Dogs are great companions and considered family, but they’re still animals and can act unexpectedly without warning. When someone is bitten by a dog, no matter if that dog has bitten anyone before, there are certain repercussions and rights involved.
Dog bite laws are different across the country and can be confusing. If you or someone has been attacked and bitten by a dog, an experienced dog bites attorney in California can help you understand exactly what your rights are and how you can receive the compensation you deserve.
When you or someone you know if first bitten by a dog, seek medical attention immediately. All kinds of dog bite injuries, whether a minor laceration or open wound, are susceptible to infection that can get worse without the right care.
The next step is to take photos of your dog bite injuries as soon as possible. Contact animal control or your local police and file a report of the incident.
Finally, contact a local dog bites attorney to help you determine whether legal action is appropriate in your case. Do not speak with the dog owner or their insurance companies before speaking with your dog bite lawyer.
California is a “strict liability” state, which means that the dog owner is liable to the person who was bitten, regardless of the dog’s manner or the lack of any prior incidences. The statute allows the dog bite victim to recover from their injuries without having to prove the fault of the owner, whether the assault happened in public or on private property.
California’s statute of limitations for dog bites states that the person who was bitten has two years to file a claim after the bite occurred to receive compensation.
Under California, the dog owner is liable for damages if:
If both of the above statements apply to the person bitten, the dog owner is responsible for all damages resulting from the dog bite.
An exception to this law is that if the dog owner claims that the person bitten was trespassing unlawfully on private property, then the bite victim may not be able to collect compensation. Another exception to the law is if the dog was a police or military dog that was doing its duty or defending itself.
Owners of dogs that have bitten someone in public or lawful private place may face a fine of up to $1,000.
Most often, dog bite damages are covered by the homeowner’s insurance policy of the dog owner. However, this can get tricky. Insurance companies can refuse to properly compensate you for your medical bills, lost work while in recovery, and the pain and suffering that comes from a frightening experience. Having a dog bite attorney by your side from the get-go can help you get the maximum settlement you deserve.
When you work with our expert dog bites attorneys, we will consider a variety of factors that you may be entitled for compensation, including:
Have you or a loved one recently (or within the past two years) experienced a dog bite injury? Call the dog bites attorney at Keshavarz Law, where we specialize in personal injuries and are the area’s experts in dog bite cases.