Dogs are often referred to as man’s best friend, but in the hands of a negligent owner, a dog can become a danger to others. Dog owners are responsible for ensuring their pets do not cause injury or damages to people or property and, when they fail to do so, victims may pursue compensation for their injuries. Compensation for a dog bite injury may include missed time from work, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.
What You Need to Know About Dog Bite Injury Cases
If you were bitten by a dog, you can file a personal injury claim against the owner. In California, Civil Code 3342 is known as the dog bite statute. Unlike many other states, California holds dog owners liable for dog bite injuries even if the dog did not show any previous signs of aggression. That means you could receive compensation for your injuries even in cases where negligence was not a factor.
Of course, this is only the case on public property or on private property or if you were lawfully on private property. In certain circumstances, a dog owner may not be held liable for a victim’s injuries.
Here are some exceptions in which, under Civil Code 3342, a dog owner may not be liable for a bite injury:
- The victim trespassed private property
- The dog in question is a law enforcement animal
- The victim was partially at fault for the resulting injuries
- The victim assumed the risk
To win a dog bite injury case under the statute above, you will have to prove the following:
- The dog belongs to the defendant
- The victim was bitten by the dog in a public place or while the victim was lawfully on private property
- The dog bite caused injury or harm to the victim
- The dog bite is a substantial factor in the victim’s injuries
Even if you do not meet all of the factors above, you may win your case by proving general negligence against he dog owner or person responsible for the dog at the time of the attack.
What to Do After a Dog Bite Injury
The aftermath of a dog bite injury is often overwhelming, but it is essential to follow certain steps to ensure you receive the compensation you are entitled to.
Here are some of the steps you must take:
- Ask for the owner’s name and contact information, such as their address and phone number.
- If there were any witnesses, get their names and contact information as well.
- If possible, take pictures of the dog, any visible injuries you may have, and of anything else that may help support your account of the events.
Schedule a Case Evaluation with a Skilled Personal Injury Attorney to Discuss Your Case!
If you were bitten by a dog on public property or while lawfully on private property, you should not hesitate to reach out to the team at Frish Law Group, APLC for the legal guidance you need. Our experienced personal injury team can help ensure you receive the compensation you are entitled to.