child provoked the dog bite or the owner ignored the dog leash law in California, you may need a dog bite lawyer.

First Aid For Dog Bites And Steps To Take After

Depending on the degree of the dog bite you may need to immediately seek medical attention. Carefully review the wound and determine whether the ambulance needs to be called immediately. If the wound does not seem to need medical attention please consider the following steps:

Step 1. Control the bleeding. Like any wound, you need to minimize the blood flow as much as possible. By using a sterile cloth or towel you can gently add pressure to the cut until it stops bleeding. For bloodier wounds, consider elevating the body part. If the wound looks severe immediately dial 911.     

Step 2. Clean the wound. Wash the cut with soap and water, and rinse it under water for a few minutes to wash away the bacteria

Step 3. Cover it up. Once the wound is dry, be sure to dab the area, apply some antibiotic ointment, and cover it with a fresh bandage. Be sure to know whether the dog is up-to-date with its shots.    

Step 4. Identify the owner. Be sure to locate the owner of the offending dog and collect their information.

Step 5. Gather Evidence and Contact Animal control. Talk to possible witnesses, take pictures and do not remove blood stains from clothing or area.

Available Damages

Accidents happen. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Below is a brief explanation of damages. Damages are a type of monetary award that is determined by a court of law to help compensate an aggrieved individual for any losses or injuries sustained as a result of someone’s negligence.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to. Economic damages are calculated by determining the amount of out of pocket losses an aggrieved individual has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries. 

A few examples of economic losses include:

  • Loss of Earning Capacity
  • Medical Bills
  • Lost Wages

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are essentially intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out of pocket losses. Non-economic damages may include compensation for:

  • Emotional Distress
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Loss  of Enjoyment of Life
  • Other Non-Economic Damanges

Punitive Damages

The third type of damages a California court may award are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended as punishment and are only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful. Punitive damages are relatively rare and in fact are only incorporated in 5% of all verdicts.

West Coast Trial Lawyers Serves Dog Bite Victims In Los Angeles and the Surrounding Areas

Victims of dog bites are subject to costly repairs, bodily damage, and mental anguish. We at West Coast Trial Lawyers understand how stressful these situations can be and we handle each case with the individual attention and compassion you deserve. Our experienced dog bite lawyers will make it a top priority in making sure that you have a satisfactory end result with your settlement. We will help you recover financial and emotional damages that you have suffered because of the accident. This includes medical expenses, lost wages, emotional distress, property damage, and pain and suffering. 

There are no financial risks when you use our services. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation with the attorneys at our firm. No fees are charged until your case has been settled. Reach out to our friendly personal injury lawyers 24/7 by calling (213) 927-3700 or emailing [email protected]


If you have been injured in an accident, you can count on the legal team at West Coast Trial Lawyers to fight for your rights every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney.
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