Legal Question in Personal Injury in California

dog bites son

our son got bit by a rottweiler while skateboarding down the street. the dog ran out of its yard thru an open gate,and bit my son in the back of his knee leaving two puncture wound scars. what is a reasonable settlement to ask for in a lawsuit?

Asked on 7/24/01, 1:51 am

4 Answers from Attorneys

Alex Scheingross Law Offices of Alex B. Scheingross

Re: dog bites son

Sorry I can't give you a number without additional information but the factors you should consider are:

How much are the medical bills

will there be future medical bills

was your son disabled from engaging in any of usual activities for any period of time

are there any permanent problems with his leg as a result of the bite

does he have scaring or nightmares

the more of these questions you answer yes, the higher the dollar amount of compensation

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Answered on 7/24/01, 8:42 pm
Patty Lewis Law Office of Patricia Ann Lewis

Re: dog bites son

Several inquiries need to be addressed:

1. What is your son's age . . . this answer may impact future damages . . . for instance scarring may be more important to a teen than an adult . . .

2. What is the nature and extent of medical care . . . was there any surgery . . .

3. What is the injury other than scarring . . . Is the injury considered permanent . . . such that your son will need future medical care . . .

4. What is the cost of the medical services to date and what will be the estimated cost of future medical expenses . . .

5. Will the injury impact the boy's activities such as sports . . .

These and other questions need to be reviewed by you, your son and an attorney . . . Remember also that there are definite statutes of limitations within which your son may make any claim for damages . . . In California generally, personal injury claims must be either settled or a formal complaint filed within a year from the incident . . . there are exceptions to this general rule, such as the age of the injured boy.

Also, if your son is of the age of minority and you have paid for medical care out of your pocket, you may be able to obtain a reimbursement of those expenses . . . or if there is medical insurance which has paid the bills, there may be a lien to be paid to the insurance company out of a recovery . . .

Please consult with counsel promptly to ensure that your son's rights are preserved. . . .

Feel free to call me direct should you desire a consultation . . . (619) 234-8199 . . .

Good luck to you and your son . . .

Patricia Ann (Patty) Lewis

[email protected]


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Answered on 7/25/01, 2:44 pm
C. David DuMond Law Offices of David DuMond

Re: dog bites son

Whatever the reasonable settlement value of your son's case may be, the insurance company is not going to pay it unless you have an attorney. A dog bite case is not governed by the usual provisions of insurance company math, which means multiplying your son's medical expenses by a low whole integer. I strongly urge you to review this matter with an attorney. Call your local county bar association referral service for an appointment. An attorney would want to know all the particulars of the incident, the extent to which your son provoked the incident, whether the bad dog was routinely unguarded, the seriousness of the injury, whether there are permanent injuries to tendons or other tissues. If you fail to provide professional representation for your son, you will probably cost him several thousands of dollars for his future.

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Answered on 7/24/01, 12:51 pm
John Bisnar Bisnar & Chase, LLP

Re: dog bites son

There is a difference between asking for a reasonable settlement and getting a reasonable settlement. If you start out from a position of strength and make a "strong demand", your son has an opportunity to receive fair compensation and growth of the money tax free. And then have it paid out over time rather than a lump sum when he is eighteen.

If you start out "asking" for a settlement from a postion other than strenght, you son will be short changed, will not get much growth on the money, will pay taxes on the growth and will have it all handed to him on his 18th birthday. Which is usually spent other than wisely within a short period of time, we call it a "Ferrari Fund".

No matter how you handle it, you will have to appear in front of a judge in Superior Court for the Court to approve the settlement.

Do the right thing by your son. Get a law firm that is expert in dog bites on your side. See

We are interested in representing you and your son in this matter. Call for a no cost consultation and evaluation. There are more factors to consider than you have supplied.

Do get a pro, even if it isn't us. Hire a personal injury firm very experienced in dog attacks.

John Bisnar, Senior Partner, Bisnar & Chase, Personal Injury Attorneys & Counselors at Law, 800-956-0123,

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Answered on 7/24/01, 1:20 pm

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