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San Diego Dog Bite Lawyer

Suffering a dog bite can be a traumatic event, deeply impacting you both physically and emotionally—not just from the injury itself but from the flood of emotions and questions that follow. Here at West Coast Trial Lawyers, we understand how frustrated and confused you may feel.

As dedicated San Diego dog bite attorneys, we’re here to clarify your rights, navigate California’s strict liability laws with you, and champion your fight for the compensation you deserve.

Our aim is to equip you with extensive knowledge on San Diego dog bite claims, highlighting the indispensable role of compassionate and assertive legal representation in your corner and ultimately win your case against any negligent dog owner in SD.

If you or a loved one have been a victim of a bite in San Diego, feel free to call (213) 927-3700 or fill out this online contact form to speak with a legal representative right away.

 A big down pulling on its leash as its owner tries to take it for a walk.

Navigating Dog Bite Claims with a San Diego Attorney from WCTL

With us, you’re not just finding an attorney or Lawyer; you’re joining forces with a team dedicated to treating your case with the utmost care and commitment, ensuring you feel supported at every step of the way. Guided by our Co-founder Neama Rahmani’s extensive experience and deep dedication to justice, our team goes beyond mere legal counsel. We offer both a comforting support and a formidable presence in court.

Expertise in San Diego Dog Bite Law

Understanding the legal landscape is paramount when pursuing a dog bite claim in San Diego. The state of California follows a ‘strict liability’ rule, holding dog owners responsible even for a first-time bite incident. Nonetheless, if a dog causes injury without biting, compensation may be pursued through a claim for negligence.

Essentially, dog owners are responsible not only for bites but also for their dog’s overall behavior.

Understanding Strict Liability in California

Under California’s strict liability law, dog owners are held accountable for the damages caused by their dogs biting someone or another dog, irrespective of the dog’s past behavior or the owner’s knowledge of any aggression. This law applies when the dog bite occurs in a public place or when the victim is lawfully on private property.

Therefore, to successfully claim against a dog owner, it must be established that the defendant owned the dog, the dog bite occurred in a public place or legally accessed private property, and injuries were sustained as a result.

Assessing Your Dog Bite Case with a San Diego Lawyer

When a dog bite incident happens, a thorough case assessment becomes necessary, and this is where the expertise of a San Diego dog bite attorney is invaluable. The attorney performs:

  • An in-depth investigation
  • Gathers evidence
  • Tackles the aspect of comparative fault
  • Offers extensive legal representation.

The role of the attorney goes beyond investigating the incident; they negotiate with insurance companies, manage evidence, and guide the victim throughout the case.

Evaluating Injury Severity and Impact

Woman holding her wrist in pain.

Dog bite injuries, including common dog bite injuries, can have a significant impact on a victim’s life, such as:

  • Physical harm like broken bones, infections, and nerve damage
  • Emotional and psychological repercussions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression
  • Financial tolls due to medical expenses and potential loss of income

It is important to assess the full extent of the impact of a dog bite injury on a victim’s life, taking into account the physical, emotional, and financial tolls.

Identifying Responsible Parties

Pinpointing all parties potentially accountable is essential in constructing a robust legal strategy for your case. Liability may not only rest with the dog’s owner but can also encompass property managers, employers, and others in charge of the dog when the incident occurred. In situations where the attack transpired on commercial or leased premises, determining the property manager or owner’s accountability is vital.

A key element of our investigative approach involves examining the dog’s behavioral history and any past negligence from the dog owners. Establishing a pattern of aggression and negligence is pivotal for substantiating liability and strengthening your claim.

Crafting a formidable legal strategy stands at the core of obtaining just compensation for dog bite victims. This process encompasses a twofold approach: firstly, engaging in strategic negotiations with the involved parties and their insurance providers, and secondly, pursuing litigation should those negotiations fail to produce any results.

Our San Diego dog bite attorneys excel in navigating both realms, guaranteeing that victims are rightfully compensated and given the attention they deserve.

Pursuing Insurance Claims

Most homeowner’s insurance policies cover dog bites, but be wary of exceptions for certain breeds considered high-risk. Insurance companies often try to reduce what they pay out, sometimes not fully considering the emotional impact of a dog bite. That’s why talking to a knowledgeable attorney before you deal with the insurance company is key. Without the right legal advice early on, you might not get the full compensation you deserve. Let a skilled dog bite attorney protect your interests right from the start.


Dog bite litigation can cover a comprehensive range of damages, including:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Attorney fees
  • Punitive damages (in certain cases)

An experienced dog bite lawyer can effectively navigate this process and ensure that all potential damages are sought and obtained.

Compensation Avenues for Dog Bite Injuries Under California law

In San Diego, victims of dog bites have the right to pursue compensation from the dog owner for various damages. This encompasses both immediate and future financial burdens, including medical bills, lost income, potential future earnings loss, emotional suffering, and diminished quality of life. Typically, the dog owner’s insurance policy covers these types of injuries. Sometimes, the dog owner’s personal assets are involved.

