As sweet as dogs can be, they can also be dangerous. Though United States households keep countless dogs as pets, these pets are still animals at their core, and animals can bite.
If you have been bitten by a dog, you may suffer from:
- Nerve damage
- Muscle damage
- Facial injuries
- Fractured or broken bones
If someone else’s dog bit you, you should not have to pay for your injuries by yourself. A Palmdale dog bite lawyer can assist you in seeking compensation. You can start working on your case today by reaching out to Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 816-0755.
There Are Many Laws to Protect Against Dog Bites and Dangerous Dogs
Dog bites happen frequently. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), dog bites were among the top 20 injuries most commonly seen in U.S. emergency departments between 2005 and 2013. Many state and local laws exist to protect dog bite victims:
- California Civil Code (CIV) §3342 – This statute establishes strict liability for dog bites in the state of California. Under the law, if a dog bites a person, the owner is legally responsible for the damages caused by the bite injury. You are not required to prove that the owner should have known their dog was vicious. There are exceptions to strict liability, including if the victim provoked the dog, or the dog was protecting itself or its owner from harm. Damages are not owed to a victim who was bitten while trespassing or in the act of committing a crime.
- California Penal Code (PEN) §398 – Under this law, dog owners must give their name, phone number, address, and dog license number to anyone bitten by their dog. They must also give the victim information about the status of the dog’s vaccinations. The aforementioned information should be turned over within 48 hours. Noncompliance with the law may result in fines up to $100.
- PEN §399 – This law outlines criminal penalties for subsequent dog bite incidents. It states that if a dog owner knows their dog can be aggressive (has bitten before) and the dog is not reasonably kept or is allowed to go “at large,” then the owner can be found guilty of a misdemeanor or felony if the dog injures or kills someone. This is one reason it is important to report dog bite attacks. It is possible the dog that bit you has bitten in the past or could bite in the future. Filing a report ensures the incident is on record.
- Palmdale Animal Control §6.04.050 – This states that any dog owner who allows their animal to run uncontrolled on public property or on another person’s private property will face misdemeanor penalties if the dog bites, attacks, or injures a person or another animal.
Other Potentially Relevant Laws
Laws regarding comparative negligence and the statute of limitations are important to understand for any civil lawsuit, not just dog bite cases. Comparative negligence laws allow plaintiffs to seek a portion of their awards in the event their actions contributed to their accident.
In a dog bite lawsuit, the defendant could argue the plaintiff did something to provoke the dog attack. If a court agrees, the plaintiff could still receive a settlement, but it will be reduced by the amount of fault they are assigned. In California, you can seek compensation as long as you are less than 100-percent at fault.
Another law to consider is the statute of limitations. These laws give plaintiffs a time limit for filing their cases in civil court. In California, Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §335.1 allows two years from the time of injury or death to seek damages for personal injury or wrongful death.
For more information on how local laws apply to your case, consult a Palmdale dog bite lawyer. Contact the team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to learn more.
Many Dog Bite Cases Never Go to Court
If you want to take action against the owner of the dog that bit you, your primary goal is to win monetary compensation to help with your expenses. An attorney can help you take the first step by assisting you with an insurance claim.
According to a report by the Insurance Information Institute (III), more than 50 percent of dog bite injuries happen at home. In many cases, a dog owner’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance will cover dog bite claims. In fact, the III found that California had more dog bite claims in 2019 than any other state.
A Palmdale dog bite lawyer can help you fight for an insurance settlement high enough to satisfy your costs. However, there are caps for dog bite claims for most policies, and some policies will not cover certain breeds, like Pitbulls, that are known to be aggressive. If insurance does not apply to your case, or if the amount of your payout does not cover your injuries, you will need to go to court to seek awards.
In a dog bite lawsuit, you might receive compensation for:
- Reconstructive surgery
- Intravenous (IV) antibiotic treatments
- Medications and vaccinations
- Hospital stays
- Follow up care
- Physical therapy
- Stress and anxiety
- Lost wages
Sometimes, severe infections and untreated rabies can lead to death. If your loved one died because of a dog bite injury, you could sue for their wrongful death.
You might also be compensated for other injuries related to your attack that were not caused by a bite. You will need to prove negligence to receive restitution.
For a free legal consultation with a Dog Bite Lawyer serving Palmdale, call (800) 816-0755
A National Firm Serving You Locally
You do not have to fight your legal battle alone. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can provide legal advice and assistance throughout the civil suit process.
We are dedicated to helping our clients with their claims so they can focus on recovering from their injuries. To find out how we can help you, call our offices at (800) 816-0755 for a free consultation.