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When does a dog bite constitute a lawsuit?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that every year, more than 4.5 million people suffer a dog bite. In many cases, the injury is minor and requires little more than cleaning and a bandage. However, the CDC notes that nearly 900,000 of those people will require some kind of medical attention for the injuries, and roughly half of those people are children.

If you have suffered a dog attack, you might consider filing a lawsuit. Keep in mind that in order to successfully file a claim, you will have to prove that there was negligence involved and that the bite or attack caused quantifiable injury.

The first factor – negligence – means that the dog owner must have done something wrong in order to lead to the attack. That could include improperly leashing the animal or failing to secure a dog labeled as “dangerous.”

When it comes to quantifiable injuries, you will need to consider the severity and extent. If you incur medical expenses due to surgery, prescription medication or other treatment, you likely have a strong enough case to file a lawsuit. Damages from these types of claims may include:

  • Paying for medical expenses
  • Compensation for time missed from work
  • Emotional trauma resulting from the attack

An attorney is best suited to help you determine if you have a case. According to the California courts, you have two years from the date of the dog attack to file the claim. While this information may be useful, it should not be taken as legal advice.

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