A dog attack is a traumatizing event that can have deadly consequences. Most dogs are sweet and loving, living life for nothing more than a bowl of kibble and a good back scratch each day. However, dogs, although domesticated, are just animals, no matter how much we shower them with affection and care. Some of them act on their animal instincts, violently attacking innocent people and leaving behind devastating injuries, scarring and disfigurement, and psychological and emotional trauma. If a dangerous dog bites you, you have a right in California to hold the dog’s owner accountable. Speaking to a Los Angeles dog attack attorney as soon as possible following the attack is important to preserving your right to collect compensation.
While the majority of dogs never bite humans, a large number do. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that 4.7 million dog bites happen in our country each year. Of those, around 800,000 are serious enough to require medical care. In 2015, a significant number of dog bite cases—28,000—were so bad that they required surgery. California leads the nation in the number of dog bites experienced by victims each year. ER visits for dog bite attacks rose to 38,000 in 2016. Domestic dog bites account for 77 percent of all animal bite injuries in California annually. The average insurance settlement payout in California, according to State Farm, is roughly $37,000.
Liability in a dog bite case is determined under California Civil Code 3342. This dog bite statute holds that a dog owner is strictly liable for the injuries that their dog causes, regardless of whether the dog has ever shown dangerous tendencies in the past. Under this statute, the victim in a dog bite case only has to prove that they did not provoke the dog and that the attack occurred in a public place or while the victim was legally and lawfully in a private place, such as on the property of the dog’s owner. The owner’s negligence must not be proven under the strict liability rule.
If you were bitten or attacked by a dog, you have a limited window during which you can seek out damages for your injuries. This is known as the statute of limitations, and it is spelled out clearly under the California Code of Civil Procedure 335.1—you have two years to file a claim against the responsible party following the attack.
Most dog attack claims seek damages for medical costs, lost income, and pain and suffering. If your dog bite was serious enough to cause a permanent disability, you may also qualify for compensation for your reduced capacity to make a living.
To ensure the best outcome in your dog attack case, speak to JML Law’s Los Angeles dog attack attorney immediately. Schedule your no-cost case review today.
Every case is unique and needs to be evaluated by our experienced lawyers. If you have been injured in a work-related accident.