California State is very empathetic towards the victims of dog bites and California law holds owners strictly liable for injuries caused by their dogs. Under the concept of strict liability, the owner of a dog can be held responsible for injuries inflicted by their dog without evidence that the owner acted negligently. If you or a family member is the victim of a dog bite, you have certain rights under California law and may be entitled to compensation for medical bills and pain and suffering. Our Los Angeles Dog Bite Attorneys will work hard to ensure that you are justly compensated for your dog bite injury and the pain you have experienced.
Dog bites can cause serious injury, and we believe that victims deserve to be compensated for their injuries, lost wages and pain and suffering.
California Dog Bite Law
In many instances, it may be the first time the dog has bitten someone. Some states have a “One Bite” rule, which means that a dog owner may avoid responsibility for a dog bite if their dog has never bitten anyone before. However, under California’s strict liability approach to dog bite injuries, an owner is liable for a dog bite even if the dog had never shown vicious propensities in the past. In California, victims of dog bites are entitled to damages for their injuries if they are attacked by a dog on public property or while lawfully on private property. If you are the victim of a dog bite in Los Angeles, please contact our Los Angeles dog bite attorney to learn more about how we can help you recover for your injuries.
One exception to the application to strict liability for dog bite injuries in California may occur if the dog has been provoked by the injured party.
Figures show that most dog bite victims are children. Children are not as cautious in potentially dangerous situations as adults will be. They do not have the life experience that will tell them that a dog could bite them if they are playing with it. So if the child’s playful notions have led the dog to become aggressive the dog owner may attempt to use this as a defense against the strict liability.
Even if the owner of the dog uses this defense there are still ways to recover costs from the dog owner. Strict liability is not the only legal circumstance under which it is possible to obtain a payout. Negligence is another legal theory under which damages can be claimed for the dog bite. If due care is not taken then a person may have been negligent. A failure to exercise duty of care can be shown if the dog owner is proven to be aware that the dog is vicious or dangerous.
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Dangerousness and viciousness are defined differently in legal terms. A dog can be regarded as vicious if it can be shown that a dog has a past history of behaving aggressively or biting people. So, if child aggravates a dog by pulling its tail, and the child is bitten, it may not be possible to claim compensation on the grounds of provocation. But if it can be shown that the dog owner was aware of the dog’s vicious nature strict liability can be established even if it was provoked. In either case it is always wise to speak with a Los Angeles dog bite lawyer to be aware of your rights.
A dog can be regarded as dangerous even if it does not appear to be vicious. If a dog behaves in a certain manner people may still be out at risk. For example, a dog may run at bicycles and their riders, scaring them and this may cause an accident. Its important to remember that the strict liability only relates to dog bites and not other injuries caused by dogs, such as scaring and making people fall off their bikes. If a dog does cause somebody to fall off their bike by acting aggressively, but there is no history of this behavior, then it can be difficult to prove the dog owner liable. If the dog has a history of this behavior though, and this is shown in court, then liability can be established. However, a dog owner may be aware of the dog’s habit of chasing cyclists, but if they jump up playfully causing a pedestrian to fall, then it may be difficult to establish liability.
What to do if you are the victim of a dog bite…
- You should seek medical attention immediately.
- Obtain as much information about the dog and its owner as possible, including any insurance information
- Make note of the details of the attack and the names of possible witnesses
- Contact an experienced Los Angeles dog bite attorney as soon as possible
If you have been the victim of a dog bite injury, contact one of our Experience Los Angeles Dog Bite Attorneys to learn more about how we can help you recover for your injury. We offer Free Consultations and take cases on a Contingency Fee Basis. If you have been involved in an car accident please contact our legal team.