dog bit me

Dog bites are more common than one might think, and they often occur in the most unexpected of places — like your neighbor’s backyard or even your own home. It’s an experience that can be jarring, particularly if the dog belongs to someone you know.


In the city of Bakersfield, Kern County, dealing with a dog bite involves taking a few crucial immediate steps and being aware of the legal and medical protocols in place.



Bitten by a Friend’s Dog:
Immediate Actions After a Dog Bite

I was bitten by a friend’s dog; what are my next steps? Your first concern should always be your immediate health and safety. After the incident, it’s important to do the following:

  • Wash the wound with soap and warm water: Thoroughly clean the bite area to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Apply antibacterial ointment and cover with a clean bandage: Protect the wound and keep it clean while you seek medical attention.
  • Seek professional medical attention: No matter how minor the bite may seem, consult a medical professional. Dog bites, even seemingly small ones, can lead to complications.
  • Check your tetanus shot status: Dog bites, especially deeper ones, may require a tetanus shot if it’s been more than five years since your last one.

Following these steps shows you took immediate action to care for the wound, a key point if you decide to file a dog bite injury claim later on.

Legal Considerations for Dog Bites in Bakersfield

My friend’s dog bit me, what are my options for medical care and compensation?

The legal aspect of a dog bite can be complex, especially if it’s a friend or neighbor’s dog. In Bakersfield, Kern County Animal Services has a specific form for reporting bites, which can help in documenting the incident formally. By reporting the bite, essential records are created that could support a claim.


It may also be appropriate to contact a Bakersfield personal injury attorney, as they can provide guidance on how to navigate local laws. California dog bite laws can be particularly strict, and a skilled dog bite injury attorney can help you understand your rights and what you may be entitled to for your damages.


According to Bakersfield dog bite laws, even if the dog did not have a previous history of aggression, the owner can still be held liable for any damages caused by their dog biting someone. This is known as “strict liability,” and it means that the owner is responsible for their dog’s actions regardless of whether they were aware of any previous violent behavior. Even if you provoked the dog, the owner can still be held accountable for your injuries.


In addition to strict liability, Bakersfield also follows the “one bite rule,” where the owner may be held liable if their dog has previously bitten or tried to attack someone. This means that if you are the first person to be attacked by a particular dog, it may be more difficult to prove negligence on the part of the dog’s owner.

Steps to File a Dog Bite Personal Injury Claim
in Bakersfield

steps to file a dog bite personal injury claim

If you decide to file an injury claim after a dog bite in Bakersfield, it is advisable to follow these steps:

1. Document Everything

Take photographs of your injuries, the location where the incident occurred, and, if possible, the dog that caused the injury. Collect names and contact information of any witnesses.

2. Report the Incident

File a dog bite report with Kern County Animal Services. This creates an official record of the event and may help with rabies tracking if necessary.

3. Keep All Medical Records

Gather detailed records of all treatments received as a result of the bite, including doctor visits, prescriptions, and any other related medical bills and expenses.

4. Contact a Dog Bite Attorney

Consult with a local personal injury attorney who specializes in dog bite cases. They can help you understand your legal options and what compensation you could potentially recover.

5. Avoid Communicating with the Dog Owner’s Insurance Company

Don’t discuss the incident with insurance companies before speaking with your attorney. They may try to offer a settlement that is less than what you might be entitled to.

The Bakersfield legal system can provide remedies for victims of dog bites, but the process can be lengthy and complicated. Getting the support of a professional can make it more manageable and can help ensure that your rights are fully protected.

Claims vs. Lawsuits in Dog Bite Cases

claims vs lawsuits in dog bite cases

When addressing dog bites in Bakersfield, it’s important to understand the distinction between filing a claim and filing a lawsuit. A claim is often the initial step, which involves directly negotiating with the dog owner’s insurance company for compensation. This process is generally quicker and less formal than a lawsuit, and it can be resolved without stepping into a courtroom.


A lawsuit, on the other hand, is a formal legal case filed in a civil court. An injured party may escalate to a lawsuit if the claim process breaks down — for example, if the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, or if the dog owner is uninsured. Lawsuits are typically more time-consuming and expensive, requiring legal representation, court appearances, and adherence to complex legal procedures.


Before progressing to a lawsuit, it’s advisable to exhaust all options within the claim process with the help of an experienced Bakersfield dog bite attorney. They can provide a realistic assessment of your case and forecast the likelihood of a successful lawsuit, should it come to that. However, if your claim stalls or if the compensation offered does not cover your expenses and damages, filing a lawsuit may become necessary to seek adequate restitution for your injuries.

A Dog Bit Me. Do I Sue My Friend, the Dog Owner?

I was bitten by a friend’s dog, what do I do now?

Deciding whether to sue after a friend’s dog attacks you can be emotionally fraught. It’s important to remember that dog bite injury claims are generally filed against the friend’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy of the dog owner, not against the individuals personally. This distinction often makes it possible to seek compensation for injuries while preserving personal relationships.

Before initiating a suit, have a frank discussion with your friend about the incident and the impact of the injuries on your life. Transparent communication can sometimes lead to an amicable solution without litigation. If the situation cannot be resolved through direct communication, consulting with a dog bite attorney can provide clarity on how to proceed with sensitivity and respect for all parties involved.

Suing your friend may seem like a drastic step, but it is important to prioritize your own well-being and seek justice for the harm caused.

Recover in a Dog Bite: Emotional and
Psychological Support

A dog bite can be a traumatic experience, both physically and emotionally. Seeking support is important for dog bite victims’ overall well-being. There are various ways to seek help, including therapy or support groups tailored to individuals who have experienced traumatic events such as being a victim of a dog bite.


The emotional and mental toll of a dog attack can factor into pain and suffering damages in a lawsuit and can have long-lasting effects on your quality of life. Don’t be afraid to reach out and get the necessary support to heal from this experience. In addition, seeking emotional support can also help you cope with any legal proceedings or negotiations that may arise from the incident.

Injured by Someone’s Dog in Bakersfield?
Get Help From an Experienced Dog Bite Attorney.

The aftermath of being attacked by a dog is complex and stressful, and the steps you take immediately are critical. By addressing the wound promptly and considering the legal and medical factors specific to Bakersfield, dog bite victims can ensure that their well-being is taken care of. Seeking support for any emotional trauma and educating yourself on dog behavior and animal control can help prevent future incidents.


If you find yourself in this situation, remember that your health and safety come first. In extreme cases where the bite is severe, seek immediate attention from the nearest ER.


Don’t hesitate to consult an experienced Bakersfield dog bite lawyer familiar with local laws governing personal injury cases. RTM Law Firm has a team of experienced injury lawyers, case managers, and medical specialists who can help you recover from your injuries and obtain financial compensation from those responsible for the incident.


Call our personal injury lawyers in Bakersfield at (661) 402-3200.




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