The city of Fresno, CA saw 974 dog bites in 2017, according to The Fresno Bee. That was more than double the number of dog bites the city saw in 2013.
You might be eligible for a financial recovery if you or a loved one was bitten by a dog in Fresno. Our experienced Fresno dog bite attorneys can obtain you fair compensation for your injuries on a contingency fee basis, which means there is no fee for our services unless we obtain a recovery for you.
Dog Bite Laws In California
Civil dog bite law in California is primarily established by California Civil Code § 3342. This code states that dog owners are strictly liable for any damages suffered by a person that dog bites while the person who is bitten is in public or lawfully in a private place. Dog owners are liable regardless of if the owner previously knew about their dog’s viciousness. Dog owners can’t dispute fault for dog bites in the state of California.
Dogs doing military or police work are exempt from this when the dog is defending itself from a provoking, harassing or annoying act, or assisting a police or military employee in:
- Apprehending or holding a criminal suspect
- Investigating a crime or possible crime
- Executing a warrant
- Defending a peace officer or another person
You cannot recover damages for your dog bite if you were bitten while trespassing. You cannot recover damages for your dog bite if your negligence caused the dog bite. Examples of this include provoking a dog.
Veterinarians cannot recover damages for dog bites in the line of duty because their profession assumes the risk of dog bites.
Keepers and handlers of dogs can’t be held strictly liable for dog bites in California, but they can be held liable if they had prior knowledge of the dog’s viciousness or if their negligence caused a dog bite to occur.
Negligence is established in California by CACI No. 401, which defines it as failing to use reasonable care for the prevention of harm.
A “potentially dangerous dog” in California is a dog that, unprovoked, on two separate occasions within the last 36 months, engaged in a behavior requiring someone to defend themselves or has injured or killed a domestic animal.
A “vicious dog” in California is a dog which has severely injured or killed a human, unprovoked, or continues dangerous behavior after previously or currently being listed as a potentially dangerous dog.
Dog bite victims have two years from the date of the dog bite to file a dog bite lawsuit in California.
Dog Bite Stats
- Dog bite and dog-related injury claims cost homeowners insurers $797 million in 2019.
- Around 4.5 million dog bites happen per year in the U.S. and almost 20% of them become infected.
- Almost 27,000 people needed reconstructive surgery in 2018 due to dog bites.
- The average cost for a hospital stay after a dog bite is $18,200.
- Over 1,000 people are treated in emergency rooms every day for nonfatal dog bites.
- Victims of dog attacks suffer over $1 billion every year in financial losses.
- Pit bull bites are 4.4 times more likely to result in complex wounds compared to other top-biting breeds.
- Pit bulls are the most common breed to cause major injuries.
- Pit bull injuries are over three times more likely to require an operation when compared to the injuries caused by any other breed.
- Pit bulls are over 2.5 times more likely than any other breed to bite in multiple places.
- Pit bull attacks are linked with higher risk of death, higher hospital charges and higher morbidity rates than attacks by other dog breeds.
- Pit bulls killed all age groups in 2019, but all other dog breeds mostly killed children two years old or younger and adults 50 years old or older.
- Pit bulls are regulated in 53 countries.
Dog Bite Injuries And Complications
Dog bites can cause many types of injuries and complications, including but not limited to:
Punctures are when a dog’s teeth puncture your skin. These wounds can be deep, leading to a high risk of infection. These wounds necessitate medical attention even if bleeding isn’t severe due to this infection risk.
These are deep cuts in the skin which can bleed heavily. Medical attention and stitches are necessary for these wounds.
These minor, superficial injuries are friction injuries which don’t go past the skin. These injuries can usually be treated at home but you might want to seek medical attention to avoid infection.
Infections can be caused by bacteria in dogs’ mouths, but it can also be caused by bacteria on your skin. Always clean dog bite wounds. Signs of infection include pus, swelling, redness and pain. Seek medical attention immediately if you have signs of an infection. Medical professionals will likely give you antibiotics to combat the infection.
Around 50,000 people die every year because of rabies. You should go to the emergency room immediately if the dog that bit you wasn’t vaccinated for rabies, or if you’re not sure it was.
Fresno Dog Bite Lawsuits
Our experienced, battle-tested Fresno dog bite attorneys have been handling dog bite claims for over three decades. We are the dog bite experts in Fresno.
We can get you to the best doctors who will treat your dog bite on a lien, meaning you don’t have to pay them until your case is over.
You don’t have to pay us until your case is over, either, and you don’t have to pay us at all if we don’t obtain a recovery for you.
Call us now at (559) 241-0411 if you or a loved one was bitten by a dog in Fresno. You may be entitled to a financial recovery.