Dog Bite Q and A
California is just one of many states which have enacted statutes which make dog owners liable for any injuries caused by their animals. These laws are commonly known as dog-bite statutes. Generally speaking, these laws include numerous types of dog-inflicted injuries, from maulings to punctures, not just bites. There are very strict liability statutes which impose liability without assessing fault. This means that the injured party does not have to prove that the dog owner actually did anything wrong. If you or a friend or family member have suffered injuries caused by “man’s best friend” you may need some legal advice to know how to proceed. Let’s begin by offering the following questions and answers:
- My neighbor’s dog bit me when I was visiting her the other day. she feels she has no responsibilities for my Dr. visit because she say the dog has never bitten anyone before. I say differently. Who is right?
In California, it does not matter that the dog had no prior history of being a vicious dog. This is covered by our strict liability statue which demands the owner be responsible for all damages and injuries caused by the attacking dog.
- My neighbor also states that since the attack occurred on her property , it was my fault for being there. True?
No, quite the opposite in fact. Under California dog bite laws, the dog owner has an obligation to restrain his dog. If you were on private property legally the dog owner will be strictly liable for all personal injuries, and/or property damage caused by the animal in question.
- I feel like I should notify someone about this bite, but who?
All dog bites in California which break the skin or have caused puncture wounds should be reported IMMEDIATELY to the local county animal control . If the wounds are very serious, the police or county sheriff’s department should be notified as well. This will also protect your case if you need to move forward with a dog bite lawsuit.
- What should my next step be?
Contact the law offices of Jeffrey Dawson, a qualified dog bite attorney in Irvine. He will review the facts of your California dog bite case with you and determine the best approach for you. As each dog bite claim is unique, there is no pat answer to a possible settlement amount. You may be able to receive compensation for any medical bills and lost wages as well as pain and suffering, psychological trauma, physical disability, and surgeries for dog bite scars.