All dogs can bite, not just “dangerous” breeds, like pit bulls or German shepherds. Many bites are inflicted by dogs who are familiar with the person they injure. Even a bite from a puppy can be serious because dogs can carry germs that may make humans sick or cause infection, as described here by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
People who are bitten by a dog will need to seek medical attention, which can be expensive. If a dog bit you at the Crescenta Valley Dog Park, located in Glendale, CA, a Los Angeles Crescenta Valley Dog Park dog bite lawyer may be able to help you seek compensation, which could include:
- Medical bills: you may be able to recover compensation for emergency room visits, surgery, medications, doctor visits, follow-up treatments, and any other medical expenses caused by your dog bite injury.
- Pain and suffering: being bitten can be a traumatic experience, and dog bites can be physically painful. You may be able to seek compensation for mental anguish, anxiety, and stress. You may also seek awards for scarring, loss of limb or finger, or loss of enjoyment of life.
- Lost wages: you may be able to seek awards for time lost at work, as well as future lost income if your injuries have left you unable to return to your job or perform the same job as before your injuries.
A lawyer can help you identify all the losses you may be entitled to receive and can help you pursue compensation through negotiations with the dog owner’s insurance company or in court if necessary. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 to discuss your case.
California Dog Bite Laws
California follows a strict liability model for dog bite injuries. Regardless of any negligence or wrongdoing on their part, a dog owner is responsible for losses if their dog bites someone. It does not matter if the dog owner was acting irresponsibly or had prior knowledge that their dog could be aggressive. This liability is different from states that follow a “one bite” rule. In these states, dog owners are liable only if their dog has bitten someone before.
California Civil Code § 3342 outlines the state’s dog bite laws, and does include a few exceptions to the strict liability rule:
- The dog bit a person trespassing on private property. This exception does not include individuals who are “lawfully in a private place,” such as a mail carrier or others performing the necessary duties of their job.
- The victim provoked the dog into biting.
- The dog was protecting its owner from harm or acting in defense of its owner’s safety.
- The dog was working in the role of a police or military service animal.
California Civil Code § 3342.5 adds conditions for dog owners whose animals have bitten someone before. It mandates owners to take any reasonable steps necessary to protect the public from their dog and prevent another bite. If the dog bites another person, the law allows anyone, including the city attorney or district attorney, to bring action against the dog owner.
California follows a pure comparative negligence model. You may still receive compensation for your injuries even if the dog biting incident was partly your fault. Under this model, even if you are found by a court to be 99 percent at fault, you can still be compensated for the 1 percent of fault found with the defendant.
There is a two-year statute of limitations in California for personal injury claims, including dog bites. The time limit begins at the time the dog bit you. You may want to speak to a Los Angeles Crescenta Valley Dog Park dog bite lawyer before the statute expires, making it unlikely you will be able to pursue your claims in court.
What To Do if You Are Bitten by a Dog
After seeking medical attention for your wound, you should report it to your local police department and animal control office. These agencies can make an official report of the incident, which may help you if you decide to seek compensation for your injuries. They also can help you learn if the dog that bit you was up to date on its vaccinations.
For a free legal consultation with a crescenta valley dog park lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (800) 794-0444
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm
A Los Angeles Crescenta Valley Dog Park dog bite lawyer can help you seek compensation for your injuries. A lawyer may be able to help you negotiate a settlement with the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance company or seek compensation in court. In either instance, the team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm will use their knowledge in personal injury law to seek an agreeable settlement for you.
Our firm has helped clients across the United States win settlements for their injuries. We believe that if you have suffered injuries, your focus should be on your recovery, and seeking awards for your injuries should not be a source of more stress. Our team can handle your claim so you can concentrate on healing.
Reach out to our legal team for a risk-free consultation. You pay nothing out of pocket and nothing up front for our services. We only collect a fee if we achieve a successful settlement for you. To learn more about how we can help you with your dog bite injury claim, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444.