California’s ideal climate and beautiful nature make it ideal for walking with nature and your dog. However, it’s also a place where dog bites are common. If you or your loved one suffers a dog bite injury in California, you might be wondering who to blame. Talking to a knowledgeable California dog bite injury attorney can help you better understand your rights so you can protect them.
California Strict Liability and Dog Bite Law
Certain states have a one-bite rule. The owner is not held liable for a dog bite except the animal is known to bite before. But in California, the state imposes strict liability for dog bite injury claims. It means that the dog owner is responsible for the damages done by his pet biting another person, regardless of whether it’s the first time.
California Law, Section 3342 states that the dog owner is accountable for the damages his dog caused the victim. The dog bite can happen in a public or private location, including the dog owner’s place or premises.
The pet owner is responsible for such damages even if the canine didn’t show aggressiveness or ferociousness before. It concerns victims who are legally on the dog owner’s property, including those who conduct business, such as postal workers.
It’s also worth noting that a victim can’t bring a claim against any government agency. Those canines are usually trained for police or military operation. The dog owner won’t be held liable when a dog bites another person while defending itself from a provocation, annoyance, or harassment.
The law doesn’t apply If the person’s injury is only due to the dog’s jumping or scratching, but no bite occurred. However, they have a legal right to file a negligence claim against the pet owner.
Additionally, the state has laws making dog owners more responsible for their pet’s actions if previous attacks or bites have already happened. Under Section 3342.5, the dog owner who has previously bitten a person should take reasonable care to turn aside future bites from happening.
The district attorney will analyze the situation when the animal bit a person in two separate incidents. He would review the situation if the dog owner appropriated relevant measures to keep the animal away from people and keep a dangerous situation from happening.
Based on the facts involved, the district attorney may take reasonable action to prevent such situations in the future. It may include taking the dog away from home or euthanizing it in extreme cases.
Negligence Claim in Dog Bite Lawsuits
When a dog causes injury to a victim without biting him, he can file a negligence claim. The victim is responsible for proving the dog owner’s unreasonable care. Additionally, the victim needs to show that the owner’s lack of care resulted in injury. A dog bite attorney can help you prove it.
For instance, the dog jumped on a person and scratched him. Another example is the animal knocked over an older person, causing him to fall, resulting in a head injury or fractured bones. In such cases, the victim must establish that the owner didn’t properly contain the animal with a leash or fenced-in area. This lack of control caused the injuries.
Dog Bite Liability Defenses
A dog owner won’t just let himself or his pet take all the blame. He will hire an attorney to challenge the victim’s claim. You must hire a California dog bite injury lawyer to also defend yourself and prove the dog owner’s negligence. These challenges include:
No evidence of ownership. A dog on a person’s property doesn’t mean that the animal belongs to the property owner. There are instances when stray dogs go to other people’s premises. The person who controls the dog is considered its owner.
The victim trespasses. The defendant or dog owner may say that the victim trespassed and that’s why the animal bit him. It means that the victim was not a guest or wasn’t invited to come over.
The victim provoked or harassed the animal. The dog owner isn’t responsible for the victim’s dog bite injuries if the victim did something to annoy or anger the animal. It includes poking it, imitating its bark, or throwing objects at it, such as stones.
The dog didn’t bite the victim. Remember that dog bite laws only apply if the dog bit the victim. Even if the bite didn’t puncture the skin, it still must be an actual bite. No dog bite law is applicable when a person suffers injury from scratches, but no bite occurs.
Dog Bite Injury? Contact Big Ben Lawyers for Help
Not at all times that a dog is a man’s best friend, especially when provoked. If you or a loved one suffer dog bite injuries, contact Big Ben Lawyers to help protect your legal rights. Our dog bite lawyers will focus on your case and ensure to gather all pieces of evidence to establish a strong case against the negligent dog owner. You can rely on our hard work and history of excellent track record that we are the right law firm and people to handle your case.
You may reach us at 818-423-4878. Call now, and let’s talk about your case at no obligation. By the way, we work on a contingent fee basis.