Orange County Dog Bite Attorneys

Injuries sustained from a dog bite can be, not only extremely painful, but also disfiguring. A dog bite can cause significant damage to skin, bone, nerves, and tendons, and may require extensive plastic or reconstructive surgery.

Dog Owners Need to Pay for Their Pets’ Actions

In California, children between 1 and 6 years old are most likely to be bitten by dogs, and in Orange County, we’ve seen way too many of these cases. In addition to causing skin and tissue damage, a bite can introduce germs into the victim’s system, which could cause a mild infection or a severe, often-fatal disease: rabies. It’s a sad fact that most bites occur in private residences, perpetrated by an animal known to the victim, rather than at a public place, like Laguna Canyon Dog Park.

If you or your child were bitten, don’t wait. Contact Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie at (949) 752-7474. Our team has worked closely with the Orange County medical community for over 40 years, and we can refer you to the most adept surgeons and specialists to ensure you receive the best possible treatment. We can also pursue a personal injury claim on your behalf, taking no payment until we get you the compensation you deserve. We will answer any questions you may have in a free consultation.

What to Do After the Bite

If you've been injured, or lost a loved one due to a dog attack, we urge you to contact us immediately. You can help yourself by:

  • Getting immediate medical attention.
  • Contacting the police and animal control about the injury and requesting a copy of these reports.
  • Taking down the name and contact information of the dog’s owner, and requesting the dog’s vaccination history.
  • Taking down the names and contact information of any witnesses.
  • Taking photos of the animal responsible, the area where the attack occurred, and your injuries.
  • Keeping your clothing, personal property, or other items damaged in the attack.

We can protect your rights, preserve critical evidence, and obtain necessary medical treatment for you. Our personal injury attorneys have won millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements over the past 40 years. When we represent you, we take care of everything. All you have to do is focus on healing.

What Does the Law Say?

California laws are designed to protect citizens from dog bites by making dog owners strictly liable, and having special rules for children under the age of 5. A child who provokes a dog will rarely be blamed, because adults are responsible for supervising children. Under California Civil Code Section 3342, the owner, possessor, or harborer of a dog is automatically liable for a dog bite, regardless of the owner’s knowledge of the animal’s aggressive tendencies or past attacks.

Can the dog’s owner use a defense? Yes. California’s dog bite law is limited to bites only, not attacks. If the dog jumped on an elderly woman and caused her to fall, breaking her hip, she would have to file a claim under another statute. Trespassing is also a defense. For example, if a child over 5 was explicitly told not to enter a backyard, but did so anyway and was attacked, the dog’s owner may not be liable.

The best thing you can do is speak to an experienced OC injury lawyer about your situation. Even if the owner argues that you share some of the blame for your injuries, due to California’s doctrine of comparative negligence, you should still be able to recover compensation. Homeowners insurance will cover most dog bites, and we will search for any other potentially applicable policies. There is a deadline to file a claim, so the sooner you take action, the better.

The Unexpected Costs of an Attack

Not only are dog bites painful, but psychologically traumatizing as well. Victims often suffer residual fear long after the attack, and it can impact their lives at school, at work, or in their neighborhoods. Many attacks are unprovoked, leaving you wondering if an attack will occur again. Our office has an extensive network of therapists to whom we can refer our clients, and our attorneys are proficient at ensuring you will be compensated for such treatment, along with your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

Since 1974, we have been assisting Orange County residents and visitors who have been injured through another person’s carelessness. It does not matter what type of breed the dog was – a pit bull terrier, a Golden Retriever, or a Chihuahua, we approach every case with calm, deliberate intent, and we seek to tell your story to the insurance company, and back it up with more than enough evidence. We take special care to support child victims and their families, as we are parents ourselves. Contact Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie at (949) 752-7474 to schedule your free case evaluation.

DISCLAIMER. The information on this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should formally consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Please be advised, however, contacting us, submitting a case to us, and/or discussing your case with us does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.