Del Paso Heights Dog Bite Lawyer
You are walking along Harris Avenue in Del Paso Heights when you are suddenly attacked by a dog. They bite your arms, neck, and face causing serious physical injuries. The owner of the dog runs over to restrain their animal. Your injuries are so severe that you require immediate medical attention and surgery.
Unfortunately, the scenario described above is quite common. Each year, approximately 750,000 people bitten by dogs went to the emergency room. That means more than 1 in 5 people who suffer dog bite injuries require some form of medical treatment, according to the CDC. Insurance payouts related to dog bite injuries total roughly $300 million a year.California Dog Bite Law Holds Owners Strictly Liable
Under California Civil Code § 3342, dog owners are “strictly liable” when their dog engages in biting another individual. This statute says that a dog owner is liable for the harms sustained by someone bitten by their dog while in a public place or private place lawfully. This includes the property of the dog owner, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the dog owner’s knowledge of their pet’s viciousness.
Strict liability (also known as absolute liability), basically means that a defendant is legally responsible for your harms and losses, even if they were not negligent. This means if a dog owner claims, “I did not know that my dog had the propensity to bite someone,” they remain liable for your injuries. This is important because, in other states, a dog owner could potentially avoid liability if they claim they had no knowledge of their dog’s violent tendencies and the dog had not bitten anyone previously.
But it is important to keep in mind that strict liability only applies to the dog owner. This means that if a part-time dog walker is taking a dog out for a walk and the dog bites someone, the dog walker is not liable. The actual owner remains liable.Certain Dog Breeds More Prone to Be Violent
Multiple studies have indicated that Pitbulls and Rottweilers are the dog breeds most often involved in serious dog attack injuries and deaths. Other breeds involved in dog bite injuries include German Shepherds, Huskies, and Chows. However, it is important to understand that any dog, regardless of breed, could potentially bite a person. As mentioned above, California law holds all dog owners strictly liable when their dog is responsible for harming another person.Financial Restitution for Your Harms and Losses
If you or a loved one was the victim of a serious dog bite that caused significant harm, you can pursue financial restitution for your harms and losses. These are known as economic and non-economic damages. The types of damages you can recover include:
- Incurred medical expenses (e.g., treatment at the ER)
- Future medical expenses (e.g., surgery to address any scarring or nerve damage)
- Lost wages for time missed from work
- Pain and suffering
Typically, a dog bite injury claim is filed with the homeowner’s insurance policy of the dog owner.Statute of Limitations
Do not delay in taking legal action. You only have two years from the date of your dog bite injury to file a lawsuit under the statute of limitations. If you delay and the two-year window closes, you will be unable to file a lawsuit and will lose your ability to recover compensation for your injuries. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you contact a Del Paso Heights dog bite attorney shortly after the incident.
The video below explains why it's important to hire a lawyer for your dog bite claim.Del Paso Heights Dog Bite Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Del Paso Heights Dog Bite Lawyer. If you or someone you care about has suffered a serious injury or death as the result of a Del Paso Heights dog attack, please call me promptly at 916.921.6400 for free, friendly advice. During our initial phone call, we will go over the details of you or your loved one’s injury or death and decide the best way to proceed to recover compensation for your damages and losses.
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Photo by Makarand Sawant from Pexels
Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 11.8.19]