Being bitten or attacked by a dog is an incredibly frightening experience, especially for small children who, unfortunately, are the most common dog bite victims. Dog bites often result in catastrophic injuries, including puncture wounds, cuts and scrapes, bruises, broken bones, nerve damage, disfigurement, and head injuries. Additionally, they can cause serious emotional distress, including a new fear of dogs. In very severe cases, dog bites can be fatal.
At Selarz Law Corp., our Los Angeles dog bite lawyers represent victims and their loved ones. We believe that irresponsible dog owners who do not properly train and/or restrain their animals should be held accountable. We can help you seek the maximum compensation you are owed.
Understanding California Dog Bite Laws
Different states have different laws when it comes to dog bites and owner liability. California is what is known as a “strict liability” state; in other words, dog owners are strictly liable when their dogs bite someone. A dog owner in Los Angeles cannot escape liability by claiming that he or she did not know that the dog would bite. This is true even if the dog was leashed at the time of the bite and/or when the owner takes reasonable measures to restrain the dog.
In order to bring a dog bite claim in California, you must show the following:
- You were bitten by the dog (note that California law only applies to dog bites, not other types of dog attacks/dog-related injuries)
- You were bitten by the dog while lawfully on private property or while on public property
- You suffered injuries/damages as a result of the dog bite
If you were attacked but not bitten by a dog, you will have a somewhat harder time holding the owner responsible. In such instances, you will need to show that the owner was somehow negligent—for example, by letting a dog run loose in a leash-only public park—and that this negligence allowed the dog to injure you in some way.
Additionally, it is difficult, though not impossible, to seek compensation for damages when you are bitten by a dog acting in the line of duty, such as a police or military dog. And, if you were found to be trespassing on private property when you were bitten, you may not be able to recover for your damages.
If you were bitten by a dog in California, you have two years from the date of the incident to file a personal injury claim. It is important that you act quickly in reaching out to our Los Angeles dog bite attorneys, as memories fade over time and evidence can be lost. Our team can walk you through your legal rights and options; we have a proven track record of success and are prepared to fight zealously for the full, fair recovery you are owed.
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