Have you or your child suffered a serious dog bite in Chula Vista, CA? Dog attacks are a common and frightening event that can leave victims with psychological and physical injuries.
You may be entitled to hold the dog owner responsible for your pain and suffering, medical bills, and more. For more than 25 years, Mission Legal Center has tirelessly represented dog bite victims and parents in injury claims against irresponsible dog owners.
Contact our law office today for a free case review with a Chula Vista dog bite lawyer who can help you.
How Mission Legal Center Can Help You After Suffering a Dog Bite in Chula Vista, CA
After a traumatic dog attack, you may be left fighting with a profit-driven insurance company for the fair compensation you deserve. This is particularly disheartening when your child is the one who was hurt and may face lifelong disfigurement, emotional trauma, and fear.
You deserve a Chula Vista personal injury lawyer who will serve as your advocate to hold the responsible party accountable. Mission Legal Center has represented injury victims for more than two decades. We have earned the Best of the Bar award from the San Diego Business Journal. We have a Superb 10.0 AVVO rating and a reputation that speaks for itself.
When you choose Mission Legal Center to represent you in your dog bite case in Chula Vista, California, we will:
- Offer sound legal advice and help you understand your legal options at every stage
- Handle all administrative tasks, paperwork, and communications
- Determine the accurate value of your damages
- Investigate your case to gather evidence that strengthens your claim
- Fight for full compensation while negotiating with the insurance company
- Present a persuasive case to a jury if the insurance company refuses a fair settlement
Contact our law office in Chula Vista today for a free consultation. A Chula Vista dog bite injury lawyer is ready to fight for you.
How Common Are Dog Bites in Chula Vista, California?
In the United States, there are 4.5 million dog bites every year. Nearly 800,000 of these bites require medical care. Per year, there are about 337,000 emergency room visits related to dog bites.
Every year, the San Diego County Department of Animal Services investigates over 2,500 dog bite reports.
Between July 2011 and June 2014 alone, there were 7,600 reported dog bites in San Diego County, including Chula Vista and San Diego. Between 2012 and 2013 alone, the number of serious dog bite injuries increased 28%.
In that three-year period, the breeds that caused the most reported bites were:
- Pit bulls and their mixes, with 851 bites, 100 of which were serious
- German Shepherd, with 349 bites
- Chihuahua, with 333 bites
Unfortunately, children between 5 and 9 have the highest rate of dog bite injuries in the United States. Nearly 42% of non-fatal dog bites treated in an ER are for patients under 14. However, 8% of dog bites treated in an ER are work-related. Occupations that involve delivering food or mail, working at another’s home, or working in an animal clinic or shelter all come with a higher risk of dog bites.
California leads the United States in dog-related injury insurance claims. State Farm paid out $123 million in 2018 for 3,300 dog bite injury claims. Around 409 of these claims were in California alone.
What Is My Dog Bite Case Worth?
Every personal injury claim is unique. After you are attacked by a dog, we will review your case and discuss factors that may impact your case’s value.
We may ask questions, such as:
- What type of injuries did you sustain, and how severe were they?
- What was the total cost of the medical attention you received? Will you need future medical treatment?
- What are the circumstances of the dog bite? Did you do anything to contribute to the attack?
- Were you left impaired or disfigured by the dog bite?
- How will your injuries impact your life in the future?
- How much insurance coverage is available?
Contact Mission Legal Center today for a free consultation with a dog bite injury attorney. We will help you understand what your dog bite case may be worth.
What Compensation Can I Recover for My Dog Bite Injuries in Chula Vista, CA?
Dog bite victims may hold the dog owner fully responsible for the damages they sustained in most cases.
You may be entitled to seek compensatory damages for the injuries you sustained to compensate for:
- Medical care, including anticipated future medical bills
- Lost earnings or reduced earning capacity if unable to return to work
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of enjoyment of life
In rare dog attack cases, you may be entitled to punitive damages awarded by a jury to punish the defendant.
You can count on Mission Legal Center to aggressively pursue the full damages you are entitled to.
We’ll Fight to Recover Compensation for All of Your Dog Bite Injuries
Most dog bites occur to the upper extremities (47%), head and neck (27%), or lower extremities (21%).
However, young dog bite victims are far more likely to suffer injuries to the neck and head. About 65% of injuries to victims under the age of four are to the head and neck.
At Mission Legal Center, we understand the devastating effects a dog bite can have.
We fight for compensation for victims who have suffered:
- Puncture wounds
- Avulsion injuries
- Crush injuries
- Fractures, including arm and facial fractures
- Traumatic amputation
If a dog bite has injured you or your child, contact Mission Legal Center for a free consultation. Our dog bites lawyers in Chula Vista can help.
Are Dog Owners Held Strictly Liable for Dog Bites in California?
There is no “one bite rule” in California. Dog owners are held strictly liable for all damages when their dog bites and hurts someone. Strict liability means that you do not have to prove a dog owner negligently caused your injuries; they are liable because their dog bit you.
A dog owner can even be liable if they took reasonable steps to prevent their dog from hurting others. Note that strict liability only occurs when the dog bite victim was in public or somewhere else they had a legal right to be. There are also exceptions.
A dog owner cannot be held strictly liable for a dog bite if:
- The victim assumed the risk of being bitten,
- The victim contributed to their injuries (by provoking the dog, for instance),
- The dog owner is not being sued,
- The victim was trespassing on the dog owner’s property, or
- The dog was a working law enforcement animal.
Even in these cases where strict liability does not apply, dog owners can still be held accountable if they were negligent.
San Diego County has strict laws for dog owners. After a dog bites someone, the owner is required by law to notify the San Diego County Department of Animal Services. The dog must be placed in quarantine for 10 days to determine if the dog had rabies. The dog may be declared a public nuisance animal or a dangerous animal.
In some cases, the county may seek the destruction of a dangerous dog. They may also impose restrictions on the animal and the owner, such as a requirement to maintain liability insurance or special fencing. In 2014, there were 44 dogs in San Diego County designated as dangerous.
How Long Do I Have to File a Dog Bite Lawsuit in California?
You have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit for civil damages after a dog bite. The California statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is just two years. If your claim is not filed in court before the deadline expires, you will not be able to recover any compensation from the dog owner.
Contact a Chula Vista Dog Bite Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Dog bites can be devastating, not only physically but psychologically and emotionally. Dog bite victims, particularly young children, are often left with permanent visible scars and other consequences of the attack. At Mission Legal Center, it is our goal to seek the full compensation you deserve while holding the dog owner responsible.
Contact our law firm for a free case review with a Chula Vista dog bite lawyer who can help. We work on a contingency fee basis. You will not pay attorney’s fees unless we are successful in recovering compensation for you.