Dog bites and animal attacks happen more than most people think, and California is known as the dog bite capital of the United States. In 2013, the Golden State had more dog bite insurance claims than any other state in the country.

Dog bites can happen without warning and can severely injure or even kill a human. In October 2016, a 20-year-old man was mauled after asking to pet another person’s dog. In the young man’s case, the owner of the dog left the scene while the victim laid in a pool of blood fighting for his life.

The most common victims of dog bites or attacks or young children because of their innocence, desire to play with pets and their close proximity in stature to the dogs biting zone.

Owner liability

When a dog or animal attack occurs, the owner can be held liable if it harms another person. Due to owners being liable for their animal’s actions in California, it is important for them to take measures to prevent harm from occurring to other individuals. California holds the owner of a dog strictly liable for the harm that their dog causes another (No free bite or having to prove that the dog has dangerous propensities to bite someone.  Some dog breeds are so dangerous that insurance companies exclude them from the homeowner or renter’s coverage.  You should consult with an attorney at The Paris Firm to discuss your matter.

Seek medical attention

You are walking in the park and you notice a stray dog roaming around. Suddenly the dog is running toward you and there is no time to run away. Moments later you are in agony with a large gash on your forearm. You have just been the victim of a dog bite. So, what do you do next?

Due to a dog possibly having rabies or another infection disease – dog mouths are not as clean as people would like to believe – it is important to seek immediate medical attention. After being bitten it is recommended you go to the emergency room as soon as possible. If the bite is extremely painful and blood is being lost at a rapid rate, it may be necessary to call 9-1-1. Contact the animal authorities so the dog may be quarantined if necessary.  The local authorities make it a case by case decision as to whether the dog that has attacked someone should be put down or not.


Many dog bite victims attempt to treat their wounds at home. Although you should go to the hospital to get it looked at to prevent infection, you can treat minor bites at home. Be sure to clean the wound with soap and water. Bandage it afterwards to stop any blood loss or infection. It is best, however, to go to the emergency room. If there is an infection that develops or you seek compensation later, you may be scrutinized over not seeking medical attention previously.

Contact the authorities

After seeking medical attention, it is necessary to contact the authorities about the incident. You should call the police and animal control to report the incident. If the dog’s owner can be found, they are liable for the dog’s action. You can even receive compensation if you have missed work due to the bite.

Get a personal injury lawyer

Obtaining legal representation may be necessary to receive compensation. A dog bite may force you to miss work and lose wages. Combined with mounting medical bills you could be crippled financially. Hiring a personal injury lawyer can keep you from being ambushed by medical bills.

In January 2016, a Bakersfield, California resident was awarded $2 million after a police K-9 escaped from its quarters and bit the young man.

The Paris Firm

If you or a loved one has experienced a dog bite, you may be able to receive compensation for your medical expenses. The Paris Firm specializes in personal injury law and can give you advice on the compensation you deserve if you have been bitten by a dog. Visit our dedicated page on dog bites or contact us directly. The Paris Firm is here to help with all your personal injury law needs.