Who is Liable in a Dog Bite Case?

California’s Dog Bite Law

California imposes stringent laws against the owners of dogs who act viciously. You may be eligible for compensation if a dog has attacked you. The following information details such incidents and how you can approach an attorney or legal specialist for a possible settlement.

California’s Dog Bite Law

There is no gray area in California’s dog bite law. Section 3342 of the civil code clearly assigns responsibility to the dog owner in certain situations. For example, the code states the pet owner is accountable if the bite occurs on any public property or private property, even if the property belongs to the person who owns the dog. The state created the code to protect people who were victimized by dogs that the pet owners knew were capable of causing harm. The state of California also has a “one bite” rule in its dog bite cases. That means that the court can hold the owner liable the very first time the pet attacks a person.

Exceptions to 3342

A few situations may exclude the pet owner from taking responsibility for the bite. The first instance is when the victim was trespassing on private property. In other words, the law will not protect those who were in the midst of criminal or mischievous behavior.

Certain pet owners are exempt from the strict bite law. Police officers and military personnel are exempt from the statute if their dog bites someone while it is performing its duties. For example, the court will not hold the police precinct responsible for bites that the dog does during a chase or arrest in criminal activity.

The code does not protect people who provoke the animals. You might not be entitled to a settlement if you taunted the dog in any way. However, no one will hold you accountable for provoking the dog just by petting it or being friendly to it. Your Los Angeles personal injury lawyer will have to review the case extensively to tell if you can receive compensation for your injuries.

The statute only covers dog bites, not scratches or any other types of injuries. A dog attack lawyer will review the events leading up to the injury and then decide whether you can proceed with the case and obtain a monetary award.

The Logic of Negligence

A legal professional can help you get a monetary reward for your claim based on the defendant’s negligence. The law sees the owner as the sole responsible party of any actions that his or her pet does. The pet owner is the person who spends most time learning its tendencies. Owners are also responsible for ensuring that the dog stays well-mannered in its social activities and won’t cause harm. Additionally, pet owners must make sure that they walk their dogs with leashes and monitor them when they are outside exercising or spending time outside. All of those factors can affect the outcome of a personal injury case if you bring one with the help of an experienced Los Angeles attorney for dog attack disputes.  

Monetary Rewards for Dog Bites

The money you receive for your dog bite injury can cover many expenses. The compensation can pay for the medical bills that you accumulated for the treatment you received in the hospital or doctor’s office. In addition, compensation can cover your medications and physical therapy. Furthermore, the funds can pay for the time that you lost at work because you were receiving care for the bite.

The first type of damages are called compensatory damages because it primarily compensates you for what you lost. The second type of damages that your canine attack lawyer can help you get is called punitive damages. Punitive damages are built to punish the offender for extremely negligent behavior. If you have strong evidence that shows extraordinarily negligent conduct, it will be easier to enforce this ruling. For example, you have a strong case if the dog owner intentionally and willfully ordered his or her dog to bite you.

Contact an Attorney to Discuss the Case

Don’t allow a dog bite to affect your life. Contact a legal expert if you have been victimized by someone’s pet. You may be eligible for contingency representation, which means that you won’t pay a penny unless an attorney for vicious dog attacks wins the case for you. That takes the stress out of the matter and gives you the motivation to move forward. We are waiting to speak to you about your injury today. All you have to do is call and set up an appointment.