San Diego Dog Bite Lawyer
Being bitten by a dog is a scary thing; an angry animal can do a lot of damage. If you’ve been bitten, you’re not alone: Dog bites account for more than a third of all homeowners’ insurance liability claims, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). One homeowner’s insurance company, State Farm, reports that they paid more than $136 million dollars in a single year as a result of nearly 4,500 dog bite claims.
The natural animosity between Fido and the mail carrier is almost a cliché. The friendly mail person comes doing a public service and the dog whose territory is being “invaded” is not a happy canine. Cliché or not, mail carriers account for a good chunk of the dog bites, a distinction they share with small children. Children actually top the list of victims, far exceeding the postman; they account for about half of the nation’s four-and-a half million dog bites per year.
Still, the mail carriers are well-represented among the victims. The United States Postal Service reported that 5,879 postal workers were attacked across the country last year, 274 more bites than in 2011. And where did the largest number of bitten mail carriers occur? You guessed it—California!
Most of these dogs aren’t your stereotypical snarling pit bulls. They are beloved family pets whose owners deny that the sweet fur ball would ever do such a thing as bite. But the truth is that any dog can bite when it feels threatened, whether the threat is real or perceived.
The Dog’s Owner is Responsible
A dog’s owner is responsible for its behavior. Dogs are wonderful pets when they are well socialized and well-trained. Obedience training and teaching the dog to get along with a variety of people of all ages is important. Nevertheless, even the best-trained dog should never be left unsupervised around a young child—or a mail carrier! When a delivery or tradesperson comes to the door, especially someone unfamiliar to the dog, the owner should confine the pet to another room or a crate. Not taking these precautions could be construed as negligence.
If you’ve been bitten by a dog, get medical attention and inform animal control right away. You will need to determine if the dog has had all the required vaccines, especially the rabies vaccine.
San Diego Dog Bite Lawyers
As soon as you’ve seen a doctor, get a personal injury attorney working for you. You’ll probably hear from the dog owner’s insurance company. Don’t engage with the insurance adjuster and don’t sign anything. Simply refer the adjuster to your lawyer.
The personal injury attorneys at Harrison & Bodell handle many dog bite claims in San Diego and the surrounding area. We have the experience required to negotiate the best possible settlement to compensate you or your family member for your physical and emotional suffering and to pay your current and future medical bills, including any plastic and reconstructive surgery that you may need.
Your lawyer will involve you in the decision making process as negotiations progress. Whether or not you accept a settlement is up to you. When no sufficient settlement offer has been made, we will be ready to take your case to a jury.
Super Lawyers Magazine has included Harrison & Bodell in its listing of the San Diego area’s best lawyers, an honor that goes to the top 5 percent of the city’s attorneys, based on ratings by other legal professionals and clients.
California law limits the amount of time you have to file a dog bite claim, so call us now, before the time runs out.