What is the Law Regarding Dog Bites in California?
If you’ve been bitten by a dog, own a dog, or work with dogs, you may have noticed that California dog bite law is different from other states. Unlike some states, California imposes “strict liability” on dog owners. And that’s a good thing for dog bite injury victims. Why is that? Because suffering from a dog bite can be extremely painful, and will most likely involve extensive medical expenses and rehabilitation time. Fortunately, California dog bite laws will always support victims of dog attacks.
If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dangerous dog, consulting an experienced attorney may be the best answer to your problems. We know that a legal process can be intimidating, but with a dog bite attorney like the ones we have at Adamson Ahdoot, the whole process will be much easier. Not only that, but you will get fair compensation for your dog bite injuries.
Call us today at (800) 310-1606 to learn more about your case. Whether you’re wondering how to take care of a dog bite injury or want to know how much a dog bite lawsuit is worth, our team can help you with everything!
Stay here if you want to know what strict liability means and hopefully give you a clear understanding of how the California dog bite law works for victims of bites or attacks.
What Does Strict Liability Mean?
Simply put, strict liability makes pet owners responsible for the damages associated with a dog bite, regardless of the dog’s history or the owner’s knowledge of the dog’s history. A victim doesn’t have to prove a pet owner acted negligently to get compensation in a lawsuit. A victim just must prove they were bitten.
As with most laws, there are some exceptions. Strict liability only applies if the victim was bitten. And, according to the California dog bite law, a dog does not have to break skin in order for it to be considered a bite. Other types of injuries sustained by a victim of a dog attack do not fall under this statute.
It’s important to note it may still be possible to file a dog bite lawsuit against the owner of an animal even if you or a loved one suffered another type of injury. Contact Adamson Ahdoot LLP right away to discuss the circumstances surrounding your case. After hearing your story, we’ll be able to tell you if filing a lawsuit is within your legal rights.
Some of the other notable exceptions to California’s strict liability laws are:
Trespassing – if a victim was trespassing, the law does not apply. A victim must have been on public property or lawfully on private property for strict liability to stand.
Military or police dogs – military and police agencies are not held to strict liability if a dog bites or attacks a person while carrying out duties as a police or military animal.
Provocation – a victim does not have the ability to take legal action if he or she provoked or harassed the dog prior to being bitten.
In some states, the “one-bite” rule applies legally when a dog bites. This law states the owner of a dog is liable for injuries sustained by a dog only if the owner knew the dog had aggressive tendencies. The one-bite rule was once the standard for every state, but now, only about 14 states still use this statute. Some states, like New York, have what’s called “mixed dog bite” laws. These states basically embody the one-bite rule, but, have some type of strict liability for dog owners.
Although strict liability does not require a victim to prove negligence, navigating the nuances of this law requires experience and vast resources. The Los Angeles dog bite injury lawyers at Adamson Ahdoot LLP have years of experience litigating challenging cases and work with the best forensic experts to prove your claims.
What to Do After Suffering a Dog Bite Injury
As lovable as a dog may seem, it’s still a pack animal with strong instincts and the ability to inflict serious injury with a bite. Reportedly, some dogs have the ability to bite with a force of more than 700 PSI (pounds per square inch). The average PSI force of a human bite is about 160.
Types of injuries frequently associated with dog bites and attacks include:
- Puncture wounds
- Lacerations and cuts
- Amputation (limb loss)
- Soft tissue damage
- Head injuries
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Wrongful death
If you or a loved one suffered a dog bite injury, we strongly recommend you:
Call a doctor right away. Don’t delay in getting treatment for your injury. Waiting to see a doctor may make your injury worse and affect the credibility of your case.
Follow your doctor’s recommendations and treatment plan. Don’t miss follow-up appointments, as your care depends on reliable treatment. Work with your doctor to ensure a successful recovery.
Don’t talk to anyone about the incident unless it’s with your attorney. Unfortunately, any information you provide to opposing insurance agents or even your friends and family may be used against you during negotiations.
Talk to a qualified dog bite attorney as soon as possible. At Adamson Ahdoot LLP, our legal team won’t waste any time getting you on the right legal path. Even if we can’t help you, we’ll tell you where you may be able to get help.
Per state guidelines, victims only have so much time to take legal action. In most cases, victims have two years from the date an injury was sustained to file a dog bite lawsuit.
Why put your ability to collect compensation at risk? You deserve a fair settlement to compensate you for medical bills, lost wages, disfigurement, emotional distress, physical pain, and other types of damages. At Adamson Ahdoot, we offer free consultations and work on a no-win, no-fee basis.