Dog bites are not uncommon. Dogs are more likely to bite when scared, nervous, or sick, but it is not uncommon for dogs to bite during normal, everyday activities. It also is not unusual for dogs to bite people with whom they are familiar.
Dogs carry germs in their mouths that can make people sick, and even small bites and scratches can lead to infection. California is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites, meaning that if you are bitten, the dog’s owner is responsible, whether or not they were acting negligently or engaged in any wrongdoing. If you suffered a dog bite at a Beverly Hills Mini Park, a Los Angeles Beverly Mini park dog bite lawyer may be able to help you seek a financial award for your injuries. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 816-0755 to learn more.
California Dog Bite Laws
California Code of Civil Procedure § 3342 states, “The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.”
This means that a dog owner is responsible, even if they had no prior knowledge of their dog’s potential to harm others. This is different from states with a “one bite” rule, where an owner is liable only if their dog has attacked before, or previously showed aggressive behavior towards humans or other animals. There are a few exceptions to strict liability:
- A dog bites someone who was trespassing on private property, unless that person was “lawfully in a private place,” meaning they were on the property to perform the necessary duties of their job, like a mail carrier.
- A dog bites someone while protecting themselves or their owner from harm.
- A dog bites because it was provoked.
- A dog bites while on duty as a police or military service animal.
Dog owners whose dogs have a history of biting before are required by law to take additional measures to ensure the safety of the public, according to California Code of Civil Procedure § 3342.5. Under this law, if a dog bites a second time, anyone, including the city attorney or district attorney, can bring action against the dog owner.
Even if the dog bite incident is partly your fault, you may still be able to seek compensation from the dog owner. Under California’s model of pure comparative negligence, even if you are 99 percent responsible for your accident, you can still seek compensation for the one percent that is the fault of the other party.
Know Your Deadline to Take Action
There is a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims in California. The clock begins at the time you suffered your injury. Sometimes, dog bites can be settled through the dog owner’s homeowners insurance, but it is important not to let the statute of limitations expire in the event you need to pursue your case in court. A Los Angeles Beverly Mini Park dog bite lawyer can help you learn more about your options.
For a free legal consultation with a Beverly Mini Park Lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (800) 816-0755
What to Do if a Dog Bit You
It is important to keep dog bite wounds clean and bandaged. Seek medical attention if:
- You have a deep wound or deep puncture wound.
- The wound shows signs of infection, like swelling, oozing, or redness.
- The skin around the wound is crushed or torn.
- You have not had a tetanus shot in five to 10 years.
- You are unsure if the dog that bit you has rabies or is current on its rabies shots.
- You are unsure about the severity of your injuries.
If a dog bites, California Penal Code § 398 requires the owner to provide the victim with their current tag information and phone number. It is also a good idea to file a report with the local animal control agency and/or police department. These agencies can make sure the dog is up to date on its vaccinations. Making a report also provides you with official documentation of the incident.
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What You May Recover
A Los Angeles Beverly Mini Park dog bite lawyer may be able to help you seek awards for:
- Medical bills. This may include doctor visits, hospital stays, medications, ongoing treatments, and any other medical expenses resulting from your injury.
- Lost wages. If your dog bite injury caused you to miss work, you may be able to seek compensation for lost wages. You may also seek future lost wages or permanent disability payments if your injury has left you unable to perform the same job as before.
- Pain and suffering. You may be compensated for stress, anxiety, trauma, and mental anguish. You may also seek compensation for permanent scarring, disfigurement, or loss of a limb.
- Property damage. If your personal property suffered damage during your dog bite incident, you may be able to sue for the cost of repair or replacement.
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Seek Legal Help From a Los Angeles Beverly Mini Park Dog Bite Lawyer
Our legal team is here to help you seek a settlement so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries. A Los Angeles Beverly Mini Park dog bite lawyer is ready to negotiate with the dog owner’s insurance company or to represent you in a civil lawsuit. Our primary concern is achieving the best possible outcome for you.
Our team can help you gather evidence to support your case, review your medical records to make sure you are seeking a financial award to which you may be entitled, and identify all responsible parties.
We work on a contingency basis, so you pay nothing out of pocket and nothing up front. We only collect a fee if we win a settlement for you. To learn more, call the team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 816-0755 for a risk-free consultation.