Dog bites are very common, and they can be very serious as well. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in five dog bite cases require medical attention after a bite. Because of this, there are rules that govern how dogs are to be walked and what kinds of security measures and protocols that a dog walker or owner must follow to prevent their dog from unexpecting attacking someone. If you suffered injuries in a dog attack, you may be able to file a claim against the owner of the dog for injuries and losses you suffered in the attack.
Please call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for assistance. A lawyer can help you understand California’s dog bite statutes and determine who may be liable for any injuries you suffered. Statutes of limitation apply to personal injury cases such as these, so act quickly to initiate the legal process. Call (800) 794-0444 today for a free consultation.
Dog Bites and Personal Injuries
Dog bites can lead to serious injuries, especially when they involve children. A dog may attack a passer-by–even if unprovoked–for any reason, and if the dog is not properly restrained, it can cause injuries such as:
- Cuts and lacerations
- Broken bones
- Puncture wounds
- Scars and bruising
Civil Code Article 3342 outlines the rules that govern dog bites in California. Depending on the circumstances of your case, a dog owner may be liable for injuries and losses caused by a dog attack as long as:
- A dog bites someone who was justified in being on public or private property at which the incident occurred either via invitation, work, or another legal basis.
- The bite causes some form of personal injury.
In most cases, personal injuries are defined as those that lead to or involve bruising, skin or muscle tears, lacerations, or broken bones. Puncture wounds and any injuries that lead to bleeding may be included in this definition, as well as disfigurement or losses or impairments of bodily functions.
In some cases, you may not be able to seek compensation for a dog attack if it does not bite you and you only suffer an incident in which:
- A dog jumps at you, jumps on you, startles you, or attempts to bite you but does not do so.
- A dog knocks you over but is restrained before it can bite you.
In most cases, you cannot seek compensation from a government body or the military if dogs working in those capacities attack or bite you.
You should seek legal assistance in case you suffer injuries of any other type not included in the definitions above such as mental anguish or emotional distress. It will be determined whether or not those damages can be included in a personal injury claim against the owner of a dog that attacked you. A Los Angeles Bud Wiener Park dog bite lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you do so.
California and the One-Bite Rule
Some states follow a one-bite rule in which a dog owner is not held at fault for unexpected bites by a dog that was not known to be dangerous. However, California follows a strict liability rule in which a dog owner must shoulder the responsibility for their dog irrespective of past patterns of behavior.
A dog owner’s home insurance or personal liability insurance is usually used to compensate people that their dog attacks. However, you must build a case first because there are certain situations in which you may not have grounds to seek compensation from a dog owner if you were bitten by their dog. The same applies to renters who have renters’ insurance. Furthermore, these policies may cover you only to your policy limits.
Certain situations in which a dog bite victim may not be able to sue for damages include:
- Trespassers who were unlawfully on a property.
- Someone who was legally on a property but ignored posted signs that warned of a dog on–or protecting–the premises.
- Someone who deliberately provoked a dog that then attacked and bit the individual.
For a free legal consultation with a bud wiener park lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (800) 794-0444
There are many other scenarios in which a dog bite can occur, and the specifics of each case will determine whether or not you have grounds for a civil liabilities case against the owner of the dog involved. Other individuals may also be deemed at-fault for a dog bite incident, and an attorney can help you determine which party or parties can be held responsible for your dog bite. Consider the following examples.
- A dog walker loses control of a dog that he or she does not own but is responsible for during certain hours of the day, and the dog bites someone. The dog walker may shoulder some of the blame for the incident.
- A property owner–such as a premises owner or the owner of a public entertainment space such as a theme park–posts warning signs of a dog on the premises but someone else who operates the property does not secure the dog and it bites a visitor. In this case, the owner and/or the operator may be at fault.
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Legal Assistance for Dog Bite Cases
To determine whether or not you have a case for a dog bite claim, we can help you as follows:
- Find out whether or not the dog in question bit someone in the past or has a history of aggressive behavior.
- Investigate whether the location of the attack plays a part in determining liability for the attack.
- Determine whether or not the owner was in compliance with California dog handling laws.
- Determine whether or not the dog owner has a homeowner or renters’ insurance policy that can provide coverage for the incident.
Please contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 for a free case evaluation and to discuss your case. We can help you understand your rights and responsibilities and we will also investigate your dog bite incident to determine whether or not you likely have grounds for a claim.