Based on a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 4.7 million people suffer from dog bites each year. Children suffer from bites more often than adults, with the highest number of dog bite injuries reported in children ages 5 to 9. According to statistics from the Insurance Information Institute (III), California has the most dog bite insurance claims of any state.
California is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bite laws. This means that a dog owner is responsible when their dog bites someone, regardless of if the owner was acting negligently. If a dog bit you at the Silverlake Dog Park, a Los Angeles Silverlake Dog Park dog bite lawyer may be able to help you seek compensation for your injuries. To learn more about how an attorney can assist you, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444.
More About California Dog Bite Laws
California Civil Code 3342 states that any dog owner whose dog bites another person is liable for that person’s injuries, regardless of if the owner engaged in any wrongdoing or had no prior knowledge of a dog’s potential viciousness. There are, however, a few exceptions. A dog owner is not liable if:
- Their dog bit someone who was trespassing, unless that individual was “lawfully in a private place.” Anyone on private property for the purpose of performing a job or duty, like a mailman, is lawfully in a private place.
- The bite was from a police or military dog while in the line of duty, or in response to harassment.
This is different from many states, which have a “one bite” rule. In these states, dog owners are liable for bites only if their dog has bitten someone before, giving them prior knowledge that the dog could be dangerous.
In California, owners whose dogs have been aggressive in the past must take additional care. California Civil Code 3342.5 allows anyone, including the city or district attorneys, to bring legal action against a dog owner if they fail to take reasonable steps to protect others from potential bites.
If you suffered a dog bite in Los Angeles’ Silverlake Dog Park located at 1863 Silver Lake Blvd., you have the right to seek compensation from the dog’s owner. This is a public park, and any costs associated with your dog bite injury may be the owner’s responsibility.
You should report the injury to your local animal control agency or police department. These agencies can help you contact the dog owner to find out if the animal’s vaccinations are current and can ensure the dog gets vaccinated, if necessary. Making a report also provides you with documentation of the incident.
What You May Recover for Your Dog Bite Injury
You may be able to seek compensation for your injuries. You may wish to pursue a settlement throughout the dog owner’s insurance company or file a lawsuit against the dog owner. A Los Angeles Silverlake Dog Park dog bite lawyer can help you begin the claims process in court or help negotiate an insurance settlement. California law may entitle you to awards for:
- Medical costs. This may include doctor visits, medications, surgeries, tetanus shots, hospital stays, and any other medical bills related to your dog bite injury.
- Pain and suffering. You may be able to seek awards to compensate you for physical pain, mental anguish, stress, anxiety, or trauma.
- Lost wages. If your dog bite injury caused you to miss work, you may be able to seek awards for lost pay. If you are unable to work in the same capacity as before the injury, you may earn future lost wages or permanent disability payments as well.
California has a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims. If you intend to file a dog bite lawsuit, you must do so within two years of the bite. Even if you attempt to settle your claim through insurance, it is important not to let the statute of limitations expire. In addition, note that some homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover “dangerous” dog breeds, like pit bulls and German shepherds.
For a free legal consultation with a silverlake dog park lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (800) 794-0444
How Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Can Help
The legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm is here to help you with your dog bite claim. We will work to negotiate compensation for you, whether we are working with an insurance company or representing your claim in court. We are here to handle your settlement so that you can focus on healing from your injury.
We have helped thousands of clients across the country achieve successful outcomes in personal injury cases, and we may be able to help you, too. You can contact our team risk-free to discuss your case. You pay nothing up front and nothing out of pocket. We will not charge for our services unless we achieve a settlement for you. To learn more about how a Los Angeles Silverlake Dog Park dog bite lawyer can help with your case, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444.