San Jose Dog Bite Attorneys

Seeking Justice Throughout San Jose, CA

If you or your child has been attacked and bitten by a dog in Northern California, our San Jose personal injury attorneys at Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP can help. Every year, we represent more and more individuals who have been viciously savaged by a neglected dog. Whether the result of severe abuse, careless training, or incompetent ownership, dog owners who allow their pets to harm others are indeed responsible. Don't let the physical and emotional scars from your attack prevent you from obtaining the care and compensation you deserve. Call our firm at (800) 900-0863 and we'll help put this chapter behind you.

By the Numbers

Dog bites occur in far greater frequency and severity than most people would believe. According to a recent report from Center for Disease Control (CDC), it is estimated approximately over 4 million people each year are attacked by dogs. Of these, nearly half are children under the age of 9. Due to their smaller stature and the fact that they have not yet finished growing, children run the risk of sustaining significant injury if involved in a dog bite incident.

Unfortunately, due to their unassuming nature, many children approach dogs without fear of bite potentiality, and consequently sustain some of the most severe dog bite injuries, which sometimes even result in wrongful death. Surgeries to correct injuries may not always be successful in fully repairing the damage a child dog bite victim sustains. Consequently, if a child's physical growth or normal development is impeded in any way, that child may sadly have to endure a lifetime of adapting to his or her injuries, and may not have as many opportunities in life that a non-physically affected child may potentially have.

The CDC recommends that children facing a potential dog bite incident remain as calm as possible, opt not to run away, but remain perfectly still instead, even if the incident has escalated and the child has been knocked to the ground. Direct eye contact with the dog should always be avoided in a potential dog bite situation, as the dog may interpret such behavior to be the child attempting to establish his or her dominance over the animal. Unfamiliar dogs should not be approached, let alone played with, and interaction with any such dog should only occur under the watchful eye of an adult who is familiar with the dog's temperament and behavior.

The numbers are staggering when layered against the debilitating injuries often suffered in such an attack, including:

  • Permanent nerve damage
  • Bone fractures
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of limb function
  • Cranial trauma
  • Crippling phobias
  • Wrongful death

Recently in California, over 1,900 dog bite claims were filed with insurance agencies and as estimated $64 million in damages were awarded, leading the LA Times to dub the state "Dog Bite Capital of The United States."

If you or your child has recently been injured by a dog, before speaking with an insurance company, consider discussing your options with an accomplished dog bite attorney. You may be entitled to significant compensation and benefits for your suffering.

Me or my child has been bitten, now what?

First and foremost, you'll want to speak with a medical professional, no matter how seemingly insignificant the wound may be. Even the smallest of dogs can harbor dangerous bacteria that can lead to serious infection or worse. This will also provide professional verification and assessment of the damage, should you decide to pursue legal action.

Under California Penal Code 398.A, the owner of the offending dog is required by law to report the bite to the proper authorities. More often than not, owners are reluctant to provide such an open admission of guilt even if they are close to the victim. In which case, it will be up to you, the injured party, to speak with Animal Control or law enforcement. Depending on your relationship with the dog, this could be quite difficult, but it is in your best interests to do so, immediately after an attack.

Try to take as many photos and document as much of the scene as possible afterwards. If you are unable, have a family member or friend gather the information for you. Collecting as much evidence of the incident, immediately thereafter, can prove to be the difference in a dog bite lawsuit.

When Dog Bites are Fatal

Regardless of past behavior or circumstance, a fatal dog attack can occur at any time. Although there may be warning signs that a dog could potentially be dangerous, an animal's behavior is ultimately unpredictable. It only takes an instant for an individual to be significantly harmed by a dog's bite, which can quickly turn deadly depending on factors such as:

  • The placement of the bite
  • The amount of tearing and ripping the dog causes while biting
  • Whether or not the dog bite eventually leads to a life-threatening infection

Furthermore, delayed medical assistance can also exasperate a dog bite injury, particularly if the victim has lost a great deal of blood or has been bitten by a rabid animal. Dog attacks can be fatal, especially if the involved dog has a history of biting someone in the past and has been labeled as dangerous. California Civil Code 3342.5 stipulates that "the owner of any dog that has bitten a human being shall have the duty to take such reasonable steps as are necessary to remove any danger presented to other persons from bites by the animal."

In short, if an animal has already bitten someone in the past, then the dog owner must take all steps necessary to prevent such an attack from happening again. It should be realized though that past behavior is not always indicative of future behavior, and one should never assume that, just because a dog has never been a problem in the past, the dog is incapable of becoming a problem in the future.

Call Caputo & Van Der Walde at (800) 900-0863.

Finally, be sure to contact our professional dog bite attorneys at Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP at (800) 900-0863. We provide a full consultation, at no cost to you, which will help weigh your legal options, ascertain the best course of action in regards to any insurance claims, and determine if you should move forward with a personal injury lawsuit. Our knowledgeable team has assisted hundreds of dog bite victims and has built a reputation of compassionate and comprehensive representation. Retaining the services of Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP can help grant you the peace of mind you need along with the financial compensation you deserve.

Additional Resources

Attacks & Dog Breeds

Dog Owner Tips to Prevent Dog Bites

​Knowing the Signs of an Aggessive Dog

Tips to Prevent Dog Attacks to Children

Warning Signs a Dog is About to Attack

Dog Owners Responsibility

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