Overview of Dog Bites in California
For the most part, dogs are friendly and trusted animals that are largely associated with positive memories in most homes. Dogs still remain animals, however, and their actions are not always predictable.
When a dog acts aggressively and bites a person in California, the dog owner may be liable for the victim’s injuries. Unlike several other states which have a “One Bite Rule” that allows owners to escape liability when the dog had no prior history of attacks, California is a strict liability state.
All dog owners are responsible for the actions of their pets. If you or your loved one has sustained serious injuries because of a dog bite in California, you will want to contact the Los Angeles Injury Group. Call (310) 954-7248 right now to have our firm schedule a free consultation that will allow our Los Angeles personal injury attorney to provide a complete evaluation of your case.
Handling a Dog Bite Claim in California
Many victims of dog bites are fearful about pursuing injury claims because of the potential costs that would be inflicted on the dog owners, who are often the friends or family members of the victims. In truth, many dog bite claims are resolved through a dog owner’s homeowners insurance policy.
Following any dog attack, the victim should avoid speaking to the dog owner’s insurance company. Insurers will often present proposed settlements that are much less than what victims are entitled to.
Representatives for insurance companies will often seem very friendly and genuinely concerned about a victim’s well-being, but their true intent is usually to get victims to make damaging recorded statements. Insurers will frequently argue that victims somehow provoked dogs in these cases.
California Civil Code § 3342(a) states that a dog owner is liable for the damages suffered by a person bitten by the owner’s dog while in a public place or while lawfully in a private place. This is true regardless of the former viciousness or lack thereof of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness. Damages in dog bite cases may include medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.
Evidence can be critical in dog bite cases. Victims should be certain to get the contact information for all witnesses who saw dog attacks.
It is important to keep in mind that California state law allows for people to collect damages when they were attacked while lawfully on public or private property. Trespassing, however, can be raised as a defense in these cases and trespassers are unable to obtain compensation.
Dog Bite Lawyer in Los Angeles
Were you or your loved one the victim of a dog bite in Southern California? Contact the Los Angeles Injury Group as soon as possible.
Our experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer can help you obtain all of the compensation you are entitled to. Call (310) 954-7248 or contact us online to have our firm review your case and help you understand all of your legal options through a free consultation.