A dog bite can happen in an instant, and it can happen to anyone. It can involve dogs you are familiar with, such as your neighbor’s dog, dogs that are leashed, dogs that are unleashed, and breeds that are not particularly aggressive.
Dog bites often occur in public places such as parks, especially parks that have no-leash policies. However, even with leash policies in place, and even if a dog owner takes reasonable precautions to prevent a dog bite from occurring, you may still find yourself involved in a dog biting incident.
Dog bites can lead to serious injuries. You should seek medical care after your incident and undergo a complete checkup. Even in cases in which you do not suffer serious injuries, you should still undergo a checkup because some illnesses such as mange and rabies can show up several days after a dog attack.
You can consult with an attorney to learn about dog bite laws and how they apply to you. You may contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to see how a Los Angeles Canal Park dog bite lawyer can help you at (800) 816-0755 for assistance.
In most cases, the owner of the dog that attacked someone is held liable for the injuries and damages suffered by the victim. However, the person handling the dog might also be at fault for your injuries, or possibly another third party. In some situations, the liability for a dog biting accident may be transferred from, for example, a dog owner to a landlord whose tenant has a dog that attacks someone.
To hold the owner of a property liable for a dog bite, however, you typically have to prove that you were in a public area, or that you were on private property legally.
Someone who is given temporary rights of care, such as a dog walker or babysitter, may also be liable for certain damages, depending on when, where, and how a dog biting incident occurs.
Dog Bite Injuries and Treatments
Depending on the seriousness of the case, dog bites can lead to the following injuries:
- Scarring and disfigurement: This is highly common with victims—particularly children—who were attacked at the face by a dog.
- Broken bones: Some dog bites involve so much force that the victim may suffer broken bones. Bone injuries may also occur if the victim falls or hurts themself while attempting to free themselves from a dog attack.
- Rabies and viral illnesses: if a dog that is not up to date with its rabies shot attacks and bites someone, it may transfer the virus to the victim. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rabies can be fatal, but it should be a preventable disease.
- Infections: It is rare for a dog bite to result in a direct fatality right when the attack occurs. Many victim deaths occur after the fact as a result of complications from an infection.
- Emotional trauma: Dog attacks can mentally scar the victim as well, and a victim may suffer prolonged fear of public spaces or develop a fear of animals after suffering an attack.
Irrespective of how mild or serious a dog bite is, you should seek medical care after the bite. Some illnesses that can develop after a dog bite, including rabies and mental trauma, can require long-term medical care to recover from. Treatments for these types of issues are not cheap and may require the services of specialists and social workers. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm has a Los Angeles Canal Park dog bite lawyer who offers legal assistance to dog bite victims who need help dealing with such damages.
For a free legal consultation with a Canal Park Lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (800) 816-0755
Dog Bites in California
Dog bites in California are governed by California Civil Code § 3342. These rules use a strict liability approach when assigning liability for accidents. They do not require a victim to prove that a dog owner knew of a dog’s likelihood of biting or attacking someone to sue them for damages. A single instance is all it takes, and a victim can seek damages from the at-fault owner for the actions of his or her dog. The only exceptions are as follows:
- If the victim intentionally provoked the dog.
- If the dog was being used in government or military capacities when the attack occurred.
- If a trespasser or anyone unlawfully enters a property and is attacked by a dog.
Dog bite laws are designed to safeguard the interests of the public within good reason. Dog owners are expected to follow the rules posted wherever they take their dogs, and they should exercise caution when walking their dogs in public spaces. They should use appropriate dog walking gear and keep in mind any prior incidents or events that may indicate that an attack may occur.
Even if, after taking all of these precautions, a dog still attacks and bites someone, the victim may be able to sue for damages. Damages for dog bite cases are typically paid out of the at-fault owner’s insurance policy. In cases where trespassing or unsafe property questions were involved in or contributed to a biting incident, you may seek out legal guidance as to which premises liability laws apply to your case. An attorney who works in these areas of the law can help you navigate your claim.
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Dog bites are common, and they can lead to serious injuries and considerable medical care bills. Furthermore, multiple parties may hold some share of the blame for a dog biting incident, so it is important to understand which laws apply to your case, which parties you need to arbitrate with, and which parties owed you a duty of care of securing their dog and preventing the animal from attacking an innocent victim.
If you need assistance with a dog biting incident, let us help. The personal injury team at Pintas & Mullin Law Firm and our Los Angeles Canal Park dog bite lawyer are here to assist you. Please call us at (800) 816-0755 for a free case evaluation and to learn more about how we may be able to help with your case.