Dog Bite Laws in Alameda County

Dogs, considered one of our closest companions, are known to offer the household a decreased level of stress, increased exercise levels, and a feeling of levity of comfort. However, these loyal animals are still animals and will bite when they feel threatened or anxious. These bites can be incredibly damaging and can leave a victim with injuries that can last a lifetime. Reports show that approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur every year in the United States. Out of these 4.5 million dog bites, 1 out of 5 become infected. These infections can cause severe damages and may require extensive hospital treatment to recover fully. If you or a loved one ever experience a dog bite, it is important to understand what to do after receiving said bite, and what laws protect you from enduring further trauma. This article focuses on what to do after a dog bite and the laws that protect those from dog bites in Alameda County. For more information, contact one of our experienced lawyers at the top-rated law group Normandie Law Firm. An expert attorney who has experience in dog bite injury cases will give you more details about the laws.

Alameda County Dog Bite Laws
Alameda County, home to gorgeous bayside views, a rich maritime history, and deep eccentric and artistic culture that draws visitors from across the state of California and the rest of the world. Formed in 1853, the county has grown to a population of 1,510,271 including San Francisco, Oakland, and a majority of the east region of the Bay Area.

Those who visit Alameda County rarely think about what to do in the event of a dog bite, and what laws protect them from experiencing further trauma. Thankfully, Alameda County protects its residents and visitors through a variety of laws that hinder further bites and monitor the spread of possibly deadly infections.

If a dog bite occurs in Alameda County, you are required by law to report the incident immediately by contacting the closest Animal Control Service. For instance, if your dog bite occurred in Oakland it is recommended you contact the Oakland Animal Service, or if your dog bite incident occurred in San Francisco, you would contact the San Francisco Animal Care & Control center. Once the bite is reported, the pet is required to be placed on a quarantine of 10 days as to protect you, those close to you, and your pet from the possible threat of rabies. During this quarantine, the dog will be monitored for signs of rabies or any other infectious disease.

Authorities from the Alameda County city where the dog bite occurred, are required to coordinate with the Alameda County Vector Control as to ensure that the immediate concern regarding rabies is addressed. Alameda County Vector Control, and other county vector control services are put in place to monitor the effect of vectors that reside in the area. A vector, in this case, is defined as an animal or insect that does not cause disease but spreads infections by transmitting pathogens from one host to another. A vector can include things like fleas, ticks, rodents, and bats.

In Alameda County animals like skunks, bats, and raccoons are considered to be high-risk rabies carriers and can frequently be found throughout the county. So if you were bitten by a dog that had contact with any of these animals, or if you were bitten by any of these high-risk animals, both the victim and the animal that bit the victim will be monitored closely for any sign of rabies.

If you have been bitten by a dog, it is in your right to pursue legal action against the party responsible, or in this case, the dog owner. Under Alameda County Law, the owner of the dog can be held liable for the damages inflicted. However, when pursuing legal action, it is in your best interest to retain the assistance of a skilled attorney with expertise in dog bite injury lawsuits.

The Implications & What To Do
A vast majority of dog bites occur at home more than anywhere else, and it for many it is surprising to find out that they are likely to be caused by dogs that we are familiar with. Those who are at the highest risk of dog bites are children aged 5 to 9 years old and men. That is not to say that a dog bite cannot occur by other means though. It is in your best interest to always be aware of the best course of action in preventing the dog bite. For more detailed discussion, you can talk to a lawyer experienced in dog bite cases. Listed below are some tips that could help you avoid a dog bite:

  • When approached by an unfamiliar dog remain motionless
  • If a dog knocks you down curl into a ball with your head tucked and your hands over your ears and neck
  • Don’t approach unfamiliar dogs
  • When small children play with dogs, make sure they are under supervision.
  • If a dog looks as though they are going to attack, don’t run from the dog
  • Don’t panic or make loud noises when approached by an unfamiliar dog
  • Don’t disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating, or caring for its young.
  • Don’t pet a dog without allowing it to see you and sniff you first.
  • Don’t encourage your dog to play aggressively

