Dog Bite Laws in Santa Barbara County

Dogs, while considered man’s best friends, can still attack and even bite when they feel either threatened or anxious. A study found that 4.5 million dog bites occur every year in the United States and that 1 out of 5 of these dog bites become severely infected. The infections that a person can contract from a dog bite can leave victims with conditions that not even professional medical treatment can cure. For this reason, the dog bite laws in Santa Barbara County and the greater state of California are put in place as a form of protection from the extensive damages that dog bites can cause. Contact an expert attorney who has experience in dog bite cases at the top-rated Normandie Law Firm for more assistance.

Santa Barbara County
Founded in 1850, and nestled along the southern coasts of California, Santa Barbara County boasts a luxurious lifestyle for those who live and visit here. From the scenic Downtown Santa Babara to the west, to the sprawling wine country in the east, Santa Barbara County attracts visitors from all across the world. Whether you are looking for a relaxing day at the beach at Shoreline Park or are looking to visit the wildlife at Santa Barbara Zoo, this coastal county has a lot to offer. With a population of roughly 446,170 however, an added effort is made by the county to protect its residents and visitors from the dangers and damages of dog bites.

Dog Bite Ordinances in Santa Barbara County
In Santa Barbara County when someone is bitten by a dog or other animal, the parties involved are required to report the incident immediately. They must then isolate the animal that bit someone on the property of the owner of that animal. The owner can also surrender the biting animal to the county for isolation and impoundment for a period that is determined by the county. The dog owner also has the option of sending the dog or animal to a veterinarian so that the health and condition of the dog can be assessed. If it is determined that the dog is not infected by rabies or any other dangerous infectious disease, the dog can be released to the owner for a small fee or penalty.

Santa Barbara dog bite laws also designate that all dogs over four months old are licensed accordingly. This is done to not only return a dog to its owner if it is lost but also to ensure that the dog is up to date on all of its vaccinations.

Animal attack law in Santa Barabra county also designates that if a dog attacks someone, it can be considered a dangerous dog. The owners of dangerous dogs are required by County Law to follow strict safety guidelines that are determined by the county courts. If a dog owner fails to adhere to these guidelines, said owner could face civil or criminal liability.

These dog bite laws help to ensure that residents and visitors of Santa Barbara County are fully protected from the damages that could be inflicted upon them. However, it is incredibly important to understand the measures that prevent dog bites, the damages that a person could suffer, and the infections that a dog bite can contract to a person. A skilled lawyer with experience handling dog bite claims can assist you.

Dog Bites: What to Do & The Damages
When facing a dog that looks as though it may bite, it is important to adhere to some of the following preventative measures:

  • Don’t pet a dog without allowing it to smell you first
  • If a dog looks as though they may attack, don’t run from the dog
  • Don’t panic or make loud noises when approached by an unfamiliar dog.
  • Don’t approach strange dogs
  • When small children play with dogs, make sure that they are under supervision.
  • Don’t encourage your dog to play aggressively
  • Don’t disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating, or caring for its young

It is important to note that following these procedures will guarantee the avoidance of a dog bite. Some dogs will still attack when unprovoked. According to some studies, children between ages 5 and 9 and men are at the highest risk of suffering a dog bite. However, don’t let these statistics guide you into a false sense of security. A dog bite can occur to anyone at anytime. This is why it is important to understand the best course of treatment for a dog bite wound. These treatments vary based on their severity and are listed 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.

While there is an immediate danger in dog bite wounds, these injuries can also cause infections when left untreated. Some of these infections include:

  • 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.

Based on the previously mentioned infections it is easy to see why dog bites should be taken so seriously. This is why the laws in Santa Barbara County and California State are put in place to help stave off some of these damages. Fortunately, if you or a loved one suffer a dog bite wound, state and county law dictate that you have every right to file a dog bite lawsuit against the dog owner. A dog bite lawsuit can help you recover some of the damages that you may have suffered. However, it is in your best interest to seek the assistance of an experienced attorney to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

How Normandie Law Firm Can Help
Clients who file a claim with our law firm could find some if not all of the following damages compensable to them:

  • Medical Expenses
  • Loss of Income
  • Potential Loss of Future Wages
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Emotional Distress (anxiety, depression, PTSD, etc…)

Victims of a dog bites contact our Los Angeles law offices to learn more about how to receive compensation for their injuries. At Normandie Law Firm, our accomplished attorneys with experience in dog bite cases can assist you in understanding dog bite ordinances in Santa Barbara County and fighting and win your dog bite lawsuit. While we are based in Los Angeles, our experienced lawyers also practice in San Diego, Orange County, Riverside, Bakersfield, San Francisco, Fresno, Sacramento and throughout the state of California.

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Other attorneys will sign you up to their firm but will disappear once your name is on the paper as they are busy signing up more cases. In these instances, their business is based more on volume and will attempt to sign up as many cases as possible. In turn, they will spend less time on cases resulting in severely reduced settlements. Our firm will not treat you like a number. We will be in communication with you throughout our lawsuit and will treat you like family. So if you already have an attorney, don’t worry, we’ll give you a second review of your case 100% free of charge. Call us today to consult with a qualified lawyer experienced in dog bite cases.

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If you contact our law offices today, we can walk you through the complicated process of filing your claim completely free of charge. As a show 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 case is won. If you feel in need of a second opinion, second opinion case reviews are also free under this policy. Please, feel free to give us a call, and we can guide you down the path of receiving proper compensation for your damages. A top attorney with expertise in dog bite injury lawsuits will be available to talk with you.

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