Help in Recovery under California Dog Bite Law
Dogs may be “man’s best friend,” but many dogs – especially ones improperly cared for or mis-trained by their owners – present an unreasonable risk of injury and death. Young children in particularly are prone to suffering severe injuries in animal attacks involving intense pain and requiring expensive and often prolonged medical care and surgeries. Hundreds of thousands of Americans end up in the emergency room each year with dog bite injuries, with a portion of those suffering physical and emotional damages that may last for years to come. California law provides you with an avenue to recover for the full range of damages you have suffered as a result of a dog bite injury, and you should not hesitate to speak with a lawyer concerning your dog bite claim.
When Can I Bring a Dog Bite Claim in California?
California state law says that an owner of a dog can be held responsible for the harm resulting from a dog bite, no matter how carefully they guard or restrain the dog, or otherwise take steps to prevent such bites. This means that dog bites are a strict liability claim, and, as such, no fault must be shown on the part of the defendant as in a typical negligence claim. Instead, a dog bite victim must show the following:
- the defendant owned the dog;
- the victim was bit by the dog while in a public place or lawfully on private property (meaning the victim was not a trespasser); and
- the victim suffered injuries as a result of the dog bite.
Dog bite laws vary state-by-state, and you may have heard the concept that dogs are given “one free bite,” meaning a dog owner will only be liable if the dog had bitten someone before or if the owner knew the dog had the propensity to bite. This is not the law in California – any owner of a dog that bites a victim, even if for the first time, can be liable under California’s laws. It is not necessary for the bite to have broken the skin for a victim to recover.
A defendant will likely argue that a victim either was negligent in engaging the dog or assumed the risk of the dog bite in an attempt to deny or lessen liability, and your attorney will work with you to counteract such arguments.
What Damages May I Pursue in a Dog Bite Claim?
When bitten by a dog, an injured victim can pursue a full range of injuries suffered as a result, including:
- Costs of medical care, including future care
- Pain and suffering (including emotional trauma)
- Lost income and reduced income potential
- Loss of consortium
- Property damage (e.g. damaged clothing)
Work with the Law Office of Tal Rubin, PC to Bring Your Southern California Dog Bite Claim
Issues in a dog bite case, including any fault of the dog bite victim and the nature and extent of the injuries, can be challenging and complex. If you or a family member suffered a serious injury from a dog bite in Los Angeles or southern California, contact the Law Office of Tal Rubin, PC for a free consultation about your potential claims.