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Visual ImpairmentAfter a Dog Attack

dog bite injuries visual impairment
dog bite injuries visual impairment

Dog bites that result in permanent vision loss or blindness are traumatic experiences with lasting consequences. When a dog attack leaves you unable to see, making sense of your legal options is critical.

In California, dog owners face strict liability for dog bites. This means victims can recover damages even if the owner had no prior knowledge of the dog’s dangerous tendencies.

However, complicated legal issues often arise after life-altering dog bites. Navigating these issues requires an experienced California dog bite attorney. With so much on the line, you need strong legal advocates in your corner.

Common Eye Injuries from Dog Bites

Dog bites frequently damage eyes and surrounding facial areas. Common dog bite injuries to the eye include:

  • Corneal lacerations: Rips or tears in the clear front layer of the eye. These injuries often cause blindness even after reconstructive surgery.
  • Cataracts: Clouding of the eye’s natural lens. Cataracts develop over time after eye trauma. As they worsen, blindness results.
  • Glaucoma: Painful eye damage from increased inner eye pressure. If uncontrolled, glaucoma also progresses to blindness.
  • Retinal detachment: When the light-sensitive retina lining the back of the eye pulls away. Permanent vision loss is common.
  • Optic nerve damage: The optic nerve connects the eye to the brain. After bites crush or sever this nerve, blindness follows.
  • Enucleation: Surgical eye removal due to catastrophic damage or infection risk.

Facial bites also cause disfiguring scars. Repeated plastic surgeries are often needed to reduce scarring. The emotional trauma of facial disfigurement can be severe.

What to Do Immediately to Protect Your Vision from Dog Bite Damage

Seek emergency care immediately if a dog bites your eye area. Call 911 for an ambulance if it is safe to do so. Timeliness is critical for saving vision and preventing infection.

At the ER or urgent care:

  1. Get immediate medical care from skilled eye doctors. ER physicians will consult ophthalmologists regarding specialist treatment needs.
  2. Cooperate fully with visual acuity tests. These measure eyesight levels, assessing current and future impairment risks.
  3. Discuss eye trauma rehabilitation services. Low-vision occupational therapists can help you adapt.
  4. Ask about the long-term prognosis. Permanent blindness may result despite optimal medical care.

Document what happened while memories are fresh:

  • Identify the owner through photo IDs, rabies tags, microchips, or other proof.
  • Get contact details for witnesses willing to give statements.
  • Take photos of injuries, bloody clothes, etc, showing attack severity.
  • Save vet records if the biting dog had known vicious tendencies.

Thorough incident documentation strengthens your case.

Legal Rights of California Dog Bite Victims

California imposes strict liability for dog bites. Unlike negligence claims, strict liability has a no-fault requirement.

To prevail, you only need show:

  • The defendant owned the biting dog.
  • You were lawfully present in a place you had a legal right to be.
  • The dog bit you while you were acting peaceably.
  • The bite caused harm.

However, strict liability has exceptions. Your compensation can be if your actions contributed to the bite’s occurrence or severity. For example, provoking the dog by striking it.

At LA Dog Bite Law, our personal injury attorneys can leverage California’s extensive comparative negligence laws to help you maximize your recovery even if you are found up to 99% at fault. Contact our office to discuss your options.

Available Compensation for California Dog Bite Victims

Compensation in dog mauling cases covers categories like:

  • Past and future medical bills – Reconstructive surgeries, medications, specialists, hospitalizations, physical therapy.
  • Rehabilitation services – Occupational therapy, orientation, and mobility training, vocational rehabilitation.
  • Assistive devices – Support canes, guide dogs, screen reader software, and audiobooks.
  • Lost income – Both past and future earnings capacity were reduced.
  • Pain and suffering – Emotional distress and trauma.
  • Disability rights attorneys’ fees – If ADA violations occur during recovery and adaptation.

While there is no true “average compensation for dog bites” in California, our attorneys have secured multiple six-figure settlements for our clients. We can help you accurately value your damages and negotiate fiercely on your behalf to secure maximum compensation.

When Are Punitive Damages Possible?

Punitive damages punish and make an example of particularly reckless dog owners. Judges may award punitive damages in dog bite cases where biting dogs have seriously disfigured someone or caused substantial bodily harm. Blindness qualifies as substantial bodily harm.

They may also choose to award it in the following circumstances:

  • Prior bites or attacks – The owner knew their dog was dangerous but took insufficient measures to restrain it.
  • Lack of secure enclosure – Dangerous breeds like pit bulls or rottweilers were left unconfined on the premises.
  • Failure to warn – Visitors were not alerted to the presence of dogs with known vicious tendencies.
  • Lack of supervision – Dogs were permitted to roam neighborhoods despite prior incidents.

Talk to your California dog bite lawyer about any applicable factors. The more wanton the owner’s behavior, the greater your punitive recovery may be.

Get Experienced Legal Support After a Dog Attack in California

We will carefully assess your incident’s unique legal issues while being mindful of how traumatic blindness is.

Our goal in every representation is maximizing financial recovery so that permanent vision loss or disabilities do not ruin disabled victims financially.

To discuss your potential claim at no charge, contact LA Dog Bite Law today. We are here to advise and support you during this profoundly difficult period.

How to Report a Dog Bite Near You

Our reach extends throughout California, from the sunny streets of San Diego to the bustling cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco, and beyond. We’re here to help victims across the state report dog bites, find the legal support they need, and ensure that justice is served. By reporting dog bites and seeking assistance, we’re all doing our part in making our communities safer while helping victims get back on their feet.

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