Dog Bites & Dog Attacks

Dog Bites & Dog Attacks

You know the saying: there's no such thing as a bad dog, just a bad owner.

And sadly, the same usually holds true when a person becomes victim to a dog bite or dog attack. On Maui it is all too common to see dogs running freely on the beach or parks as their owners sit idly by. People are usually attacked at their favorite walking spots, often ruining their experience there forever.
If you've been attacked by a dog, you’ll most likely have suffered puncture wounds, lacerations, and potentially scarring from the unleashed or out of control dog. Thankfully, the law holds the owner accountable.

"If you live among dogs, keep a stick. After all, this is what a hound has teeth for-to bite when he feels like it!"
Nikita Khrushchev

Before, During, and After Attack: The Process

Get Away and Call for Help

If an unknown dog approaches you, the best way to deal with the situation is to remain calm. Avoid any sudden moves and avoid making any loud noises. If a dog, however, does attack and you become a victim of a dog bite attack on Maui, make sure to seek medical attention as soon as you can. Find a safe place and wash your wound with clean water and soap. Cover the dog bite would with a clean bandage, if possible. Call the police or 911. The Maui Humane Society and Police will document the scene, collect witness statements, gather insurance information of all parties, and make a preliminary determination of who is the owner of the animal.

Document the Scene

Though the police do their best, sometimes they don't get all the critical information. If it's safe and you're able, try to take pictures of the scene, including: witnesses; the dog; anyone that may be the owner; and anything else that you think could be important. There can never be enough information to look over. Something small now may be critical later on.

Get Medical Treatment

Seek medical help immediately, whether you have a minor or a deep bite wound, to avoid the risk of being infected by rabies, Pasteurella or other diseases. If you've called the police of 911, chances are an ambulance with medics will arrive. Many times adrenaline will cause you to overlook injuries. Let medics examine you. Don't be afraid to take an ambulance to the hospital if recommended.

Determine Whether There's Coverage

Once you've been medically stabilized and recovering, it is time to determine whether the owner of the dog has insurance coverage to cover your losses as a result of the attack and your injuries. Homeowner's and renter's insurance coverage is the usual source of coverage for dog attacks in Hawaii. If you or the police identified the owner of the dog, it will most likely be up to you to try and begin the insurance claim process with their applicable insurance provider.

Keep Up With Treatment

After the initial trauma and shock wears off from the injuries, it will be time to start comprehensive treatment. Given the nature of dog bites and attacks, plastic surgery may be required immediately or down the road. Whatever it may be, it is important to listen to your doctors and keep up with their treatment plan not only for your well-being, but to preserve your rights related to your case.

Settle Your Case

When the time is right, and assuming you've met the procedural hurdles, your case will be ready to settle with the owner of the dog's insurance company. The time to settle will vary, but will usually occur after your injuries have resolved or there is a reasonable determination of when they will resolve. Settling prematurely will only lead to not being made whole.

What We Do

We take the guess work out of the process. Locally based with deep roots in the community, our Maui lawyers will help you with identify applicable insurance, handle all relevant insurance claims, reduce or eliminate the unpleasant amount of paperwork, and assist you with your treatment plans.

"To me, a lawyer is basically the person that knows the rules of the country. We're all throwing the dice, playing the game, moving our pieces around the board, but if there is a problem the lawyer is the only person who has read the inside of the top of the box."

Jerry Seinfeld

With years of experience representing injured clients, we offer a guiding hand to stabilize your life immediately after you're hurt. When ready, we proceed with litigating the case either pre-suit or with a lawsuit if necessary.

Your case is unique, with its own nuances and details. We try to learn all those details so that we can step into your shoes to try and understand how the crash and injuries affected your life to best fight on your behalf with strength and compassion.

If you someone close to you has suffered a dog bite attack on Maui, contact our legal team to discuss dog bite injuries and legal advice as soon as possible.


Dog Bites: The Statistics



Dog attacks on Maui can be a common occurrence. Tragically, the most frequent victims of dog attacks are children.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 4.7 million dog bites occur in the United States each year, and 800,000 of those bites result in medical care. Nearly 1 out of 5 bites becomes infected.

Among the most dangerous dog breeds, there are Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Alaskan Malamutes, Dobermanns, Great Danes and even Chows or Saint Bernard. However, small dogs can represent a danger as well. Although owners of small dogs often ignore the aggressive behavior of their pet because their size, small dogs bite attacks can be just as harmful as larger dog bites.

The results of a dog attack can be lifelong trauma and scarring. In addition, these attacks can take a huge financial toll: the average cost of a dog bite-related hospital stay is about 50% higher than the average injury-related hospital stay. It's no surprise that Homeowners insurers paid out $675 million in liability claims related to dog bites and other dog-related injuries in 2018.

How to Stay Safe


Don't be afraid to speak up. Children are typically more at risk of being attacked by an out of control dog. If you're with your children at Baby Beach or Kam I and see a dog running wild, tell the owner to take control.

Many times, approaching the owner is clearly not going to help. If that's the case, the best way to prevent you or your child from being bitten is to avoid the area or stay close to your kids as they play.

If you think it's necessary, you may also call local authorities such as the Maui Police Department or Maui Humane Society.

Other dog bite attack prevention measures include asking for permission before petting someone else’s dog. Ask if it’s OK to approach it and if there’s a possibility the dog might be aggressive. That said, dog bite attacks on Maui can be best prevented by avoiding to approach any unfamiliar dogs.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a dog bite and don’t know what to do, contact our office as soon as you can. Our team of experienced attorneys will guide you through the necessary steps and provide you with the legal advice you need.

The Attorney-Client Relationship

Just like finding a good doctor, you need a lawyer that makes you feel comfortable and confident.

We are a family firm. We treat our clients the same.

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