Dog Bites and Personal Injury Liability
Dogs have long been known to be wonderful companions, though they can also be unpredictable. Even a dog that has a sweet demeanor may suddenly bite or attack another person.
In California, there is a strict liability rule in place for dog bites. This rule states that dog owners are held responsible for the injuries their dogs cause, regardless of the animal’s previous behavior. This rule also applies even if the dog never displayed any signs of aggression.
The rules for dog bites and personal injury liability apply to those who were bitten while lawfully on the property where the attack took place. These rules also apply if a dog owner has their pet out in a public place.
However, if the injured party was trespassing or provoked the dog, the liability of the owner may be reduced, depending on the circumstances.
Is the Dog Owner Responsible for My Dog Bite in California?According to the attorneys at The Law Offices of Rosenstock and Azran, the laws about dog bites in the state specify that dog owners are responsible for all bites that occur either in public places or on private property when the victim is an invited or lawful visitor.
An invited visitor could be a friend or other family member as well as someone assigned to perform their duties. As an example, a postal employee delivering the mail is a lawful visitor. Basically, a lawful visitor is someone who is on the property with an expressed or implied invitation by the property owner.
Under California’s dog bite law, it does not matter if the dog in question was ever vicious before. All dog owners are responsible for dog bites in this state. They may face reduced liability for trespassers or in situations where the dog was provoked, something that is common with small children who may not realize they are agitating the animal.
What Compensation Can I Receive for a Dog Bite in California?If you were the victim of a dog bite or attack in this state, you can seek compensation for your economic damages and non-economic losses. Most often, this will include the medical expenses to treat the dog bite as well as any reconstructive surgery, hospitalization, or psychological counseling.
A serious dog bite may render you unable to work, which would permit you to seek lost wages. Depending on the impact of this dog bite, it may reduce your future earning ability, something you’d want to add to your calculations of damages.
Being bitten by a dog can be a traumatizing experience. It can cause you emotional distress, pain and suffering, permanent disfigurement, and a reduced quality of life. You may forever be fearful of seeing dogs after this incident. Working with an attorney can help you ensure you have legal support throughout the process of pursuing compensation.
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