Damages in a Dog Bite Case

Suing for Your Medical Expenses and Other Damages Resulting From a Dog Attack

Dog bite injury Just this year, an Alabama man had to be rushed to the hospital in critical condition after being mauled by a pack of dogs who had escaped their enclosure in his neighborhood. While most dogs will snap or bite lightly to establish boundaries or dominance, two or more dogs can quickly become extremely aggressive. It may surprise you, but smaller dogs can be more aggressive than larger dogs. Chihuahuas and dachshunds bite more people each year than larger dogs like great danes and huskies. This is likely due to a lack of obedience training since their owners assume that they are too small to do any damage. However, they can inflict damage on an adult’s fingers or on a child’s soft and sensitive skin. The dog breeds that result in the most fatalities each year are labeled as “dangerous dog breeds.” While chihuahuas have a habit for biting, a bite from a pit bull that is normally docile will inflict more damage. The dog breed that Newport Beach dog bite attorneys see most often in their cases are:
  • Pit bulls
  • Rottweilers
  • German shepherds
  • Mutts
  • American bulldogs
California sees the most dog bite injury claims out of any other state, with over 2,000 claims filed by California injury lawyers each year. That means that Newport Beach bodily injury attorneys handle more dog bite injury cases than other attorneys across the United States. When our personal injury lawyers in Newport Beach assess your case, they will ask you a variety of questions about the attack and your injuries.


The losses that you suffer as the result of an injury are called damages. It’s important that you and your Newport Beach bodily injury lawyer take the time to add up all possible damages in your case. The more damages you suffer, the more compensation you’re entitled to.

Medical Bills

In any kind of personal injury case, the plaintiff is going to suffer a physical injury that requires professional medical attention. Sadly, these medical bills can easily add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Whatever sort of medical bills are incurred from the dog bite, whether they be emergency room visits or physical therapy, must be paid for by the defendant. Medical bills can really add up in a personal injury case, especially if the attack results in long-term injuries or permanent disability. The amount your Newport Beach dog attack injury lawyer will sue for includes past medical treatment and estimated costs for whatever treatment will be necessary in the future.

Lost Income

Compensation for lost wages or lost income is another key aspect of awarded compensation in a personal injury case. Lost wages are the wages that you did not make because you were recovering from your injuries. For example, if you are a UPS delivery person and the dog attacked your leg, you may be bedridden for a period, missing 8 of your 10-hour shifts. Therefore, the defendant would have to pay you for 80 hours worth of income. You may be able to take vacation or sick days to recover. If this is the case, you will still be compensated for the loss of that paid time off. If your injuries are so severe that you are left permanently unable to work, your Newport Beach accident compensation lawyer will need to consult a financial/economic expert to give an amount for the plaintiff’s future lost income and lost earning capacity.

Pain and Suffering

An injured person’s medical expenses and lost wages are labelled as “economic” damages, since these losses are easy to capture with a dollar figure. The other damages that are claimed in a personal injury case are called “non-economic” damages, and the main component of this category is “pain and suffering.”

These are the more subjective effects of the accident and injuries, including:

  • Physical pain caused by the accident itself
  • Physical discomfort resulting from necessary medical treatment
  • Mental anguish, trouble sleeping, anxiety, and other more psychological effects of the accident and resulting injuries

A good way to show much pain and suffering you’ve endured is to call your friends, coworkers, and family to testify on your behalf. If one of them had to buy you groceries while you recovered from your injuries, they can use this as an example of how much pain and suffering you went through.


California follows the doctrine of strict liability, meaning dog owners can be held accountable for damage and injuries their pets cause in the first instance of them biting. Most states allow a “one bite rule,” meaning that a dog can bite once before the owner is held liable for subsequent attacks. As long as you and your Sherman Oaks dog bite lawyer can prove that the dog bit you, you have a case.

The only time the California courts will take the side of the petowner is when you clearly provoked the dog, either by hitting, taunting, or aggravating it. Friendly gestures like a hug can be interpreted by the dog as trying to dominate it, resulting in a bite, but California courts will not consider this provoking the animal.

The California law of strict liability means that dog owners are liable for their pet’s behavior; it doesn’t matter if you are the first person the dog bit or the tenth person. The doctrine states “the owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place … regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.”

About Accident Lawyers Firm 

Accident Lawyers Firm is a Newport Beach-based law firm that wins our clients maximum compensation for their personal injury lawsuits. Our attorneys work tirelessly to add up your bodily damages, emotional damages, property damages, and overall pain and suffering that the negligent party should pay for. We also tap into our network of accident and health experts to gather thorough research and evidence to make your case for compensation as strong as possible. Contact us if you were injured in a:

  • Car accident
  • Motorcycle accident
  • Bike accident
  • Rideshare accident
  • Dog attack
  • Construction accident

You don’t need additional stress while you recover from your injuries, so leave the legal battle up to us. With our extensive connections and hard-working lawyers, you can focus on recovering physically, mentally, and emotionally. To set up a free consultation, call us at 949-203-5780 or email us at intake@accidentlawyersfirm.com.