Dog bites can cause devastating physical injuries and severe emotional trauma. Fortunately, California state laws permit you to hold the dog owner responsible for the costs of your injuries. A Marina Del Rey dog bite lawyer can investigate the circumstances that led to your dog bite, determine ownership of the dog, and take steps against the person liable for your injuries.
The costs of medical care following a dog bite can be expensive, especially if you need multiple surgeries and other procedures to treat your injuries. During times like these, your finances can take a serious hit, especially if you are unable to work for some time.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm wants to help all eligible injury victims with their legal claims. As a result, we take cases on a contingency basis, which means that you pay no money upfront for our legal services. Rather, you pay our fees only if you receive a settlement from the insurance company or if the owner is found liable by the court. Call us today at (800) 816-0755 to learn more about how we can get to work on your dog bite claim.
Dog Bites and Dog Bite Injuries
In a two-year study published in Public Health Reports, the Department of Public Health of Los Angeles County received over 26,000 reports of canine bites. Although many bites require no treatment, some lead to severe injury. Some dog bites continue to result in fatalities, particularly to infants and small children. Dog bites are extremely common, and thousands of people each year throughout the state of California and the nation experience major injuries from dog bites.
Dog Bite Laws in California
Under California Civil Code (CIV) §3342, dog owners are strictly liable for any injuries resulting from their dogs biting an individual, whether the injured victim is on public property or legally on private property. With this concept of strict liability, victims are able to hold owners responsible for injuries without proving negligence on the part of the owner. Likewise, this code section makes it irrelevant whether the dog owner knew the dog to be vicious or whether the dog had acted viciously in the past. Regardless of the situation, dog owners are liable for the injuries that their dogs cause.
For the purposes of dog bite liability, an injured individual must be legally on public property. For instance, if laws or postal regulations permit the victim to be present on the private property, such as for law enforcement duties or postal delivery, then the victim is legally on the property. Likewise, if the property owner has invited the victim onto the property, either by express or implied invitation, then the victim is legally present on the property. Unless the injury victims were trespassing on the property at the time that the dog bit them, then the dog owners should be liable for their injuries.
This code section does create a broad exception for military or police dogs who bite individuals. As long as the dogs were defending themselves from an attack or engaged in their official duties, those who suffer dog bites have no civil recourse of action against the police or other government agency. Some examples of valid duties of a police or military dog might include apprehending people whom the dog handler reasonably suspected had committed a crime, executing a warrant, or investigating a possible crime.
For a free legal consultation with a Dog Bite Lawyer serving Marina Del Rey, call (800) 816-0755
Having Legal Representation May Benefit You
Although dog owners are liable when their dogs bite others and cause injuries, you still may need assistance in determining ownership of the dog, ownership of the property where your bite occurred, and other necessary information to bring your claim. All personal injury claims require evidence to prove liability. Enlisting legal counsel can help you gather the required evidence that you need to prove your claim, including:
- Establishing dog ownership and identifying other potentially responsible parties
- Finding and interviewing witnesses
- Obtaining police reports and medical records
- Contacting relevant insurance companies to file claims
When dog bites occur on private property, some form of homeowner’s insurance may cover the dog bite incident. If the incident happens on the property belonging to the dog owner and you are present on the property by invitation, the homeowner’s insurance policy often will cover your claim.
If the property is a rental property, however, the case may become more complex, as not only could the tenant dog owner be responsible, but the property owners also may bear liability for the dog bite if they knew that the dog was vicious and located on the property. A Marina Del Rey dog bite lawyer can help identify all parties who may be potentially liable for your injuries.
Another possibly liable party might be a caretaker or keeper of the dog that caused the bite injuries, such as a dog walker, dog sitter, or individual who operates a boarding place to temporarily care for dogs. Although liability does not apply to dog caretakers as it does to dog owners, caretakers may be liable for dog bites injuries if they were negligent in allowing the dog to become loose or in failing to properly handle the dog.
Marina Del Rey Dog Bite Lawyer Near Me (800) 816-0755
Get Legal Advice About Your Claim Today
The injuries that you can suffer from a dog bite may be catastrophic, disfiguring, and permanent in some cases. You may need ongoing treatment for some time, including skin grafts, reconstruction, and plastic surgery to treat your bite and restore your appearance.
Meanwhile, you may lose significant time at work and incur extensive medical bills. You may have a claim against the dog owner and perhaps other individuals, as well. A Marina Del Rey dog bite lawyer can sort out the specifics of your situation and put together a detailed and comprehensive claim against all potentially responsible parties.
Working with legal counsel can help you build a strong claim for compensation for your injuries. Remember, you will pay us no money upfront, which allows you to freely and quickly pursue compensation without fear of financial worries. Call (800) 816-0755 today to learn more about the services that Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can offer you.