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San Diego Dog Bite Lawyers

  • Over 550 combined Google 5-Star Reviews
  • Tens of millions won every year for our clients
  • We won’t settle for less than the maximum value for your case
  • 30 combined years of legal experience 
San Diego personal injury lawyers near me

Trusted And Recommended

HHJ Trial Attorneys proudly serve victims who have suffered from serious injuries. HHJ is one of San Diego’s premiere personal injury law firms.  We’ve obtained over ten million dollars for our clients within the last 4 years alone and have been voted the Best Litigation Firm for the last 3 years through the San Diego Union Tribune. All three partners have been voted as Super Lawyers and have received coverage from local and national news outlets.

Free Case Evaluation

Khala BarkusKhala Barkus
19:33 25 Sep 22
Michael and his team were so great during this entire process. They helped me to get a pretty significant settlement from my case and they were never delayed in any of the processes. I am confident that had I not "fired" the first attorney that I started to work with and called HHJ trail attorneys, I would not have gotten the results that I got with HHJ. You can't go wrong with working with these guys to settle your case.
TylerTyler
21:09 25 Aug 22
Michael and the HHJ staff were extremely helpful from the start of my case less than a year ago. From the time I had my accident, to having doctor appointments set up to the final conclusion, it couldn’t have been a smoother process from beginning to end. Michael is very detailed and organized and always has your best interest at heart. He is very responsive and is always on top of it. I didn’t have to do much other than show up to my doctor appts and respond with info that was needed. I would without a beat use Michael and his team again if needed. HHJ is the best in Southern California!
Claudia LopezClaudia Lopez
21:41 08 Jul 22
Mr. Adam Hepburn and his firm, HHJ Trial Attorneys, took on our legal case. Mr. Adam Hepburn came recommended, luckily. We can't thank Mr. Adam Hepburn and his firm for their stellar work throughout our entire legal case. If I had any questions or concerns, Mr. Adam Hepburn would quickly address my concerns either via email, cell phone or even on text. Mr. Adam Hepburn was very truthful, thoughtful when explaining the facts of my case, and extremely professional. If you're on the fence with hiring Adam Hepburn and his firm, don't be, he's the best in the field. Adam won my case! Must hire him and his firm if you need his type of services.
FergalFergal
15:00 20 Apr 22
Michael and the team at HHJ Trial Attorneys have taken the best care of our Clients after they have being involved in road accidents. The care, attention and commitment they provide to all their clients is extraordinary as are their life enhancing results - HHJ Trial Attorneys = Best In Class.
Anne FranksAnne Franks
14:41 20 Apr 22
Michael at HHJ Trial Attorneys is a professional Accident & Personal Injury Lawyers group. This group is very is highly recommended! They are very professional compared to other firms. If you are looking for a quality group of attorneys that will get the job done, this is the one to call!
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San Diego Dog Bite Accident Lawyers Fighting To Protect Your Rights

In the vibrant city of San Diego, where pet-friendly communities thrive, the unfortunate reality is that dog bites can disrupt the tranquility of daily life. If you or a loved one has fallen victim to a dog bite incident, navigating the legal complexities that surround such cases requires seasoned expertise. Our San Diego dog bite lawyers at HHJ Trial Attorneys bring over 50 years of excellent experience helping people after serious injuries. With a profound understanding of local laws and a commitment to securing fair compensation, we are here to provide unwavering support during this challenging time. Trust in our experience and relentless advocacy as we work tirelessly to hold responsible parties accountable and ensure the well-being of those affected by canine-related injuries.

What Types of Injuries Can You Sustain from a Dog Bite?

There are different variations of injuries that a person may sustain as a result of a dog bite. Just a few common examples include: 

  1. Abrasions: These superficial injuries like scrapes can lead to serious infections if untreated.
  2. Rabies: A severe and potentially fatal viral infection that can be passed by an infected dog.
  3. Tetanus: A bacterial infection that can follow a dog bite, causing painful muscle contractions.
  4. Lacerations: Deep cuts or tears that often require stitches and may lead to scarring.
  5. Crushing Injuries: Injuries like broken bones or fractures from more powerful bites, especially from breeds with strong jaws.
  6. Avulsion: Where tissue is torn away from the body, often requiring extensive surgery to repair.
  7. Nerve Damage: Can result from a bite that impacts nerves, leading to temporary or permanent damage and is extremely painful.

These injuries can be the basis for the damages claimed in a dog bite lawsuit, emphasizing the severity and impact on the victim’s life.

