Understanding California Dog Bite Law
According to an April 6, 2017 Insurance Information Institute (III) press release, dog bites and dog-relate injury claims accounted for almost a third of the total homeowners liability claim dollars paid out in 2016. California had both the highest number of claims of any state in the nation as well as the highest amount of total claims paid out.
The immediate aftermath of a dog attack in California can be extremely confusing and stressful for a victim. In many cases, people are reluctant to do anything that might cause potential difficulty for a dog owner—who may be a friend or family member—or possibly have concerns about the ultimate welfare of the animal itself if a report is filed.
Dogs who bite people are rarely euthanized in California, as most animals are simply quarantined to ensure that they do not have rabies. Victims can be entitled to compensation for various damages that have resulted from a dog attack.
California Dog Bite Laws
California Civil Code ｧ 3342(a) establishes that the owner of any dog is liable for damages suffered by a person bitten by such dog in a public place or lawfully in a private place. This form of strict liability for dog owners is far different from the “one bite rule” in many other states that allows dog owners to avoid liability when they claim to have never seen their canines previously exhibit such behavior.
It is important to understand that this is just the state law relating to dog bites. Many municipalities in the state have enacted their own measures that may allow for additional liable parties or injuries. For example, state law applies only to dog owners, but an experienced attorney may be able to identify other local laws that can be used to hold other parties such as dog handlers liable for failure to properly control dogs they were responsible for.
Possible Damages for California Dog Attacks
Only certain people are generally unable to pursue compensation for dog bites in California. Trespassers, for example, cannot sure property owners for dog attacks.
State law also does not apply to dogs used in police or military work. In some cases, victims may be accused of having provoked animals and owners may attempt to exercise self-defense calims.
In many cases, dog bite victims can be entitled to such compensation as:
- Medical bills;
- Lost wages;
- Property damage;
- Disfigurement; and
- Pain and suffering.
Find a Dog Bite Attorney in Los Angeles
Did you or a loved one suffer serious injuries as the result of a dog attack in Southern California? You should avoid speaking to any insurance company until you have first contacted the Los Angeles Injury Group.
Our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers have experience handling these types of claims and helping victims obtain all of the compensation that they are entitled to. Call (310) 954-7248 or contact us online to have our firm provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free, no obligation consultation.