How to Proceed After a Dog Bite in Los Angeles

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

If you've recently suffered a bite from a dog, you are not alone. Thousands of people suffer dog bite of many levels of severity every year in the United States, including right here in Los Angeles.

Not only are dog bites painful, they're mentally hard to cope with afterward, and often come with expensive health care costs to match. Anyone suffering from a dog bite should seek legal counsel immediately, both to seek recompense for suffering and to recoup costs associated with bite care.

First Thing's First: Take Care of Yourself!

Above all, seek immediate emergency care. If you haven't done that already, take that step immediately.

Once you've had your wound attended to by a medical professional, it's time to gather information on the bite. Get the dog owner's information (name, phone number, address, anything helps), as well as contact information for any witnesses.

If possible, ask for copies of the dog's registration information with the City of Los Angeles, as well as rabies vaccination documentation.

When you take a dog bite to a Los Angeles hospital, they'll ask you for any details on the animal and the owner, as they are required to automatically report the bite to Animal Control. This information will also be useful for your legal counsel.

If the owner does not have up-to-date rabies vaccinations, they will be compelled to place the dog under a 10-day quarantine for observation. The cost will be the owner's responsibility.

What to Know About California Dog Bite Law

While some states have various forms of leniency for dogs without a history of violence, California is comparatively strict. Dogs with no history of violence and no training or other circumstances that could be conceived as encouraging a dog to bite are given special consideration for a single bite.

With the help of legal counsel, you can leverage the benefits of the "One Bite Rule" even if the animal hasn't bitten anyone before. If you can prove that the owner had some knowledge of the dog's violent potential, the owner is held responsible for the dog's behavior.

With the right legal approach, this includes irresponsible behavior such as walking dogs off-leash outside of designated dog parks or other violations of animal handling laws in Los Angeles.

How to Find a Lawyer For Your Dog Bite

The best choice is a local lawyer, deeply familiar with California law as well as the ins and outs of Los Angeles County statutes. Contact us today for a consultation on your case, and guarantee every legal avenue possible is explored to get you the compensation you deserve.

What To Do If Your Child Is Bitten By A Dog

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

If your child recently was bitten by a neighbor's dog, it is likely you are very distraught about the incident. When medical bills are an issue, hiring an attorney will be necessary to help in proving the neighbor was negligent in how they had handled the confinement of their pet. Here are some steps you can take to aid in proving your neighbor was at fault for your child's injury.

Get Medical Documentation For Each Visit

Any medical information you receive from your child's doctor is useful in proving how injuries happened. If the dog left teeth marks on the skin, your doctor's physician will take photographs of them as well as imprints if requested. This will show the dog was definitely the one that had caused the injury to happen. Make sure your child goes to all follow-up appointments and that they take any prescribed medication as directed.

Have Surveillance Done Of The Neighboring Property

Setting up surveillance of the neighbor's home will aid in showing their dog is a hazard to those in the community. Your attorney will hire a private investigator on your behalf to watch the property and any actions that take place if you desire. This is an invaluable way to collect information to show the dog attacks without being provoked.

Contact Others In The Area For Similar Stories

If there are others in the neighborhood who had incidents with the dog that had bitten your child, their words can be useful in a court of law. Ask others in the area about encounters they had with the dog and the neighbor. If you find someone with information that is useful, ask them to contact your attorney right away.

To find out more about dog bite cases, check out this website: You can then contact us for a consultation if desired.


What To Do When A Dog Bites

Tuesday, October 03, 2017


Being bitten by a dog in California is no joke. In The Golden State alone 1,934 dog bite claims were filed in 2016, more than any other state in the U.S.! Dog bites are scary and can range anywhere from minor nips to full-on attacks. 

So what do you do if you, your child or another loved one is bitten by a dog?

First, address the bite immediately.

