Bakersfield Dog Bite Lawyer

Bakersfield Dog Bite Attorney

 
  • 25 + Years of Experience

    When you hire us, you’re adding unmatched experience to your team, ensuring you get the best possible outcome.

  • 99% Win Rate

    Our firm maintains an impressive 99% win rate, even while accepting difficult cases other law firms have turned away.

  • No Upfront Fees

    We are not afraid of trial, and insurance companies know this. If it’s in your best interest, we are always trial ready.

Community Involvement

At The May Firm we strive to be involved and connected to our local community. For example, this past holiday season we had bicycle and Christmas tree giveaway’s dedicated for individuals in our community. Our goal is to be a positive force for good in the local community and give back in some small measure to those we can serve. We receive satisfaction and joy from serving our clients and will continue to look for ways to be of assistance to the community as a whole. We receive positive energy from the community when we are involved.

We have listed a few of the local organizations we support and look forward to growing our outreach in the future. If you have any suggestions for ways we can be of service or support, please reach out to us.

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  • CASA

Why So Many Accidents Happen In Bakersfield

Bakersfield is the largest city within Kern County, which encompasses more than 8,100 square miles. Bakersfield is conveniently located in the southern portion of the San Joaquin Valley, directly between Fresno and Los Angeles. The largest local employers are in the farming, agriculture and oil industries.

Unfortunately, this type of heavy labor can lead to a variety of personal injuries, especially trucking, farming and car accidents. The May Firm is here to help our clients get the justice they deserve. If you’ve been injured by no fault of your own, contact our office for a free consultation.

“My number one goal is to help others. When you step foot into our firm, you’ll be treated like family, period.”
Robert May, Attorney | Founder

Many families in Bakersfield, throughout California, and throughout the nation have one or more dogs. They serve as protectors and companions, and many dog owners consider their furry friends part of the family. However, as much as dog owners love and revere their pets, they have a legal duty to ensure their canine companions do not harm others. Negligent dog owners who do not properly train their pets put others at risk for dog bites and open themselves to financial responsibility if their dog attacks another person.

If you or your child has suffered a dog bite injury in Bakersfield, the dog bite lawyers at The May Firm can help. California law may permit you to take legal action against the dog owner responsible for your injuries. Contact us today online or at 661-244-9712 for a free consultation to discuss the events leading up to your dog bite injuries and learn how we can help you seek compensation for damages related to your injuries.

The May Firm’s Results in Personal Injury Cases

The legal team at The May Firm has advocated for clients who have suffered injuries due to negligence, including clients who have suffered injuries in dog attacks. The firm’s dedication to client service, case preparation, and professional excellence has led to the recovery of millions of dollars in damages from settlements and court-awarded damages. We cannot predict a specific financial outcome for your dog bite injury claim because each case has underlying facts and circumstances that add to or detract from its value.

However, The May Firm has the dedication and resources to investigate your claim and build the strongest case possible against the negligent dog owner responsible for your injuries. You should not have to carry the financial burden that comes with severe injuries because another person chose not to properly train their dog or use the proper tools to protect others from their aggressive pet.

When Dog Bite Injuries Require a Lawyer

Dog bites occur more frequently than you might think. According to the Insurance Information Institute and State Farm Insurance, California leads the nation with more than 2,000 dog bite claims each year. This should not be surprising because of the size of the state. However, this statistic only includes State Farm claims, not claims paid by other insurance providers or unreported dog attacks.

Some dog bite injuries are traumatic events that might threaten the victim’s life. Not only do victims need immediate attention, but it is in their best interest to contact a dog bite lawyer.

Some examples of dog bite injuries that require immediate medical attention and could give rise to a personal injury lawsuit include:

  • Deep wounds and lacerations that often leave permanent scars and/or cause infection or disease, such as rabies or tetanus.
  • Crushed bones or fractures, more often in children because of their small frames.
  • Scars and disfiguring injuries that require reconstructive surgery.
  • Emotional trauma from a dog bite, especially in children.

In the worst-case scenario, severe dog bites can be fatal. Immediate death, although rare, might occur after a critical bite, but infection from dog bites can also lead to death. If you have lost a child or loved one to a dog bite, you need to discuss your eligibility to seek compensation for damages in a wrongful death lawsuit.

Potentially Dangerous and Vicious Dogs in Bakersfield

Bakersfield has specific definitions and municipal laws concerning vicious dogs. Even dogs that are friendly to their owners can be vicious to strangers and put others in the community at risk for a dog bite injury. If a dog bites someone, Bakersfield Animal Control Officers typically have the right to seize and impound the dog while the owner waits for an administrative hearing.

The city manager conducts a hearing and determines whether the dog should be declared vicious or potentially dangerous, whether the dog has already been declared dangerous or vicious, and what penalties or orders the dog owner faces.

According to Bakersfield’s municipal code, a potentially dangerous dog is:

  • An unprovoked dog that is not on the owner’s property and behaves in a way that requires defensive action for someone to prevent injury two times within three years.
  • An unprovoked dog that bites someone and causes “bodily distress or incapacity,” but the victim does not need sutures or corrective surgery.
  • An unprovoked dog that kills, bites, or injures a guide dog or service dog while off their owner’s property.
  • An unprovoked dog that is not on the owner’s property and kills, bites, or injures someone else’s domestic animal.

