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Preventing Dog Bite Personal Injury

Why Dog Owners Need to Prevent Dog Bites and Avoid Personal Injury Lawsuits

Every dog has the potential to bite, regardless of size, breed, or age. Most dogs will typically not bite someone unless they have been provoked in some way. The majority of all dog bites are preventable. There are so many things that an individual can do to help minimize the occurrence of a bite.

Below, our skilled dog bite attorneys will discuss several strategies anyone can use to help prevent a dog bite or attack. If you have suffered a dog bite, West Coast Trial Lawyers is always here to answer any questions you may have about dog bite claims and available damages.

Why Dogs Bite

A dog can bite for a variety of reasons. Dogs typically will bite when they are afraid, in a stressful situation, for self-defense, or to defend their food, puppies, or toys from perceived threats. Dogs also can bite when they are sick or just not feeling well.
It’s also common for a dog who is playing to accidentally bite someone. We recommend not play-fighting with a dog you’re not familiar with, as that can cause it to become overly excited and unintentionally bite.

Preventing Dog Bites

Pedestrian Deaths in Los Angeles

Be a Responsible Pet Owner
This is perhaps the most important step you can take. This means choosing a dog that is appropriate for your circumstances. It also means that you must give your dog regular exercise, adequate training, and also have it spayed or neutered. Being a responsible dog owner will set the foundation for minimizing aggressive or uncontrolled outbursts, such as bites and attacks.

Have Your Dog Socialize
A dog that has not been socialized or exposed to different scenarios is more likely to  become agitated and possibly bite. Exposing your dog to other animals, people, and new settings will help it become more comfortable in different situations. It is best to begin inserting your dog in social settings when it is still a puppy. Always make sure to keep your dog leashed in case it becomes nervous or agitated when being introduced to new people and animals.

Recognize Risks and Avoid Them
There are many obvious and not so obvious scenarios you should avoid in order to minimize a bite risk. Try to avoid petting or approaching a dog when:

  • The dog is not accompanied by its owner
  • The dog is asleep or eating
  • The dog is sick or hurt
  • The dog is with its puppies, or seems protective and anxious about you being there
  • The dog is with his or her owner, and the dog owner has not given you permission to approach or pet the dog
  • The dog is on the other side of a fence
  • The dog is playing with a toy
  • The dog growls or barks
  • The dog wants to be left alone

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

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 were only incorporated in 5 percent of all verdicts.

Furthermore, there is no real set standard for calculating and awarding punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded at the court’s discretion and will vary depending on the specific circumstances of a case.

Limitations for Damages in California 
For the most part, there is no real cap on compensatory damages following a personal injury claim. This means that courts are able to award any amount they feel is appropriate and reasonable.

However, the only exception is regarding medical malpractice cases. In these cases, the limit for pain and suffering and other non-economic losses is $250,000.

West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help 

If you are a dog bite victim and need help getting legal advice, West Coast Trial Lawyers has experienced dog bite attorneys that will help you recover financial compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation at our firm. No fees are paid until your case is settled. Reach out to our legal team 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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