  • Use a clean towel or cloth to cover the injury and stop the bleeding. If the bite is profuse or won't stop bleeding seek emergency medical attention right away, especially if it's a child.
  • Clean the area thoroughly with mild soap and water and try to keep the injured area elevated.
  • Put an antibiotic ointment on the bite to prevent infection and cover it with a bandage.

Next, document the event.

  • Call your local authorities immediately, especially if the dog was a stray or otherwise unknown, and report the bite. They'll likely need to get animal control involved to find the dog before it hurts someone else.
  • If you know the dog and/or the owner, which happens more often than not, it might be a sticky situation but don't be afraid to stand up for yourself and your family. Dog bites, even minor ones, can lead to infections or serious medical conditions and the burden shouldn't fall on the victim. You'll still want to report the bite to authorities.
  • Take pictures of the wound. If you can document the area where it happened that's also recommended.
  • Keep a record of any and all medical visits or costs sustained from the injury.

Then, seek legal advice.

  • You may not know all your rights when it comes to dog bites or how to seek fair settlement for the injury. At Lederer & Nojima we can help! We're very experienced with dog bite injury litigation and we'll make sure you get the fair compensation you deserve, including the medical attention required to treat the injury.

Finally, if you haven't already take a trip to the doctor.

  • Even if the bite wasn't serious you'll still want to plan a visit with your regular physician. Your doctor will deep clean the wound and check to make sure there's no infections or disease present. He'll probably ask questions regarding the attack so be prepared to explain what happened.

We know how upsetting a dog bite is and we don't want you to face it alone. Dealing with insurance and the owner is a headache, especially while you're recovering from the injury. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your case and options.

What Dog Owners Can Do to Prevent Bites

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

As the owner of a dog, you are at risk of liability in a personal injury lawsuit if your animal is involved in a bite. You cannot claim exemption from liability, even if it was the very first time that your dog bit someone.

Often, dogs bark because they are feeling aggressive,. That aggression is rooted in a sense of insecurity, not enough space to run around, and lack of exercise. A dog that has been cooped up in the yard all day long, chained to a fence, is much more likely to get aggressive, compared to one that has had a lot of time to exercise in the park.

Many dog bites occur because of irresponsible dog ownership. As a responsible dog owner, make sure that your pet gets as much exercise as he needs. Some breeds need more exercise than others, and must not be chained the whole day with little chance to run around.

Take your dog frequently to parks and other areas, where he has a chance to be around other animals, as well as human beings. Part of responsible dog ownership is making sure your dog is socialized, or can be in an environment with human beings and animals, without getting fidgety or aggressive.

Get your dog spayed or neutered to reduce aggression involving other animals. Make sure that the dog is trained properly. If that's not possible for you to do, invest in a dog training program.

If you were injured in a dog bite, you can seek compensation for your injuries. Speak to a dog bite lawyer in Los Angeles for help filing a claim.

Recent Pit Bull Attacks in Southern California Indicate Ongoing Danger

Monday, November 26, 2012

Four year old Hailey Nunez was told that the pit bull was safe to pet. The dog’s owner assured Hailey’s mother that the 65 pound dog was friendly. Instead of being friendly, however, the dog viciously mauled the little girl. Five men struggled with the animal as it thrashed the child nearly to death. The dog finally released her after a neighbor hit the animal with a brick. Though Hailey has since been released from a San Diego hospital, the dog bite injuries are extensive.

On that same day in October that Hailey was nearly killed, San Diego area officers also shot and killed two marauding pit bulls, the reports. In another incident, a 100 pound pit bull was menacing a neighborhood after getting out of its owner’s yard. The dog was coerced back to its home by police before anyone was injured or killed. Unfortunately, the dog that attacked Hailey was not subdued until after it caused irreversible damage: Hailey spent more than three days in the hospital and may require more surgeries. She is also on medication and must regularly visit the doctor’s office. 

In another incident further north, a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy shot and killed a pit bull that attacked an animal control officer in La Mirada. Animal control was called after the stray pit bull was seen killing a chihuahua. When the animal control officer attempted to leash the animal, it jumped at her. That's when the deputy shot and killed the dog.

