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What to do when a neighbor's dog bites you in California

One of the best parts of summer is being outside in the warm weather and sunshine. Perhaps you like to go for a run, ride your bike or just stroll down the block. This is usually a pleasant experience that allows you to enjoy the sights and sounds of the season.

However, summer draws not only humans outdoors but also pets. More people are likely to be out walking or playing with their dogs or just letting them loose to get out some energy. This raises the risk of a dog biting you.

What counts as a dog bite?

When you think of a dog that bites, you probably think of a Pitbull or Rottweiler, but even the friendliest dog on your street can become aggressive when scared, threatened or even overly excited while playing. Furthermore, you probably think of a dog mauling someone, but there are different levels of bites. A moderate puncturing of the skin is still reportable, especially if it leads to a hospital visit.

What should you do after a dog bite?

For severe attacks, go to the emergency room immediately. For minor puncture wounds, have your health care provider examine and treat it to ensure it does not get infected. Ask the owner if the dog has had rabies vaccines to know if the disease is a risk, or request that the dog undergo testing. Report the incident to the police and then speak to a personal injury attorney about your options for seeking financial compensation from the owner.

What will happen to the dog?

If you fear that a report will lead to euthanizing the dog, it is not an automatic penalty in California. It depends on the circumstances of the attack, such as:

  •        Whether it involved any children
  •        The dog’s history of biting and aggression
  •        The owner’s knowledge of the dog’s viciousness
  •        If you were in a public place or lawfully on private property
  •        How severe the bite was

If the dog does get put down, you can have peace of mind knowing it cannot injure anyone else, even accidentally.

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Law Offices of Mark A. Thiel
3439 Brookside Rd., Suite 205
Stockton, CA 95219

Phone: 209-390-4601
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