When it comes to dog bites, it’s important to know that California is a strict liability state. This means that as long as a dog bite occurred in a public place or lawfully on private property — including the dog owner’s property — the dog owner will be held liable for any injuries. Dog bites are emotionally and physically devastating injuries that may require medical attention, depending on how severe the injury is. Even in minor cases, dog bites and scratches can result in complications since they can carry diseases.
If you are suffering from dog bite injuries due and would like to pursue legal actions against the owner, our qualified dog bite attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers are readily available to offer legal assistance. With our track record of winning more than $1 billion in settlements for our clients, we are confident that we will deliver a good outcome to your case.
Dog Bites in California
In most instances, dog owners are liable for any personal injury or property damage their pets cause. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that over 4.7 million people get bitten by dogs each year, thus resulting in nearly 800,000 injuries that need to be checked out by a doctor.
Over 50 percent of dog bites take place on the dog owner’s premises. California is ranked as one of the top states with the most dog bite claims in 2018.
According to California Civil Code Section 3342, a dog owner will be held liable for damages when:
California’s negligence rules may apply to dog attack cases. Ultimately, this means the victim who was not bitten must prove that the dog owner’s negligence was the primary cause of any injuries sustained.
If you were bitten by a dog and it didn’t break the skin, you can still sue. There is no specification required for a resulting injury under California’s dog bite statute. Even though broken skin and puncture wounds are caused by a dog bite, the main requirement of building a strong claim is for the victim to show proof that the dog had gripped them with its teeth.
Rather than whether the dog bite broke the skin or not, a dog bite victim will not usually be entitled to damages in California when:
Furthermore, California’s statute of limitations on a personal injury — which includes a dog bite accident — case is two years. This means that an injured dog bite victim has two years from the time the dog bite first occurred in order to preserve their rights and file a claim in court.
Dog bite victims in California are typically entitled to compensation for their losses. Compensatory damages may include:
Though rarely awarded, an aggrieved individual may be able to recover punitive damages in certain cases. Punitive damages are intended to punish a defendant who has engaged in particularly egregious behavior. In order for a dog bite victim to recover punitive damages, they must prove with clear and convincing evidence that the dog owner’s actions were fraudulent or malicious in nature.
If you have sustained injuries as a result of a dog bite, our expert dog bite attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers can help you recover compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.