These incidents are not uncommon. In fact pit bulls are regarded by many experts as the most dangerous breed ( Many pit bulls, of course, are fantastic family pets but the dogs can, obviously, create massive problems. Pit bulls are incredibly strong and may not release their grip once they sink their teeth into their target. The facts about pit bulls as a breed suggest that these dogs may require particularly vigilante and responsible owners.   

Los Angeles Has Highest Number of Dog Bites Involving Postal Employees

Monday, June 04, 2012

Los Angeles accounted for the majority of the dog bite incidents involving postal employees in 2011, keeping Los Angeles dog bite lawyers very busy last year. That data comes from the U.S. Postal Service, and was released to mark National Dog Bite Prevention Week last month.

The U.S. Postal Service released a listing of the top 25 cities in the country for dog bites involving letter carriers. Los Angeles ranked at the top of the list with a total of 83 dog bite incidents involving mail carriers last year.

The City of Angels is not the only California city that is extremely dangerous for letter carriers. San Diego was 2nd on the list with a total of 60 dog bites. The other California cities on the list were Sacramento with 35 dog bites San Francisco with 26 dog bites, San Jose with 24 dog bites, and Long Beach with 18 dog bites.

According to the U.S. Postal Service, in 2011, a total of 5,577 postal employees were subject to dog bites nationwide. These dog bite incidents cost the U.S. Postal Service close to $1.2 million in medical costs and other expenses last year.

California seems to have a special problem with dog bite incidents involving mail carriers. Many of these incidents can simply be avoided if owners bother to secure their animals during those times of the day when they expect utility workers or mail carriers to enter the premises. Make sure that your property has a sign warning guests or visitors about the presence of animals on the property.

Apart from postal employees, children are some of the biggest victims of dog bites in California. In fact, approximately half of the more than 4 million dog bites that occur in the United States annually involve children below the age of 5.

Bite Risks of Service Dogs

Thursday, April 28, 2011

It isn't only pet or stray dogs that are involved in dog bite incidents.  A case in New Jersey involving a service dog that attacked a young girl, illustrates that people may be in danger of attack from these animals too.

In this case, the service dog in training was used by a nine-year-old child who suffers from brain cancer.  The little girl has had multiple surgeries, and frequently suffers from dizziness.  She is dependent on the dog to keep her from falling.  However, the dog was recently involved in an attack involving a six-year-old girl. 

The victim was a neighbor of the family.  According to the parents of that little girl, the dog bite left their child with serious injuries to her face.  It was a traumatic attack, and the child needed more than 100 stitches on her face.  The child was left with a huge gash that ran down the length of her nose, and required surgery.  She may need many more surgeries in the future.

Next week, a judge will decide whether the service dog is a vicious animal.  The family that uses the service dog is appealing to the judge to not to rule the dog as a vicious animal.  According to the family of the little girl, this was the first bite incident involving the dog.  However, according to the family of the victim, the dog should not be returning to the neighborhood at all.

The victims’ family’s concern over this dog is understandable.  This is one decision that will not be easy for the judge to make. 

Service dogs are used by thousands of people with disabilities.  However, it is important to remember that these are animals, and no matter how well they are trained, may react with natural instincts in some circumstances.  Los Angeles dog bite lawyers advise families of service dogs to treat their dogs as working animals, and avoid using them for rough play.