Frequently Asked Questions That Our San Diego Dog Bite Lawyers Receive

1. How long do I have to file a dog bite lawsuit in San Diego?

The statute of limitations for dog bite lawsuits in San Diego is typically two years from the date of the incident. However, it’s important to consult with a lawyer promptly to ensure you meet all deadlines.

2. What compensation can I recover in a dog bite case?

You may be eligible to receive compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other damages related to the dog bite incident. An attorney can help assess the potential value of your claim.

3. How can I prove liability in a dog bite case?

Liability in dog bite cases is often established by demonstrating that the dog owner was negligent or that the dog had a known history of aggression. Evidence such as witness statements, photographs, and medical records can support your claim.

4. Can I sue if the dog owner is a family member or friend?

While it may be uncomfortable, you have the right to seek compensation if you were injured by a dog owned by a family member or friend. Keep in mind that insurance coverage may come into play, and a lawyer can guide you through the legal process.

5. Can I sue the dog owner if the bite occurred on their property?

Yes, if a dog bite occurred on someone else’s property, you may have grounds for a premises liability claim against the property owner, in addition to a claim against the dog owner. Our attorneys can assess your case and determine the best legal course of action.

6. What should I do immediately after a dog bite incident?

After a dog bite, it’s crucial to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Additionally, try to gather information about the dog owner and any witnesses, take photographs of your injuries, and report the incident to local authorities if necessary.

7. Can I still pursue a dog bite claim if the dog had no history of aggression?

Yes, even if the dog had no prior aggressive history, you may still have a valid claim if the owner was negligent in controlling or restraining the dog at the time of the attack. Consult with a lawyer to evaluate the specifics of your case.

8. What if the dog owner doesn’t have insurance or assets to compensate me?

Our dog bite attorneys will explore all possible avenues for compensation, even if the dog owner is uninsured or lacks sufficient assets. This may involve pursuing alternative sources of compensation or negotiating with insurance companies. We are dedicated to helping you secure the compensation you deserve.

9. Is there a cap on damages in dog bite cases in San Diego?

California does not have a specific cap on damages in dog bite cases. The amount of compensation you may receive depends on factors such as the severity of your injuries, the impact on your life, and available insurance coverage.

10. How long does it take to resolve a dog bite case?

The duration of a dog bite case can vary depending on various factors, such as the complexity of the case, the willingness of the parties to negotiate, and court availability. An attorney can provide a better estimate after reviewing your case details.

What Steps Should I Take After a Dog Bite?

Experiencing a dog bite can be a distressing and potentially traumatic event, but taking prompt and decisive action can significantly impact your well-being and legal standing. Here are essential steps to consider after a dog bite:

  1. Seek Immediate Medical Attention: Your health is the top priority. Clean the wound thoroughly with soap and water and apply an antiseptic, then seek professional medical care to assess the extent of the injury and prevent potential infections.

  2. Identify the Dog and Owner: If possible, obtain information about the dog and its owner. This includes the owner’s name, contact details, and information about the dog’s vaccinations. This information may be crucial for both medical and legal purposes.

  3. Document the Scene: Take photographs of the location where the dog bite occurred, as well as any visible injuries. Note any relevant details such as leash laws being violated or inadequate containment.

  4. Collect Witness Information: If there were witnesses to the incident, gather their names and contact information. Their statements may be valuable in establishing the circumstances surrounding the dog bite.

  5. File a Report with Animal Control: Contact your local animal control or law enforcement agency to report the dog bite. This ensures that the incident is officially documented, and appropriate actions can be taken to address public safety.

  6. Preserve Evidence: Keep any evidence related to the incident, such as torn clothing or personal belongings damaged during the attack. This can serve as evidence in a legal case.

  7. Record Your Account: Write down your recollection of the events leading up to and following the dog bite while the details are still fresh in your memory. Include information about your injuries, medical treatments, and any impact on your daily life.

  8. Contact a Dog Bite Attorney: Consult with a skilled dog bite attorney to understand your rights and legal options. An experienced attorney can guide you through the process, help you gather necessary evidence, and pursue compensation for your injuries and damages.

Remember, every dog bite case is unique, and seeking professional legal advice tailored to your situation is crucial. Prompt and thorough action can strengthen your position if you decide to pursue a legal claim against the dog owner.

What are the Laws About Dog Bites in California?

Understanding California dog bite laws is essential if you’ve been a victim of a dog bite incident. In California, the law imposes strict liability on dog owners for injuries caused by their pets. This means that dog owners can be held responsible for damages resulting from a dog bite, regardless of whether the owner was aware of the dog’s aggressive tendencies. It also means that an injured person does not need to prove the dog owner’s negligence to recover damages. 

