The number of people who fall victim to dog bites reaches 5 million annually. Most of the dog bites inflicted on the victims are severe enough to need medical assistance. At worst, the dog bites can permanently disable the victim or inflict disfiguring scars.
California law entitled victims of dog bites to claim damages from the dog's owner and the dog owner's insurance company. The
Therefore, if you have become a dog bite victim, as an injured victim you can contact our experienced lawyer handling dog bite cases for a free consultation and receive the advice that you need in order to decide on making your dog bite claim.
What do the laws in California say about Dog Bites?
The law in California is strict against owners of dogs that happen to bite and injure other people. Unlike in other states where the dog owners are excused if they did not know that their dogs were hostile. The victims in those other states are required to show that the owners of the dogs which bit them did know that their dogs were hostile.
The laws in California on the other hand make the dog owners liable for the dog bite injuries sustained by victims regardless of whether or not they know that their dogs were hostile.
Are there some instances when dog owners are not Strictly liable for dog bite laws in California?
The law does not always penalize dog owners for dog bites inflicted on victims despite the strict liability mentioned above. There are some instances when the owners of dogs are excused from liability. These exceptions include:
- Where innocent bystanders are victims of dog bites where the dogs are owned by law enforcement, then the innocent bystanders can claim compensation from the responsible law enforcement agency which is faced with strict liability. However, if suspects fall victim to dog bites from dogs owned by law enforcement, then the only way the suspects can sue is by claiming negligence.
- A Dog-sitter who is dog-sitting an aggressive dog but who does not know that the dog is hostile cannot only be sued for negligence but not found strictly liable (under strict liability law) for the dog bite injuries
- The same applies to veterinarians given that the nature of their jobs exposes them to dog bites which they voluntarily assume the risk of being bitten by dogs given the nature of their occupation.
- If the victim did happen to annoy, harass or provoke the dog prior to being bitten, then the dog owner can’t be held entirely liable for the dog bite injuries sustained by the victim given that the victim is partially to blame.
What will happen to the dog that bit someone?
The law in California requires that animals that bite people be quarantined for 10 continuous days.
During the quarantine period, the county is required to test the dog for rabies.
The place where the dog spends the 10 days quarantine period can vary depending on the particular circumstances of the dog attack. The dangerous dog can therefore spend the quarantine period with the owner or in a center for animal control in the county where the dog bite incident happened.
Once the dog is cleared that it does not have rabies/any other diseases, it can be returned to the owner,
Is it always necessary to euthanize the dog that bit someone?
It is not always necessary that dogs that end up biting someone be euthanized unless the victim lodges an action seeking to have the dog euthanized. In order to bring action to have a dog that bit someone euthanized, the following conditions need to be met:
- The victim needs to show that it is not the first time that the dog has bitten someone
- The dog itself has been trained to bite people and has indeed bitten someone in one instance
The victim is not the only person who is entitled to bring an action to have the dog euthanized. Anybody who is troubled with the behavior of the dog can bring the action. Therefore, any neighbor or an official of the government can bring the action.
There are some exceptions to these actions. One of the exceptions is where the dog did bite a person who was trespassing on the owner’s property. The other exception is when a police or military dog bites someone while performing its duty.
Can I sue on behalf of my dog who was bitten by another dog?
Claims against another person for dog bites against your dog by another are rare. Nevertheless, such claims can’t be made under California’s dog bite laws but as damage to property. The only way to recover compensation from the owner of the god which attacked you is to lodge a property damage lawsuit. This is because a dog is deemed as property in California.
The only compensation that the dog owner can claim is for the expenses incurred in treating the dog.
Our Big Ben Dog Bite Lawyers have decades of experience handling dog bite claims and understand the laws that regulate this particular area of law. If you or your loved one has been a victim of a dog bite, you can contact a dog bite lawyer at Big Ben Lawyers today for a free consultation.
Common dod bite injuries
Dogs can inflict severe injuries depending on the breed (there are dangerous dog breeds such as pit bulls), aggressiveness, number of attacking dogs, and whether you managed to get away in time or if someone else intervened.
Dogs, being flesh-eaters as they are, have sharp teeth which are powerful enough to bite off the flesh, inflict skin tears and crush muscles. The following are some of the dog bite injuries:
- Fracture to the bones
- Tearing of the ligaments
- Deep cuts from dog teeth
- Wounds in the form of punctures in the flesh
- Injuries leading to amputation of limbs
- Scars that leave the victim disfigured
- Secondary infections
What about the injuries not directly caused by the dog attack?
While in the process of trying to flee from the aggressive attacking dog, the dog bite victims might also suffer other injuries while climbing and falling over the wall, trees, hedges any other place that the victim tries to flee to safety. The law allows the victim to claim for these injuries against the dog owner in addition to the injuries inflicted by the do. Even though the dog never bit the victim but the victim still got injured while trying to flee from the hostile dog, the dog bite victims can still recover compensation for these indirect injuries.
What kind of Damages can be recovered for Dog Bites
The dog bite victims of dog bites can seek to claim compensation for monetary compensation (economic compensation) as well as for pain and suffering (non-economic compensation).
It is possible to calculate economic damages based on the losses and expenses that the dog bite victims spend due to injuries sustained during the dog bite.
- Lost income
- Loss of the capacity to earn wages in the future
- Fees spent on the doctor
- Hospital bills
- Medical bills
- Costs incurred on rehab facilities
- Costs incurred on therapy (either both physical and mental)
- Costs of prosthetics and other devices installed to aid the dog bite victims
- Costs for long-term care
Noneconomic damages are those damages which are hard to put a dollar amount including those that affect the victim’s enjoyment of life such as:
- Damages for pain and suffering as a result of the dog attack
- Distress suffered emotionally
- The stress that follows being physically disfigured
- Inability to enjoy life
- Loss of capacity to do the daily routine tasks
Contact us today 24/7 for a free consultation with a dog bite lawyer. An experienced dog bite lawyer can assist you with your dog bite case against the dog owner for the dog bite injury that you sustained. We at Big Ben Lawyers are ready to handle your dog bite claim as we are well conversant with dog bite law.
A dog bite lawyer can help you with any dog bite case and dog bite lawsuit filed against the dog's owner whenever you have been bitten by a dog. Dog bites can cause serious injuries and you may have to seek medical attention. We can get you the compensation for the emotional trauma suffered by the vicious dog attacks. Our dog bite lawyers can help you explore all the legal options available after having to seek medical attention and incurring medical expenses after having been bitten by a dog.
We specialize in dog bite injury claims as dog bite attorneys. Our law firm can help you take advantage of the strict liability placed on the dog's owner for any dog bite given that the one-bite rule does not apply in California. We can help any victim with a dog bite injury in any god bite case whether they have suffered serious injuries or minor injuries as a result of dog attacks.
We are also personal injury attorneys who have handled several personal injury cases on behalf of family members whose loved ones succumbed to animal attacks. We handle insurance negotiations with the insurance company regardless of whether or not they are big insurance companies. We have experience in having to prove negligence on the part of the dog's owner. A dog bite can be traumatic and all dog bite cases deserve a dog bite attorney who understands dog bite injuries and is willing to conduct a free case evaluation and all the subsequent processes until a fair settlement is obtained in favor of the dog bite victim.