Rio Linda Dog Bite Lawyer
The old adage is that dogs are a man's best friend. However, dogs are animals and can have violent tendencies. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 4.2 million people in the United States are attacked and bitten by dogs yearly. If that was not bad enough, children are the most commonly injured people in dog attacks.
If you or a family member is attacked by a dog, you may be entitled to compensation through a Rio Linda dog bite injury claim filed against the dog owner's homeowner's insurance policy.California Courts Follow Strict Liability for Dog Bites
The California legislature passed a law imposing strict liability on all dog owners. This means a dog owner is almost automatically deemed liable if their dog attacks another person and cannot hide behind a defense claiming they did not previously know of their dog's vicious tendencies. This effectively eliminates any alleged "one free bite" rule. To establish strict liability, all that a person injured by a dog needs to prove is:
- The defendant is the dog owner.
- The attack happened on public property or while the victim was lawfully on private property.
- The victim sustained an injury from a bite during the attack.
- The dog in question caused the injury.
Although the dog owner is the main person charged with liability in a dog attack, there are other parties with a degree of liability. They include:
- Dog Keeper or Caretaker: California law generally makes the owner of a dog liable for dog bites. What happens when the attack occurs while the dog is with a caretaker? Under California law, liability may be assessable against the dog keeper, but it is not a strict liability. For a caretaker or dog walker to be held liable, there needs to be evidence indicating that they knew the dog had a vicious propensity. A caretaker would also be liable if the dog attack occurred due to his negligence in dealing with the animal.
- Residential Property Owners: If the dog attack occurred on residential property, the property owner could be held liable if, for example, a dog escapes through a defect in the property, like a hole in a fence, and that defect proximately caused the injuries.
- Commercial Property Owners: In the case of a commercial property, the landlord must inspect the property for safety hazards, including the presence of vicious animals. The reason for this is that members of the public can access this property. If a dog bites a customer while shopping, the commercial property owner could share the liability with the dog owner.
The best way to assess which parties may be liable for your harm and losses is to schedule a time to sit down and talk with a Rio Linda dog bite lawyer. Your lawyer should be able to investigate the facts and determine which parties may be liable for your injuries and the available sources of insurance coverage.The Right to Compensation
A competent Rio Linda dog bite lawyer can help you get the monetary compensation you deserve for the injuries you suffered. Compensation for dog bite injuries includes:
- Medical Bills
- Pain and Suffering
- Lifestyle Changes
- Loss of Income
- Medical Monitoring
- Reduced Earning Capacity
It is critically important that you find out who owned the dog. As mentioned, California adheres to strict liability for dog owners, so determining who actually had ownership over the dog can make or break a personal injury claim. If you were bitten by a stray dog, you may be unable to recover financially due to the lack of an insurance policy that would cover the attack and compensate you for your injuries.Compliance with the Statutory Deadline Required
You should speak to an attorney and file a claim immediately. This is because the statute of limitations period for dog bite injuries in California is only two years from the date of the attack.Rio Linda Dog Bite Lawyer
Have you or your loved one been injured by a dog bite or another person's negligence? Please contact our law firm at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly, and no-obligation advice. See our past cases on our Verdicts and Settlements page.