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How To Report a Dog BiteIn San Diego, CA

how to report a dog bite in san diego
how to report a dog bite in san diego

Bit by a dog in San Diego? After medical treatment, you need to report the incident to animal control authorities immediately.

This straightforward guide will cover everything you need to know to document the bite accurately—from gathering key details and filling out forms to potential legal action.

Follow our advice to guarantee your dog bite claim gets filed completely and correctly on the very first attempt.

Who to Contact After a San Diego Dog Attack

If you or a loved one suffered injuries from a dog bite, the first call should be to 9-1-1 if the wounds require emergency medical care. For less severe bites or after seeking emergency care, your next step should be to contact San Diego County Animal Services (SDCAS) at (619) 767-2675.

As the agency dedicated to public safety and animal control in San Diego County, SDCAS will log a report of the attack into their records and usually send an officer to investigate in person.

The officer will examine wounds, interview witnesses, identify the attacking dog, verify rabies vaccinations, and determine if the animal poses an ongoing threat to the community. Fines and hearings may occur after that.

Another call should go to the local police department so it’s aware of dangerous dogs in their jurisdiction. California also has additional statutes regarding animal bites (see below) that the police department may enforce.

Steps to Take After a Dog Bite Accident in San Diego, CA

You may need to remember critical details in the chaos after an attack. To build the most robust incident report and possible legal claim, take these actions:

  1. Take pictures of your injuries from multiple angles immediately, preferably at the scene. These memorialize the size and position of bite marks.
  2. Exchange contact and insurance information with the owner whenever possible. Get the person’s name, address, phone number, and homeowner’s insurance provider.
  3. Get contact info of witnesses or people who can corroborate what occurred. Their perspective may be beneficial later.
  4. Save related medical records, bills, proof of missed wages from work, etc. These documents can support your financial compensation claims.
  5. Keep records of all calls and reports filed with officials regarding the incident and how they responded. Track names, badge numbers, report numbers, and dates contacted.

If you end up filing a claim for compensation, taking these initial steps will go along way in supporting your case.

Local Dog Parks in San Diego Where Dog Bites Can Occur

San Diego offers endless outdoor recreation and beach options for pet owners and their dogs to enjoy together. However, when dogs feel scared by crowds, threatened by strangers approaching owners, or get unexpectedly startled, their natural reaction may be to nip or bite whoever is nearby.

Children accidentally startling a resting dog while playing games in public parks can also often cause a dog to bite reflexively.

The following well-known city parks in San Diego County are areas where dangerous dog attacks may occur.

Grape Street Dog Park

Near the famous Balboa Park, this dog park provides nearly 3 acres for domestic animals to play. Separate small and large dog sections keep things safe, but animals sometimes wonder. Benches and shade trees also allow animals to relax while children walk nearby.

Grape Street Dog Park

1998 28th St, San Diego, CA 92102
(619) 239-0512

Nate’s Point Dog Park

This dedicated fenced-in off-leash space overlooks the sea in pristine coastal parkland near La Jolla. The ocean views keep dog owners entertained for hours while their compatible canine friends busy themselves running freely.

Nate’s Point Dog Park

2500 Balboa Dr, San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 235-1100

Tecolote Shores

In Mission Bay, alongside popular bike and pedestrian routes, this 5-acre reserve allows pets to roam and rest. Owners admire the bay vistas while dogs dash about the sandy beaches alone while exploring the public boardwalk.

Telocote Shores

1300 E Mission Bay Dr, San Diego, CA 92109
(619) 235-1169

Staying alert to dog body language and warning signs in these dog parks can help prevent many bites. Unfortunately, dog owners frequently fail to leash and supervise their pets regularly in these locations.

Common Injuries from San Diego Dog Attacks

First, let’s review some quick dog bite stats according to the American Veterinary Medical Association:

  • Dogs bite more than 4.5 million each year in the United States.
  • Children are the most common victims of dog attacks.
  • In 2021, insurers paid over $880M in dog bite injury claims.
  • The average hospital stay was about three days.

With these numbers in mind, you can understand how a dog’s strong jaws and sharp teeth can inflict the following significant trauma in their bites.

  • Puncture wounds. Deep wounds with possible infection into joints, tendons, or bones. May require intravenous antibiotics.
  • Nerve or tendon lacerations. Severed nerves or tendons significantly reduce the functionality of the affected area, often requiring complex surgery.
  • Scarring. Dog bites frequently leave disfiguring scars, particularly on the face or neck.
  • Psychological trauma. An unrelenting fear of dogs, anxiety, PTSD, and sleep issues can manifest.

