Free Initial Consultation 1-888-964-1530

Law Office Of Michael D. Payne
What to do After a Dog Bite Accident in California

What to do After a Dog Bite Accident in California

by | May 16, 2023 | Personal Injury

What to do After a Dog Bite Accident in California

Approximately 40% of California’s households own a dog, and with a population of nearly 40 million people, that adds up to a significant number of pet canines in the state. While most of the interactions dogs have with California communities are harmless, these animals have the potential to inflict severe harm. Contact us-we can help.

California Laws

All states, including California, have laws surrounding liability for dog bites. Some states apply what is called the one-bite rule, which dictates that a dog owner must have known of their dog’s proclivity for biting. Oftentimes, dogs in these “one bite law” states can bite one person without any repercussions.

In California, however, the standard is one of strict liability for dog bites. That means that dog owners may be held liable for the injuries caused by their pets even if no negligence exists and if no previous aggression was shown by the dog. If you were injured in a dog attack, California law does not require you to prove the responsible party acted negligently.

California Civil Code 3342 also does not include a requirement that the dog has a history of violence. The Code states that dog owners are liable for damages caused by their pets “regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.” There are stipulations to this liability standard and exceptions for certain circumstances.

Dog attack victims must have been in a public place or have been legally allowed to access the place where the attack occurred. For example, a public place would be any location that is open and accessible to the general public, such as sidewalks, shops, and parks. California Civil Code 3342 may also apply to your dog attack incident if you were lawfully on private property, including by invitation of the property owner or while performing a required government duty like delivering mail.

If you’re the victim of a dog bite and have suffered physical or psychological damage from this attack, Michael D. Payne is here to help you. He has extensive personal injury experience and understands the toll that accident recovery can take on victims. Mr. Payne’s vast knowledge of and expertise in California personal injury law earned him an appearance on CNN, and you can put his experience to work for you.  You can contact us at 888 964-1530 or email us here.

What to do After a Dog Bite

How you handle the initial period after a dog attack is crucial for your health and safety, as well as your personal injury case. What you do will be dictated by the specific details of your circumstances, but the following steps can provide a basic guideline for what to do following a dog bite.

Seek Medical Attention

This is the most important thing you should do after a dog bite accident. Regardless of how severe your injuries seem, it is always a good idea to have them examined by a medical professional. Dogs carry diseases that can be transmitted through their bites. Plus, infections are common following a dog bite. A doctor will be able to assess the damage and provide the appropriate level of healthcare services. Not only does this ensure that you receive the care you need, but it also sets up an initial baseline of your injuries for your personal injury case.

Identify the Owner

Finding out who the owner of the dog is will help you know who may be liable for your injuries. It will not always be possible to find out who the owner is, but identifying them will simplify the legal process later on. If the dog has been subdued or restrained, you may be able to find the owner’s information on the collar. Animal control may also be able to scan any microchips to identify the dog and its owner.

Report the Attack

Contact the police or animal control right away to report the dog bite accident. These professionals can be helpful in identifying the dog and owner, subduing the dog to prevent further attacks, and testing the dog for potentially transmittable diseases. A police or animal control officer will also create a report of the attack that can be useful as a third-party account of the accident.

Compile Documentation

Gathering documentation related to the dog bite accident can provide crucial evidence for your case. Take pictures of your injuries and the scene of the attack. Keep notes on everything you remember about the incident, including time, location, breed of dog, and anything else you can recollect. Get the contact information for any witnesses to the attack. Save your medical bills, treatment notes, and any other documentation from your healthcare providers regarding your injuries and treatment. You may also need documents showing missed work or lost wages caused by the dog bite accident.

Contact a Lawyer

Having a lawyer to help you navigate this difficult terrain can make the process run much more smoothly and takes much of the stress away from you. Healing from the physical, psychological, and financial stress requires that you focus on your recovery. Working with a dedicated personal injury lawyer like Michael D. Payne means you can prioritize your well-being and leave the legal matters to Mr. Payne. He knows how to advocate for his clients, and his over two decades of experience have shown him how to build a solid case.

When you work with The Law Offices of Michael D. Payne, you will not be charged any legal fees unless your case is successful. Call us for a free consultation at 888-964-1530, or visit