Although not all dog bites are fatal, any dog bite is painful, and can be disfiguring and traumatizing to the victim. A dog bite can lead to other serious issues, such as disease, psychological issues like PTSD, and reconstructive surgery. Because of the prevalence of dog bites, states and cities have developed very strict laws regarding where dogs may be, when they may be leashed and unleashed, and even provided parks where dogs may play. Despite this, people and their pets continue to get bitten each year.
California has strict liability regarding dog bites. California Civil Code § 3342 makes the owner of a biting dog fully liable for any injury inflicted by the dog, even if they did not previously know the dog was vicious. If you are a loved one is dealing with the effects of a dog bite, you can call (800) 794-0444 to get in touch with a member of our team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today.
Rules About Dogs
Beyond the California policy on dog bites and dog bite liability, each municipality and county has its own rules about where dogs may be and may not be, and when they have to be leashed.
For instance, Chatsworth Park South falls under the charter of the City of Los Angeles, and its parks are regulated by the City of Los Angeles Municipal Code, Sec. 63.44. That code designates several off-leash dog parks, and strictly requires either that dogs must be leashed, or prohibits all but seeing-eye and service dogs in other locations. Whenever a dog is in a park not designated as an off-leash dog park, like Chatsworth Park South, owners need leashes that are no longer than six feet.
Not only is it important that dog owners obey these rules because violations are infractions in themselves; knowing that the owner of a dog was in violation of the code would be useful to an attorney in the case of a dog bite or dog attack. A Los Angeles Chatsworth Park South dog bite lawyer can help victims of dog bites by gathering evidence of such infractions.
Responsible Parties and Liability
Some other things a dog bite victim may consider when thinking about consulting a Los Angeles Chatsworth Park South dog bite lawyer is who else may be involved in the incident. Besides the owner of the dog, other people may be responsible for a dog biting or attacking a person, especially if someone is seriously injured. However, some owners may be civilly protected if their dogs do attack, depending on the responsibility of other parties or in certain scenarios.
- Landlords. A landlord in California has a right to order a tenant to remove a dog which is known to bite or to be vicious, even if the lease allows pets. If the landlord allows a biting dog to remain in an apartment or residence, the landlord may share some liability.
- Caretakers, including pet sitters. Similarly, a person tasked with caring for a dog may bear responsibility for attacks by a known vicious dog.
- If the victim provoked or harassed the dog into biting, liability may be reduced accordingly.
- Police dogs. People injured by police dogs may not be able to pursue a case, but there are exceptions to this. For example, if the handler used the dog in an unauthorized manner.
Even if a dog did not previously show aggression, an owner may still owe the victim compensation. Owners are presumed to know if their animal is prone to bite or snap and control it accordingly.
When a Dog Attacks A Pet
Unfortunately, California’s statutes do not extend to covering pets if they are injured or killed by another dog. Pintas & Mullins recognizes that the injury or death of a pet at the jaws of another dog can be painful and cause great anguish to the family. However, animals fall under property regulations, and the owner of a dog killed in an attack may only receive the monetary value of the animal.
However, if the owner attempted to rescue the pet from the attacking dog, and was injured, the dog’s owner might still be liable under the same statutes and rules under discussion here. The owner of a pet killed or injured by a loose dog may still have a personal injury claim and may fight for compensation for property damage.
For a free legal consultation with a chatsworth park south lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (800) 794-0444
Concerns and Considerations for the Lawyer
Dog bites can bring with them a host of potential problems and injuries. A victim may want to consider the services of a firm like Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, who will handle even the toughest cases, and who know the ins and outs of dog bite matters.
Types of Compensation
A dog bite can be thought of as a personal injury like any other personal injury claim, similar to a car accident or a workplace injury. Because of that, the compensation awards recoverable are generally similar to any other personal injury case, and can include:
- Medical expenses, hospitalization, medication, and some surgery. However, because insurance may consider reconstructive surgery as “cosmetic,” the compensation for this procedure may be separate from other medical fees.
- Lost wages, loss of income, child care if needed, and other income-related awards.
- Rehabilitation, therapy, and post-hospital treatment.
- Pain and suffering. California has no pain and suffering caps, and some dog bites can be extremely painful.
When considering the services of a lawyer, dog bite victims and their families should also consider the long-term costs of psychological counseling. Immediate personal injury insurance may not consider mental health therapy for a dog bite, but a Los Angeles Chatsworth Park South dog bite lawyer, will think about it for the victims, and try to obtain it for their clients.
If you find the aftermath of your dog bite overwhelming, you do not have to fight for help alone. You can seek legal help while you or your loved one focus on healing. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 to speak with a member of our team about your dog bite case.