ClickCease How to Tell When a Dog Is About to Bite │ West Coast Trial Lawyers

Ranked #1

Personal Injury Firm

5 Dog Bite Warning Signs

How to Tell When a Dog Is About to Bite and Dog Bite Liability

It is hard to believe that your furry best bud would intentionally bite someone. However, many pet owners are shocked to learn that there are over 4.7 million dog bites that occur per year, and 800,000 of those bites usually require medical care. Dog bites vary in severity, but if gone unchecked, they can lead to serious infections.

Typically speaking, it is the owner who is liable for his or her dog’s action. Therefore, it is imperative to know the warning signs of an aggressive or angry dog before it decides to attack. At West Coast Trial Lawyers, we practice personal injury law in California and our qualified dog bite injury lawyers are always here to help.

Most dog owners do not know when their dog is about to bite. Listed below, is a comprehensive guide as to how these creatures show signs of distress.

Pedestrian Deaths in Los Angeles


To show that they are uncomfortable, most dogs will not only avoid eye contact but lick their lips and yawn, as well. Though this does not necessarily mean that the dog will bite, it does show that the dog is feeling anxious.


If you’ve ever been around a dog, a low growl or a flash of teeth is an obvious sign of aggression. Animals react this way when they are unhappy or feel threatened. Regardless of the size or age of the dog, a small bite to a sensitive body party can do a lot of damage. When an animal is exhibiting these behaviors, it is best to give them space and time until the dog feels more comfortable.

Tail Wagging 

There is a common misconception that a dog who is wagging its tail is having a good time. While this may be true in most cases, it can sometimes indicate that the dog is on edge. It is important to notice the difference between a “happy wag” and an “angry wag.” Generally, if the dog is upset, it wags its tail, raises it high, and will keep their body perfectly still.

Tense Body

A tense body is a clear sign that your dog is uncomfortable. Most dogs stay in constant motion while they’re happy. When their body becomes stiff, it may be time to worry. If a dog is standing still, with their ears and tail raised, they are most likely preparing to protect themselves.

Raised Fur 

Like a human, if a dog feels vulnerable, the hairs on the skin stand up. This is an evolutionary warning that allows the animals to sense more from its surroundings. If a dog has raised fur and is not feeling safe, it may bite.

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 have sustained injuries in the city of Los Angeles as a result of a dog bite, an expert dog bite attorney at West Coast Trial Lawyers will help you recover financial compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call us today at (213) 927-3700 or email i[email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring, and compassionate legal team.


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.
Free Consultations /
No Fees Until We Win