The amount of compensation depends greatly on the case’s severity and dog bite liability.

Medical Treatment Costs

Medical treatment costs following a dog bite can be significant, covering both immediate and future medical care. Victims are advised to complete all prescribed medical treatments and meticulously document incurred medical expenses. Compensation for these injuries takes into account both initial costs, such as stitches, and future expenses, such as treatment for potential complications or infections.

Mental health support may also be necessary due to the emotional distress following the incident, and these costs can be included in the compensation as well.

Financial Losses Due to Time Off Work

The financial impact of a dog bite can extend beyond immediate medical costs. Many victims require time off work to recover, leading to lost income. Compensation for these financial losses can cover the hours missed from work due to the injury, as well as estimated costs of future medical care that might affect work attendance and consequently, future income.

Emotional Suffering and Life Quality Reduction

Black and grey image of a pensive man gazing out a window.

A dog bite can significantly reduce a victim’s quality of life. This often manifests as:

  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life caused by the attack
  • Permanent disfigurement or scarring
  • Long-term psychological impacts such as fear or anxiety

Compensation claims often account for medical bills and other effects.

Besides the obvious financial setbacks, dog bite victims in San Diego can also seek compensation for non-economic damages like physical pain and emotional suffering. These types of damages are assessed based on their effect on the victim’s life, offering a more personalized approach to determining compensation

Steps to Take Following a Dog Attack in San Diego

When faced with the aftermath of a dog bite, obtaining your medical records is a crucial first step in documenting the severity of your injuries, some of which may be life-threatening. Immediate medical attention is not only essential to prevent infection but also serves as vital evidence should your case go to court. Whether the incident occurred on public property or private premises, identifying who can be held responsible is key to your claim. At West Coast Trial Lawyers, we specialize in navigating the complexities of San Diego dog bite laws, ensuring that every aspect of your situation is thoroughly examined.

Following a dog attack, victims need to:

  1. Obtain immediate medical care
  2. Report the incident to the relevant authorities
  3. Document the attack thoroughly
  4. Seek advice from a specialized dog bite attorney

These steps are crucial in preventing infection, supporting legal claims, ensuring safety measures are enacted, and protecting the victim’s legal rights.

Seeking Medical Attention

Prompt medical treatment and documentation of injuries are crucial for preventing infection and supporting legal claims. Immediate post-bite actions should include thoroughly washing the wound and seeking professional medical treatment. Due to the puncture nature of dog bites, there is a heightened risk of infections, and healthcare providers can prescribe antibiotics as a preventive measure.

Reporting the Incident

Reporting a dog bite to San Diego County Animal Services is crucial to prevent future attacks by the same animal and support any legal claims. When reporting a dog bite or any future dog bite cases, victims should provide the following information:

  • Information about the animal
  • Owner details
  • Witness statements
  • Exact time and location of the incident

Preventative Measures Against Future Dog Attacks

A calm dog with a dotted red collar eating a snack out of a person's hand.

Education and self-awareness about dog behavior are crucial in preventing dog bites. Recognizing possessiveness as a primary cause of dog bites can help individuals avoid triggering aggressive behavior in dogs.

In San Diego, dog behavior education programs emphasize the importance of responsible pet ownership, including proper training so that dogs behave safely around people and other animals. Also, there is tons of content out there on how to spot and de-escalate aggressive pups.

Choose Our Top-Rated San Diego Dog Bite Attorneys

Our law firm sets the standard in the San Diego dog bite lawyer scene with a dedicated, authentic team of over 20 attorneys and 100 staff based right here in California. Unlike firms that might act as mere referral services, we offer direct, personal service without relying on outsourced help.

With a legacy of trial success and representing high-profile clients, we offer unmatched dedication and skill in dog bite cases. Trust us to bring exceptional expertise and a personal touch to your case, making us the go-to San Diego dog bite lawyers.

To schedule a free case evaluation with a top-rated dog bite lawyer, we welcome you to contact us by calling (213) 927-3700 or filling out this online contact form.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much can you sue for a dog bite in California?

You can take legal action for fair and full compensation for injuries, damages, and losses resulting from a dog bite in California. The average insurance payout for dog bite injuries in the state is around $59,900, and severe injuries often lead to higher damages.

How do you calculate dog bite settlement?

You calculate a dog bite settlement by totaling all economic and non-economic damages and injuries caused by the incident, with economic damages being simpler to quantify.

What happens in California if your dog bites someone?

In California, the owner of a dog is responsible for any damages caused if their dog bites someone or leads to property damage, whether in a public place or lawfully in a private place.

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I can say with confidence that this team is the best in the business. . . . Dean took the time to really listen and hear me out. He assured me that he was going to move mountains because he believed in me, and he ended up doing just that. I’ve never met a more focused and passionate attorney in my life. If you’re looking for a firm that treats its clients with the utmost respect and care, calling WCTL is a no-brainer. I wouldn't think twice about working with them again in the future.