If a dog bites a child, and it’s serious enough to require medical attention, the parent may want to file a lawsuit. They could file against the owner whose insurance should cover this claim.
A Salamati Los Angeles dog bite lawyer can hold the dog owner accountable, so your child receives the compensation deserved for their injuries. Most cases are settled, but we will take your claim to court if necessary.
What to Do If a Dog Bites Your Child
If a bite is minor, the incident may frighten the child but should cause no permanent damage. Unfortunately, many bites are serious, even catastrophic. These injuries may result in surgery and permanent scarring, as well as traumatizing the child.
It is also vital to identify the animal. If you do not know who owns it, call the police or animal control at once. If it is not caught or identified– your child may need to undergo a series of rabies vaccinations as a preventive measure. If the dog is identified and not licensed or current on vaccinations, the owner may face fines. However, if the animal is current, your child will not need prophylactic rabies treatment.
Dog Bite First Aid
While any parent will immediately take a child to the emergency room if a serious bite occurs, it is possible to treat it on your own. If the wound is bleeding, place a clean towel over it to aid in stopping the blood flow. Wash the wound out thoroughly with soap and water, dry, and then apply a bandage. Put antiseptic ointment on the bite daily.
Even though a bite is minor, it is still wise to take the child to the doctor. Canine mouths harbor all sorts of bacteria, and infection could develop. The doctor may put your child on antibiotic therapy to combat any potential infection.
California Strict Liability
California dog bite laws follow a doctrine of strict liability. The victim does not have to prove negligence or recklessness on the part of the owner. They only have to prove that the animal bit them, and they were legally on the property. It also does not matter if the dog had never bitten anyone before. Some states allow each dog “one bite” before the owner is liable. That is not the case in California.
Small children may do things that cause a dog to bite– such as running up to it and hugging it. While parents should teach their children never to approach or pet strange animals– they often forget such warnings in the heat of the moment.
If a dog bites a child, does it have to be put down? If either the police or animal control thinks the dog is dangerous, the next step is seizing it. The owner must then appear in court if they want to defend their animal. Such a hearing usually takes place within 10 working days. The dog owner could face steep fines and even jail time.
Exceptions to Strict Liability
There are exceptions to the state’s strict liability laws, and these could affect your rights. If your child provoked the animal by teasing it or was trespassing on the property when the dog bit, that is a different story. Even the friendliest dog may bite if tormented.
Keep in mind that strict liability only refers to biting. If the animal knocked down a child and injured it, or scratched or otherwise caused harm, strict liability does not apply.
Contact us at Salamati Law today
If a dog bit your child, you need the services of an experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney from our team. Arrange a free consultation by calling or texting us today or completing our online form. We will review your case and let you know your options. Because we work on a contingency basis, there is never a fee unless you receive compensation.