A vicious dog under Bakersfield’s municipal code is:

  • An unprovoked dog that aggressively inflicts harm or kills a human.
  • A dog labeled as potentially dangerous that continues to exhibit behavior that violates the municipal code.
  • A dog that is aggressive because the owner trains the dog to fight or engages the dog in exhibition fighting.

Bakersfield’s code and the action the city takes after a dog bite protect others from future dog bites from the same animal. However, it does not compensate you for losses related to you or your child’s dog bite injuries. Receiving compensation for your injury requires filing a claim against the dog owner, which is best done with the help of an experienced Bakersfield dog bite lawyer.

Steps After a Bakersfield Dog Attack

If you or your child has suffered injuries from a dog bite, we assume you have been to the nearest emergency room to seek treatment for the bite. If you have not been to the doctor, you need medical documentation of the bite, so seek medical attention as soon as possible. This will also help ensure you do not have to deal with any life-threatening infections. Also, getting stitches, even for minor lacerations, can minimize scarring.

After a physician has treated you, you need to take the proper steps to give you the best chance of recouping losses related to your injury. Severe dog bites come with medical expenses, but victims and parents of minor victims need to miss work, too. Some dog bites cause permanent nerve damage or other permanent injuries that prevent victims from returning to work. You deserve compensation when you suffer because of a negligent dog owner.

The following steps after a Bakersfield dog bite injury can help maximize your chances of recovering damages:

Take Photos of the Injuries

You must document everything that happened leading up to the dog bite, as well as what happened immediately afterward. Hopefully, you got a picture of the dog that bit you or your child at some point, but it is okay if you did not. However, you should take pictures of your or your child’s bite injuries as soon as possible. Also, continue to take pictures as you heal. Photographic evidence supports your claim and supports your report to law enforcement, making it easier to win your case.

Contact Bakersfield Police or Animal Control to Report the Dog Bite

You need to have an official record of the dog bite incident, or you might find it difficult to recover damages in an insurance claim or lawsuit. If you did not call the police before you went to the emergency room, you need to report the incident as soon as possible. In most cases, the police will contact animal control to investigate the dog and its owner. They will check whether the dog has been listed as “potentially dangerous” or “vicious” and confirm whether the dog owner has had previous complaints about their pet.

Contact a Dog Bite Lawyer

Consult an attorney who can handle the finer details of your dog bite claim while you focus on recovering from your injuries. If your child suffered injuries, you especially have challenges in the coming weeks and months. Little ones are face to face with dogs, so when a dog bites them, children often suffer injuries to their face. Medical treatment can be scary for children, but it typically does not hold a candle to the emotional trauma a child suffers after a dog bites them. You can expect your child will need to see a psychologist or another mental health specialist to work through the trauma of a dog bite.

Your lawyer can investigate the details of the dog bite, gather documents, speak to witnesses, and initiate the claims process. Lawyers are trained communicators and negotiators who know how to handle insurance companies that are typically only concerned with their bottom line. With a lawyer on your side, you have the best chance of recovering compensation for your injuries to pay for the care and treatment you or your child needs after a dog bite.

Recovering Damages After a Bakersfield Dog Bite

Under California law, dog owners are financially responsible for damages related to dog bite injuries regardless of the dog’s history of incidents and aggressiveness. People who are legally on someone’s property, such as postal workers, are protected as well as anyone else with an express or implied invitation. The same is true when a dog bites someone in a public place.

Dog bite claims fall under homeowner’s insurance in most cases, but not all dog owners have homes. An attorney can review the facts of the case and find the best path to recovering compensation.

If you reach a settlement with the applicable insurance provider, or you go to court and the jury rules in your favor, you might recover:

  • Medical expenses including ambulance service, emergency room treatment, follow-up doctor visits, surgery, hospitalization, x-rays, antibiotics, pain medication, and transportation costs to and from the doctor/hospital.
  • Estimated future medical expenses for additional reconstructive surgeries or treatment for permanent injuries from dog bites.
  • Lost income from missing work because of the dog bite, treatment, and recovery.
  • Estimated future lost wages when a dog bite causes permanent damage or disability that makes it impossible for a victim to return to their job.
  • Physical pain and suffering.
  • Emotional distress, especially in young children.

If a dog bite injury led to the death of your child or another loved family member, you could be eligible for compensation. California law allows eligible surviving family members a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent dog owner. If you win your case, you could receive compensation for some damages listed above in addition to funeral expenses and burial or cremation costs.

The law also allows family members to seek compensation for damage to their relationship with the deceased resulting from the loss. For example, the loss of a child may entitle parents to seek compensation for loss of companionship. Spouses can also seek compensation for loss of companionship when they lose their partner to a dog bite injury. Dependent children who lose a parent sometimes receive money for loss of support or loss of parental guidance. Your Bakersfield dog bite attorney can review your case and advise you on the damages that apply to your wrongful death claim.

Get the Legal Help You Need After a Bakersfield Dog Bite Injury

At The May Firm, we understand the struggles that come with a severe dog bite injury, especially when your child is the victim. Our attorneys are here to help you seek the compensation you deserve for losses related to the injuries.

Contact us today online or at (661) 244-9712 for a free case evaluation to discuss the details of your dog bite claim, how your dog bite injury has impacted your life, and to learn more about how we can help you seek compensation to recover damages related to your injuries.

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