Dog Bite Levels And When To Call A Los Angeles, Personal Injury Attorney
For some people, dogs are more than just their pets. They are part of their family. Therefore it is no surprise that when a dog bite occurs, it leaves the injured person and the dog owner wondering what to do next. We will explore the different dog bite levels developed by Ian Dunbar, which helps us to understand the severity of a dog bite. Although level 1 and level 2 dog bites comprise over 99% of all dog bites, level 3 and higher dog bites occur every day and might require legal representation.
- Level 1 dog bite: The dog exhibits aggressive behavior with no skin contact. However, teeth do make contact. Most often, the dog tries to scare a human or another dog to be left alone.
- Level 2 Dog Bite: Skin contact occurs with no skin punctures. These dogs are a little more aggressive in their behavior and will let you know that they do not want you there.
- Level 3 Dog Bite: A single bite consisting of one to four tooth punctures. The bite may potentially also include small lacerations. The puncture is no deeper than half the length of the dog’s canine teeth.
- Level 4 Dog Bite: A single bite consisting of one to four tooth punctures. The puncture is deeper than half the length of the dog’s canine teeth. There may also be deep bruising around the puncture from the dog moving its head side to side while grasping the skin.
- Level 5 Dog Bite: Multiple levels 4 bites from multiple attacks.
- Level 6 Dog Bite: Death of the victim
Why Does A Dog Attack Unprovoked?
Out of the nearly five million people attacked by dogs in the United States, children are the most common victims. According to psychology today, Provocation is not well understood even in the scientific literature. In a study of children with dog bite injuries, more than half the attacks were not provoked. So why then do dogs bite? Most often because they feel threatened in some way.
Other reasons why dogs bite includes:
- They are scared or have been startled
- Not feeling well due to sickness or injury
- Stressful situation
- Defending its territory
- Being grabbed and having its tail pulled and tugged
Steps To Take After A Dog Bite Occurs
Depending on the scenario in which the dog bite took place, you must explore all the circumstances. Do you know who the owner of the dog is? Is it a puppy? Is the dog exhibiting aggressive or strange behavior?
If you know who owns the dog, or if the owner is present exchange contact information. If there are any witnesses, obtain their information as well. If the owner is willing, ask to see the dog’s up-to-date vaccinations. If the owner is not present and you cannot check to make sure the dog has been vaccinated, it is important to seek medical attention by calling 911 to make sure you do not need a rabies vaccination. Animal control may also get involved. They will run a report on the dog in question to determine whether they have a record of prior incidents. Reporting the incident to animal control may prevent the same dog from attacking or biting others in the future.
It is important to take photos of all your injuries, the location where the bite occurred, and the dog in question, if possible.
Who Is Liable For a Dog Bite Injury In Los Angeles?
California has strict laws in place and holds the dog owner strictly liable for any dog bites regardless of whether they failed to protect others from the attack. The exception may be if the victim was trespassing on private property or provoking the dog. It is best to hire a dog bite accident attorney who will help you navigate the legal process and will hold the responsible party liable for your injuries.
What If The Dog Owner Is A Friend Or A Neighbor?
If you were attacked by a dog owned by a friend or a neighbor and you do not want to sue them or file a claim against them, it might help you to know that dog claims are generally filed against the dog owner’s homeowners or renters’ insurance company and the individual dog owner themselves. If the dog in question does not have a history of aggression, it will rarely need to be put down.
Animal Attack Effects
Depending on the severity of the dog or animal bite, victims may have the following effects:
- Infections such as rabies, tetanus, and bacteremia can be contracted
- Physical trauma and disfigurement such as lacerations, face injuries, nerve damage, puncture wounds, fractures, and broken bones
- Psychological or mental disorders such as anxiety, phobias associated with the incident, and/or (PTSD) post-traumatic stress disorder
- Death due to a severe dog bite-related injury
Attacked By A Dog? Looking For The Best Dog Bite Attorney Near You?
Dogs can do serious harm. Depending on the dog’s size, bites can range from traumatic injuries such as significant scarring and disfigurement all the way to death. These injuries can leave the victim with not only life-threatening injuries but mounting medical bills and bodily deformation.
If you or someone you care about has been attacked and injured by a dog, you must seek an attorney as soon as possible.
A dog bite lawyer can help you recover for:
- Medical Bills related to the incident
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Damages for scarring, disfigurement, and corrective plastic surgery
- Possible punitive damages against the owner
If you were attacked and injured in a dog bite accident in California, call our office today at (844)291-1911 or fill out a contact form for a free case evaluation.