Dog bites can cause serious injuries for a victim of any age. If a child is bitten, the damage may be severe and life-threatening. A young child may be unable to run away from a dog and may not know how to defend themselves against an attack. A dog bite may require stitches or surgery and may leave a child with permanent scarring or neurological damage.
If your child suffered dog bite injuries, a La Canada Flintridge dog bite lawyer may be able to help your family seek justice. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm has represented clients all over the United States in personal injury cases. We may be able to file a lawsuit and pursue a financial award to compensate your family for medical bills related to care your child has already received and will need in the future, plus pain and suffering.
If your child’s injuries affect their ability to earn a living in adulthood, we may pursue compensation for lost earning capacity. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 816-0755 to speak with a member of our staff.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Dog Bite
Under California law, in most cases, the owner of a dog is found liable if the animal bites someone. California has a strict liability law, California Civil Code (CIV) §3342, which states that the owner of a dog is liable if the animal bites someone while the victim is “in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog.” That means that if a dog bit your child while he or she was going for a walk or playing at a park, or if the bite occurred while your child was visiting the home of a friend, the owner of the dog may be held liable.
The principle of strict liability does not require a plaintiff to show that the owner was negligent. In California, unlike some other states, a dog owner may be found liable for a bite regardless of whether the animal had a history of biting or whether the owner was aware of such a history of aggression.
How a La Canada Flintridge Dog Bite Lawyer Can Seek Justice for Your Child
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm has helped families across the United States hold those who were liable for injuries accountable. If your child was bitten while in a public space or while in a private place with permission, we may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the owner of the dog and seek a financial award to compensate your family for losses related to the attack.
The defendant may argue that your child did something to provoke the animal. For instance, your child may have attempted to pet the dog without permission or may have shouted or thrown something at the dog. If that is true, the owner could still be held responsible under the principle of strict liability.
California adheres to a doctrine of pure comparative negligence. That means that a plaintiff may be entitled to a financial award even if he or she was mostly responsible for his or her injuries, but an award may be reduced to consider the liability of each party. Your child’s age and the specific circumstances could be considered when determining liability and compensation. A young child may not understand that a dog is potentially dangerous and may not understand the potential results of his or her actions. For those reasons, a young child may be considered incapable of committing a negligent act.
If you were present when the attack occurred, your actions or inaction may also be relevant. For example, if you instructed your child to pet the dog or to go near the dog, or if you failed to keep your child away from the animal after the owner asked you to do so, you may be found partly liable for your child’s injuries.
Call today for a free case review.
For a free legal consultation with a Dog Bite Lawyer serving La Canada, call (800) 794-0444
Work with a La Canada Flintridge Dog Bite Lawyer
We can investigate the circumstances that led to the dog bite and advise your family on California laws that apply to your case. Our team may file a personal injury lawsuit against the dog’s owner and seek a financial award for losses related to the attack.
In many cases, we can reach a settlement by negotiating with an attorney representing the defendant. That can allow everyone to avoid a long, costly, and contentious trial. Sometimes, however, we are unable to reach a settlement we consider fair or a defendant tries to unfairly pin some or all the blame on the victim. Under those circumstances, we will go to court to pursue justice.
According to the California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §335.1, the statute of limitations to file a personal injury lawsuit is two years. The statute of limitations may be tolled or extended if the victim is a child. In that case, the statute of limitations will begin to run when the child reaches the age of 18, according to CCP §352.
Parents of children who have been attacked by dogs often want to seek compensation but worry that they could not afford legal fees. At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we understand that families who are struggling to cope with an unexpected and devastating injury to their child and expensive medical bills generally cannot pay an attorney out of pocket. That is why we operate on contingency.
If you hire our firm to represent your family, you will not have to pay us anything unless we obtain a financial award. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 816-0755 to learn more about how we can help your family.