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Reporting Dog Bites, Explained by the Best Dog Bite Injury Attorneys

Typically, all animal bites should be reported to the Los Angeles County Center of Veterinary Public Health and Rabies Control except for rodent and rabbit bites. Wild mammal, rodent and rabbit bites, must be reported as well. This includes bites that are too small to detect, such as bat bites.

California has a strict code when it comes to the documentation of and penalties for animal bites. West Coast Trial Lawyers practice personal injury law and can help you earn maximum compensation for your dog bite case. 

Why Should You Report Dog Bites

Reporting a dog bite to the proper authorities is not only lawful but responsible. These rules and regulations were set in place for the protection of the public. Though you may not want to report the dog because you either know the owner or fear what might happen to the animal, it is imperative if you end up suffering damages and want the owner to pay up. 

There are two primary reasons to report dog bites:

  • Animal Bite Data. This information is used to help local health authorities record data that is used to predict trends and document domestic pet aggression.
  • Rabies Control. When you report an animal bite, you invite the local public health authority to investigate the matter. Your health professional will check for the existence of rabies which is very common in Los Angeles county. Additionally, with the introduction of so many new residents and their pets, there is even more risk of catching it, especially from a sick animal. 

What Happens After You Report A Dog Bite

After you report a dog bite the health professional will ask you for details about the situation including the: location where the bite happened, the severity of the bite, the breed of the dog, and the circumstances of the attack. When the animal is located, it is placed in quarantine. Quarantine periods are different depending on the type of animal. However, dogs and cats are generally kept in quarantine for about 10 days. 

There is no way to test for rabies on a living animal. Animals with rabies usually die within five days after showing clinical signs of being infected. To test an animal for rabies, the animal must already be deceased as the test involves checking their brain tissue. 

If the offending animal is owned, it can usually be kept in the owner’s home during the quarantine process.    

Just because a report is made does not necessarily mean that the animal is dangerous. Many animals, especially puppies, can playfully bite. If you believe that the offending animal is dangerous, then the report should be made to your local animal control agency.

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.

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 Will Defend You In Your Dog Bite Case

If you have sustained injuries in the city of Los Angeles as a result of a dog bite, an attorney at our personal injury firm can help you recover financial compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call West Coast Trial Lawyers today at (213) 927-3700 or email [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.
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