Essentially, if a person owns a dog and the dog bites someone, absent certain exceptions, the owner will likely be liable for the damages. The exceptions include situations where:

  • The dog bite victim was trespassing at the time of the attack.
  • The dog bite attack victim provoked the dog.
  • The person was injured by their employer’s dog while on the job.
  • The victim was performing a paid service when they were injured.

Every California dog bite attack situation is unique, and different norms, standards, and exceptions may apply. Our San Diego personal injury lawyers have a deep understanding of California dog bite laws and will use this knowledge to build a strong case on your behalf.

What Type of Compensation is Available With the Help of a San Diego Dog Bite Attorney?

In a San Diego dog bite claim, several types of compensation may be available to the victim. The specific compensation awarded can vary depending on the circumstances of the case, the extent of the injuries, and other relevant factors. Here are some common types of compensation that may be sought in a dog bite claim:

  1. Medical Expenses: This includes reimbursement for current and future medical treatment related to the dog bite, such as emergency room care, hospitalization, surgeries, medications, physical therapy, and any necessary rehabilitation.
  2. Lost Wages: If the dog bite causes the victim to miss work or results in a loss of earning capacity, they may be entitled to compensation for the wages they would have earned during that time.
  3. Pain and Suffering: Compensation may be awarded for the physical pain, emotional distress, and psychological trauma experienced as a result of the dog bite. This includes both the immediate impact and any long-term consequences, such as scarring or disfigurement.
  4. Property Damage: If personal property, such as clothing or other belongings, was damaged during the dog attack, the victim may be able to seek compensation for repair or replacement costs.
  5. Loss of Enjoyment of Life: If the injuries from the dog bite have a significant impact on the victim’s ability to engage in activities they once enjoyed, they may be eligible for compensation for the loss of enjoyment of life.
  6. Punitive Damages: In cases where the dog owner’s conduct was particularly reckless or intentional, punitive damages may be awarded. These damages aim to punish the owner and deter similar behavior in the future.

Example of a Dog Bite Accident Case We Handle

Client Information:

Name: John Doe
Age: 32
Occupation: Personal Chef
Residence: San Diego, California
Pet Ownership Experience: 10 years
Dog Breed: German Shepherd

Incident Details:

Date/Time: August 15, 2023, at approximately 4:45 PM
Location: A public park near the intersection of Balboa Avenue and Genesee Avenue, San Diego, CA
Weather Conditions: Clear skies
Surroundings: Moderate park activity

Incident Description: John Doe was walking his dog on a leash in the park. As they were passing near a picnic area, a neighboring unrestrained dog, owned by Jane Smith, suddenly attacked without provocation. John was bitten while trying to protect his pet and separate the dogs.

Injuries Sustained:

Deep lacerations on the right forearm
Puncture wounds on the left leg
Possible psychological trauma due to the attack

Damages:

Medical expenses for emergency and follow-up care: $5,000
Rehabilitation and potential therapy: $3,000
Lost wages (due to 2 weeks off work): $4,000
Pain and Suffering: To be determined

Liability Assessment:

Jane Smith is deemed at fault for the incident due to her failure to restrain her dog in a public area.
No indication of previous aggression by the dog or provocation by John Doe.

Insurance Information:

John Doe’s homeowner’s insurance: Includes personal liability coverage.
Jane Smith’s homeowner’s insurance: Includes liability coverage for pets.

Legal Considerations:

California law mandates strict liability for dog owners for any injuries caused by their dogs in public or legally private places.
The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in California is 2 years from the date of the incident.

Case Strategy:

Collect all necessary evidence, including medical reports, witness statements, and any available photos or videos from the scene.
Obtain detailed medical documentation of injuries and treatments.
Secure statements from other park visitors if possible.
Calculate total economic losses, including medical expenses and lost wages.
Contact a personal injury attorney experienced in San Diego dog bite laws.
Initiate a claim with Jane Smith’s insurer seeking full liability coverage.
Consider a lawsuit for damages that exceed the defendant’s insurance coverage limits.

Potential Legal Actions:

Demand full compensation from Jane Smith’s insurance.
File a personal injury lawsuit in San Diego County Superior Court if necessary.
If Jane’s insurance is insufficient, consider claiming under John’s homeowner’s insurance for additional coverage.

Goals:

To secure compensation covering all medical expenses, lost wages, and non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
Aim for a pre-trial settlement to avoid the uncertainties of litigation, if it meets fair compensation criteria.

Next Steps:

Arrange a meeting with a San Diego personal injury attorney to discuss the case further.
Send a detailed demand letter outlining the damages and liability to Jane Smith’s insurer.
Prepare for potential litigation if the insurance settlement is not satisfactory.

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