Lodi Dog Bite Lawyer
The vast majority of dogs are loving and friendly companions who are not inclined to attack humans. However, there are some dogs that have vicious propensities and can inflict tremendous damage on a person if they engage in an attack.
For example, a senior and her 4-year-old grandson suffered serious injuries after being attacked by a pit bull on East Elm Street. The woman had reportedly been walking down an alley and pushing a shopping cart with her grandson in it when they were targeted by the pit bull.
California leads the nation in dog bite-related injury claims. The most commonly bitten people in California are children and the elderly. Often, dog bite attacks occur close to home, and many of the most serious cases involve a dog whose identity is known to the person bit. It is not uncommon for the owner and the victim to be neighbors, and in many cases, the injured person has even had previous threatening encounters with the offending animal.California Holds Dog Owners Strictly Liable for Their Pet's Harms
In many states, a safe-harbor rule applies to dog bites and dog attacks. This is often referred to as the one-bite rule where a dog owner can evade liability if they can show that they had no knowledge of their dog's vicious and violent tendencies. Fortunately, California does not adhere to this doctrine. In fact, California follows the doctrine of strict liability when it comes to civil claims filed by injured victims who were attacked by a dog, or dogs.
Under California Civil Code § 3342, the owner of a dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s prior knowledge of viciousness. That means that the owner is automatically liable for any injuries resulting from dog bites.
If no bite occurred, the owner may still be liable for the victim’s injuries under a negligence theory. Under California law, a dog owner has a legal duty to prevent a dog he owns from injuring others. For example, if a large dog tramples a small child without biting the child, the owner of that dog may still be liable for damages because he owed a legal duty to keep that child safe from his pet.Damages Available as a Result of Filing a Dog Bite Injury Claim
A dog bite lawsuit is a civil lawsuit. Unlike in a criminal lawsuit where a defendant is prosecuted by the state and criminal penalties may be levied, a defendant in a civil lawsuit is subject to litigation brought by the injured victim and would be required to pay money damages to the plaintiff.
In California, these damages are generally designed both to compensate victims for their injuries and to deter future misconduct. The most commonly sought damages in dog-bite lawsuits are:
- Payment of Medical Bills: California law allows victims to seek compensation from owners of vicious dogs for any ambulance costs, surgical procedures, hospital care, and recovery.
- Lost Wages: If a victim has to miss work to recover from a dog bite attack, any wages lost during the recovery period are compensable. Additionally, if the attack left the victim temporarily or permanently disabled, damages for lost earning capacity may be available.
- Pain and Suffering: Not only do dog bites hurt, but survivors of attacks are also often left with traumatic memories and psychological and mental conditions such as PTSD. This final category of damages allows recovery for those types of intangible injuries.
In most dog bite injury cases, a claim is filed against the homeowner's insurance policy of the pet owner. This policy may still be responsible for paying your claim, even if the dog attack occurred outside the dog owner's residence.
Watch the following video for tips on what to do after being bitten by a dog.Lodi Dog Bite Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Lodi Dog Bite Lawyer. Have you or someone you love been injured in a dog bite or attack incident? Please contact me right away at (209) 227-1931 or (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice with no obligation. I can also be reached online at www.AutoAccident.com.
Our injury lawyers have been serving the Lodi and Greater California Community since 1982, helping injured people and their families recover after serious accidents.
See some of my past Verdicts and Settlements here.
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Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 12.29.20]