Spike in Dog Bite-Related Hospitalizations

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Hospitalizations from dog bites have actually increased over the past few years. According to a new study, the number of people that had to be admitted to the hospital after suffering a dog bite, increased by a staggering 86% from 1993 to 2008.The study was conducted by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

According to the analysis, there were 5,100 dog bite cases that ended with hospitalization in 1993, and by 2008, that number had increased to 9,500. There were other interesting results from the analysis:

  • People living in rural areas were much more likely to make a trip to the hospital after a dog bite than those in urban areas. There were up to four times as many visits to the emergency room and three times as many hospitalizations in rural areas, compared to urban areas
  • Males were much more likely to require hospitalization after dog bites.
  • The most at-risk groups for serious dog bites were children and elderly people.
  • Approximately half the persons who were hospitalized after a dog bite developed a skin infection.
  • Overall, the dog bites cost hospitals an average of about $18,200 per patient.
  • People aged below 44 years of age were much more likely to require treatment in an emergency room after a dog bite. Approximately 75% of the persons in this age group had to be rushed to an emergency room after a dog bite.
  • Not surprisingly to Los Angeles dog bite lawyers, most injuries after a dog bite involved skin infections, open wounds, head and neck injuries and upper limb fractures.
  • People in the Midwest seemed to be at the highest risk of a dog bite, with approximately 109.9 visits to an emergency room for every 100,000 people in this region. In the West, it was just 93 visits to an emergency room for every 100,000 people.

Police Looking for Owner of Pit Bull in Fatal Accident

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It’s not every day that Los Angeles car accident lawyers come across a case where an auto accident is caused by an aggressive dog.  Yet that is exactly what apparently happened in Georgia last week. 

A 14-year-old girl was killed when she was struck by a car, as she was trying to get away from an aggressive dog.  The girl, Miracle Parham, was walking home when she came across the pit bull, which immediately began to act aggressive towards her.  As she was backing away from the dog, fearing for her safety, she was struck by a car.  Miracle died of her injuries.

Police will not be filing charges against the motorist because the girl was in the center of the road at the time of the accident.  They are however, looking for the owner of the pit bull.  From the information available, it seems that this accident could have been avoided if the owner of the pit bull had simply restrained his dog in his yard and prevented it from escaping. 

Police efforts to trace the owner of the pit bull are going in several different directions.  Neighbors in the area say there are at least two owners of aggressive pit bulls in the area.  Both of these dogs have, on earlier occasions, managed to escape from their yards and make it out into the streets where they have displayed aggressive behavior towards people.

It wouldn't surprise any Los Angeles dog bite lawyer to learn that both the owners of the dogs here deny that their dog was the one that Miracle encountered.  The unfortunate part of this entire incident is how preventable it was.  Owners of these breeds must understand that these animals can be extremely aggressive, and can intimidate other people, especially children, with disastrous consequences as happened here.

CA Woman Reportedly Fired for Reporting Bite Involving Boss's Dog

Monday, October 11, 2010

A case out of Oakland combines all elements of a dog bite lawsuit with facts that would interest any California employment and wrongful termination lawyer.  A woman there has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against her employer, after reportedly being fired because she dared to report a bite involving her employer’s dog.  The woman, Pamela Reid, a former executive assistant to Mills College President Janet Holmgren, says that in August 2009, she suffered a dog bite involving Holmgren's dog.  The attack took place during a campus fundraising event that was held at Holmgren's house.  Reid suffered minor injuries during the bite.

She reported the bite to Oakland Animal Services, claiming that the dog, a Chihuahua terrier called Holly, was a vicious animal.  Five months later, she was terminated from her position.  She has now moved ahead with a wrongful termination lawsuit, but Holmgren thinks that the lawsuit is without merit.  The lawsuit seeks damages for lost wages, benefits and fees.

Most dog bite claims that Los Angeles dog bite lawyers come across involve aggressive breeds like pit bulls and Rottweilers.  But there are other breeds that are just as likely to bite.  

The fact is that a Chihuahua is just as likely to bite as other breeds.  In fact, these dogs have a reputation for biting, most likely because of a hyperactive disposition.  A Chihuahua that bites is typically doing so because of a history of abuse, or because they feel threatened because everyone and everything around them is so much bigger than they are.  That doesn't mean that if your Chihuahua is in the habit of nipping at people's heels and biting them ferociously, you should just stand back and laugh about it.  These bites can result in injuries that require a visit to the doctor.


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