Always obtain an experienced medical diagnosis of infections or wounds that won’t properly heal. These injuries increase your claim value. Finally, photograph all scars once fully formed, typically at least a year later.

How San Diego County Dog Bite Victims Can Secure Their Legal Rights

California employs “strict liability” statutes regarding San Diego County dog bites – owners are responsible for bites regardless of previous non-aggressive behavior.

However, seeking legal consultation after a dog attack is still vital because:

  • The specifics of an incident may show if provocation occurred or whether claimant liability questions exist.
  • Witness testimony can affect strict liability assignment.
  • California’s pure comparative fault laws can reduce a victim’s final compensation.
  • California has a 2-year statute of limitations to file a dog bite lawsuit after the attack.
  • Evidence goes stale over time, making swift action prudent.
  • Failing to act forfeits rights to financial recovery later.

A San Diego County personal injury attorney can resolve these matters, negotiate a settlement with insurance companies, file your claim correctly, acquire expert testimony, accurately assess pain and suffering levels, and more.

San Diego dog bite law firms also maximize compensation during insurance negotiations. Don’t get shorthanded from a lowball offer – over 30% of what victims claim often gets denied initially without San Diego lawyer support.

How California Strict Liability Applies to Dog Bites

California Civil Code §3342 declares that the dog owner is strictly liable for the full extent of bite damages regardless of any known former aggressive behavior.

The law assumes animal owners understand their dog’s tendencies best and must prevent issues.

Strict liability exceptions occur only if:

  • The injured party was clearly trespassing on a private enclosed property when bitten. But common spaces of an apartment complex or areas open to the public, like sidewalks, would not qualify.
  • The injured party somehow provoked the dog with abuse or assault. But the legal definition of “provocation” remains narrow – basic barking at a dog doesn’t justify biting, for example.
  • The bite happened in specialized areas like veterinary clinics or kennels where some aggressive response might be predictable.

Otherwise, strict liability gives an advantage to victims, unlike more complex legal negligence standards.

California’s Statute of Limitations for Dog Bites

California CCP §335.1 states victims have two years from the bite date to file a personal injury claim in civil court if negotiations fail with insurance companies. Minors under age 18 have until age 20. The clock starts ticking immediately – further infections or scars forming later don’t reset the statutory period.

This deadline pressures victims to promptly:

  • Gather evidence and witness statements before memories fade.
  • Fully treat all known medical issues.
  • Assess future damages.
  • Consult a San Diego dog bite attorney to demand insurance settlements.

Insurance companies often stall, expecting victims to miss the short filing window. Don’t let time destroy your right to recovery.

Compensation Categories for Dog Bite Damages

San Diego dog bite claims provide payment for a broad scope of associated current and future costs through insurance settlements or formal lawsuits seeking court judgments if needed.

Common categories include:

  • Emergency medical transport bills, ER costs, doctor or specialist fees, hospitalization, medications, medical devices, physical therapy – anything medically necessary.
  • Expected future medical costs such as surgery, cosmetic repair for scarring, and psychiatrist appointments if trauma occurred.
  • Lost current and future wages if missing work to heal.
  • Miscellaneous costs like ruined clothes, cleaning services, etc., due to the incident.
  • Pain and suffering for physical pain severity and duration. Awards consider effects on daily professional and personal life.
  • Emotional distress from enduring psychological trauma, fear of dogs, sleep disruption, relationship strain stemming from disfigurement, and more. Awards factor in therapy and counseling needs.

Ensure you seek full restitution – having reputable legal advice garners higher payouts. Our experienced San Diego personal injury lawyers offer free consultations to examine your potential settlement value.

Are You Ready to Report Your Dog Bite Injury?

At LA Dog Bite Law, we assist San Diego dog bite victims across San Diego County using our many years of experience handling animal attack cases specifically.

Benefits of our no-cost, no-obligation case evaluation include:

  • Determining exact liability details from our unbiased perspective.
  • Calculating potential settlement ranges based on previous results.
  • Outlining your legal strategy and options.
  • Connecting you with trusted medical or healthcare resources.
  • Recommending ways to boost your claim value.
  • Answering all questions.

If attacked by a dog in the San Diego region, please contact us for a free consultation with our dog bite attorneys. We guide clients through the confusion – you focus on healing while we handle negotiations firmly.

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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