Unfortunately, following these preventative measures do not guarantee that a dog will not bite you. Some dogs can still attack when not provoked, and as such, it is important to understand some things that you can do to treat the wound. These treatments can vary based on the severity of the injury, and are listed below as follows:

  • Minor Wounds: With minor dog bite wounds it is recommended that you wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water, apply an antibiotic cream, then cover the wound with a clean bandage. You should see a healthcare provider if the wound becomes: red, painful, warm, or swollen; if you develop a fever; or if the dog that bit you was acting strangely.
  • Deep Wounds: If you have suffered a deep wound it is recommended that you apply pressure with a clean, dry cloth to stop the bleeding. If the bleeding does not stop or slow, or you feel faint or weak, call 911 or any other local emergency medical service immediately. With deep wounds, it is highly recommended that you seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Dog bite wounds can be truly damaging, and when they are left untreated can result in life-threatening infections. Some common infections that a dog bite victim can contract are listed as follows:

  • Rabies: Rabies is the most dangerous diseases that people can contract through dog bites. While cases of rabies are rare, the rabies disease is incredibly lethal. Rabies is a virus that affects the brain and once symptoms show is almost always fatal. One of the most common ways to contract rabies is through the bite and saliva of an infected animal. Victims who have been exposed to an animal that could have rabies should immediately seek out medical treatment.
  • Capnocytophaga: This is a bacteria that lives in the mouths of humans, dogs, and cats. These bacteria don’t make dogs or cats sick, so it is not always easy to identify if your pet has it. The spread of Capnocytophaga to humans is rare, but they are typically spread through bites, scratches or close contact with a dog or cat. Most people who come into contact with dogs or cats do not become sick. However, people with a weakened immune system are at a greater risk of becoming sick.
  • Pasteurella: this is a type of bacteria seen in over 50% of infected dog bite wounds. The bacteria commonly cause a painful, red infection around the bite area, but it can cause more severe conditions in those with a weakened immune system.
  • MRSA: methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA is a type of staph infection that is resistant to some antibiotics. Dogs and other animals can carry MRSA without showing symptoms. However, the bacteria can cause skin, lung, and urinary tract infections in people. In some, MRSA can spread to the bloodstream or lungs and cause life-threatening infections.
  • Tetanus: Tetanus is a toxin produced by a bacterium called Clostridium tetani, and can cause rigid paralysis in people exposed to it through deep bite wounds.

This is just a handful of the infections that a victim could be left with after a dog bite. Fortunately, there are some laws in Alameda County that protect you from experiencing the complete severity of these injuries. These laws will vary from county to county, so it is recommended that you stay informed about the laws that influence your particular county in the event of a dog bite accident. An accomplished attorney with experience handling dog bite claims can give you more information.

How Normandie Law Firm Can Help
Dog bites can be both incredibly physically damaging, and emotionally traumatizing. If you or a loved one has experienced a dog bite as a result of the negligence or misconduct of an owner, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against them. At Normandie Law Firm, one of the top law groups in Southern California, our qualified attorneys with experience in dog bite injury cases can assist you in the often arduous process of building your case, filing your claim, and collecting compensation for your damages. While our attorneys are based out of Los Angeles, we also practice in Alameda County, San Jose, Oakland, San Francisco, Sacramento, Fresno, San Diego, Orange County, Stockton, Bakersfield, and throughout the entire state of California.

FREE CONSULTATION: As a show of this commitment to you and your case we offer our clients the benefits of a zero fee guarantee policy. Under our zero fee policy, all clients don’t pay for our services until their cases are won. If you feel in need of a second opinion, second opinion case reviews are also free under this policy. Call now for a free consultation by an experienced attorney, and we can guide you down the path of receiving proper compensation for your damages.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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