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Your Personal Injury Lawyer for Dog Bites in California

by Christian Scranton

We are a nation of dog lovers. Around 85 million families in the US have a pet, with the vast majority of these opting for man’s best friend. Nearly 40% of California households have at least one pet pooch. These little rascals can bring so much joy into our lives, but they need careful training and can be a lot of work.

All dogs have the ability to bite if in the right (wrong) situation. If a dog feels that their owner is threatened, for example, a beloved family pet can quickly turn into a fearsome guard dog and scare off a home intruder. This can be a great asset, and one of the reasons humans have kept dogs for thousands of years. However, dogs can sometimes get the wrong end of the stick and firmly believe they or their humans are in grave danger when this simply isn’t the case. A dog owner should know their dog’s limits and manage these to ensure everyone’s safety.


Dog owners have a moral and legal responsibility to make sure that their pets do not impact another person’s wellbeing in any way. Whether that’s damage to their property or, even worse, physical injury. If a dog has behavioral problems, it is the owner’s responsibility to seek treatment to try and remedy this. If they believe that their dog could be a hazard to other people, precautions should be taken, e.g. keeping the dog on a leash in public spaces or having the dog wear a muzzle.

Dog bites can be very serious injuries. As dogs descend from predatory wolves, they have powerful jaws and sharp canine teeth. It’s not uncommon for the teeth to pierce the skin and cause serious bleeding as well as tissue damage. Bites from any animal can result in infection, or even the transmission of disease such as rabies. This can have very serious consequences, from mild discomfort to serious fever or even sepsis.

Dog attacks can involve other injuries alongside biting. Dog claws can be very sharp, and a canine’s powerful limbs can easily push an adult over onto the ground or into a dangerous object. Concussion is another possible injury sustained in a dog attack.

Whether you have suffered a dog attack injury due to an owner losing control of a dog, a business failing to protect you from a guard dog or a dog being used in a violent attack, Scranton Law Firm can help. We would seek compensation for your medical bills, loss of earnings and other practical financial matters but also your pain, suffering and the psychological impact of the incident. No matter what the circumstances surrounding your injury were, we are available to assess your case free of charge across California. We can arrange a no-obligation consultation with you in person or via video—just contact our team today.


1. What should I do immediately after a dog bite incident? After a dog bite incident, prioritize your safety and seek medical attention if necessary. It’s important to identify the dog’s owner and gather information about the dog and its vaccination history.

2. Can I file a lawsuit if I’ve been bitten by a dog? Yes, if you’ve been bitten by a dog due to the owner’s negligence or the dog’s aggressive behavior, you may have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation for your injuries and related damages.

3. What legal responsibilities do dog owners have in dog bite cases? Dog owners are legally responsible for preventing their dogs from causing harm to others. They must take reasonable precautions to prevent bites, such as leash and muzzle laws, and ensuring their dog’s vaccination records are up to date.

4. How can I prove the dog owner’s negligence in a dog bite case? To prove the dog owner’s negligence, you’ll need to demonstrate that the owner failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the bite and that their actions or lack thereof directly led to your injuries.

5. What compensation can I seek in a dog bite case? In a dog bite case, you may seek compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, emotional distress, and any other damages resulting from the incident.

6. Is the dog owner liable if their dog bites someone for the first time? Yes, in many cases, the dog owner can be held liable even if the dog has not bitten anyone before. California’s strict liability laws make the owner responsible for their dog’s actions regardless of its past behavior.

7. Can I file a lawsuit against a dog owner if I was bitten on their property? Yes, you can file a lawsuit against a dog owner if you were bitten on their property. Property owners have a duty to ensure their premises are safe for visitors, and this includes preventing dog attacks.

8. Can a dog bite lawsuit cover emotional trauma and psychological damages? Yes, a dog bite lawsuit can cover emotional trauma and psychological damages in addition to physical injuries. The emotional distress caused by a dog bite can have a lasting impact on the victim’s mental well-being.

9. What should I do if the dog owner’s insurance company offers a settlement? If the dog owner’s insurance company offers a settlement, it’s advisable not to accept it without consulting with a personal injury attorney. An attorney can evaluate the offer to ensure it adequately covers your expenses and losses.

10. Can I sue if I was bitten by a service or police dog? Suing for a dog bite involving a service or police dog can be complex due to certain legal protections these dogs may have. Consulting with an experienced attorney can help you understand your legal options in such cases.

11. What if the dog bite resulted in a severe injury or disfigurement? If a dog bite resulted in severe injuries, disfigurement, or permanent scarring, it’s even more crucial to consult with a personal injury attorney. These cases often involve higher damages and require comprehensive legal representation.

12. Can I file a lawsuit if I was bitten by a friend’s or family member’s dog? Filing a lawsuit against a friend or family member due to a dog bite can be emotionally challenging. However, it’s essential to consider your medical expenses and well-being. In many cases, homeowners’ insurance can cover such incidents.

Dog bite cases can have serious physical and emotional consequences. If you’ve been a victim of a dog bite, understanding your rights and legal options is essential. Consult with an experienced dog bite lawyer to navigate the legal process, seek fair compensation, and ensure your recovery is supported both physically and financially.


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