California law holds dog owners responsible for ensuring their animal does not harm others who are in its presence. The state’s strict liability law generally holds dog owners liable for dog bite injuries under almost any circumstance.
If someone else’s dog bit you, you could hold them legally responsible for the attack. The financial awards you could win may help you pay bills for your medical care and therapies and recover the pay you lost when you were away from work to heal. You also may be able to sue for pain and suffering and other awards.
You can start exploring your legal options today with a La Crescenta-Montrose dog bite lawyer with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. Call (800) 816-0755 to schedule a free consultation with a team member who can help you get started. We work on contingency, which means you pay nothing upfront or out of pocket for us to start on your case. Our firm takes our fee once we win a settlement for you.
Liability in Dog Bite Cases in California
California’s strict liability law concerning dog bites means dog owners are liable for injuries and other harms a person suffered regardless of the dog owner’s actions or inactions. The person who suffers a bite injury does not have to prove the dog owner’s negligence or fault. However, they must prove the dog bit them.
Under California Civil Code (CIV) §3342, if a person is bitten by a dog while in a “public place or lawfully in a private place,” such as a public park or the dog owner’s property, the animal’s owner could be held liable for the injuries suffered.
“Lawfully in a private place” means dog bites that occur on the dog owner’s property are also subject to strict liability. This includes people the owner invites onto their property and those who have to be on-site to perform a job. An example of a person authorized to enter a property is a letter carrier delivering the mail.
This statute means guests who are bitten by a dog on the dog owner’s property could pursue legal action against the owner for their injuries. There are situations, however, where this law does not apply.
When a Dog Owner is Not Responsible for Dog Bites
There are instances in which a dog owner will not be held liable for dog bites suffered in an attack. Strict liability law will not apply, and a defendant will not be able to win financial awards if:
- The person bitten in the attack was trespassing on the dog owner’s property.
- The person agitated or provoked the dog before it attacked. Hitting, kicking, or roughly playing with a dog could be seen as harassing the animal. A dog owner who can prove the plaintiff provoked their animal before an attack could win against claims that they were responsible for the dog bite attack.
For a free legal consultation with a Dog Bite Lawyer serving La Crescenta-Montrose, call (800) 816-0755
Seeking Awards in Dog Bite Cases
A dog bite lawyer can walk you through the legal process to explain what you can expect and the awards you can pursue in your lawsuit.
The following could support your case for compensation in your dog bite case:
- Medical bills from an emergency room or doctor’s visit, testing, X-rays, skin grafts, and medication
- Medical records detailing the extent of your injuries and treatment for them
- Documentation that you reported your injury to the proper authorities
- Proof of wages lost due to missing work because of your injuries
- Photos, video footage of the site of the attack
- Eyewitness statements
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can pursue financial awards to cover your medical bills, ongoing therapies, and lost wages. They can also help you calculate noneconomic awards that do not have a monetary value, such as emotional distress. After reviewing the details of your situation, we can advise you further.
You might be able to file a claim with the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance (if they have homeowner’s insurance) or settle with the individual out of court. We can also negotiate with the person’s insurance company or the dog owner’s legal representatives on your behalf so that you can focus on getting better. If we do not reach an agreement on a fair settlement, we can take your case to civil court and aim to win awards for you at trial.
If you are ready to work with a La Crescenta-Montrose dog bite lawyer, give us a call today to schedule a free consultation.
La Crescenta-Montrose Dog Bite Lawyer Near Me (800) 816-0755
Statute of Limitations in California Dog Bite Cases
In California, injury victims who want to sue to collect awards generally must file their lawsuit within two years, as outlined in the California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §335.1. If you miss this deadline, you risk losing your chance to win financial recovery. This two-year period starts on the date of your dog bite.
Your attorney will need time to build a case for you. They may have to consult with specialists who can offer expert testimony, talk with eyewitnesses, and take care of other tasks related to your case.
Two years can fly by quickly, so the sooner you act, the sooner we can start working on your case. We will also file your case in civil court on time, so that is one less thing for you to worry about.
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Recovering from a dog bite injury takes time and money, and you should not have to pay out-of-pocket for an injury that you did not cause. You might be able to recover financial awards to compensate you for medical bills and more that you have paid out due to a dog bite injury. While a settlement may not ease all your worries or pain, it might help you breathe a little easier as you work to put your life back together.
If you are interested in hiring a La Crescenta-Montrose dog bite lawyer to represent you, give Pintas & Mullins Law Firm a call today at (800) 816-0755 to schedule a free consultation. We can advise you on the next steps to take in your case.