Lodi Dog Bite Lawyer
Most dogs are loving and friendly companions who are not inclined to attack humans. However, some dogs 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 severe injuries after being attacked by a pit bull on East Elm Street. The woman reportedly walked down an alley and pushed 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 severe 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 attacks. This is often called the one-bite rule, where a dog owner can evade liability if they can show that they have 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 regarding civil claims filed by injured victims who were attacked by a dog or dogs.
Under California Civil Code § 3342, the dog owner is liable for the damages suffered by any person bitten by the dog, regardless of the dog's former viciousness or the owner's prior knowledge of viciousness. That means the owner is automatically liable for any injuries resulting from dog bites.
If no bite occurred, the owner might 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 damages to the plaintiff.
In California, these damages are generally designed to compensate victims for their injuries and 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, damages for lost earning capacity may be available if the attack left the victim temporarily or permanently disabled.
- 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.Dog Bite Lawyers in Lodi, CA
If you or a loved one has been injured in a dog bite or attack incident in Lodi, please contact our experienced Lodi dog bite lawyers at (209) 227-1931 or (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice. We can also be reached online at www.AutoAccident.com.
Our injury lawyers have served the Lodi and Greater California Community since 1982, helping injured people and their families recover after serious accidents.
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Editor's Note: updated [cha 7.25.23] sid rey [cs 793] Photo by ab