Each year there are a high number of dog bite injuries in the Los Angeles area. Sometimes, a dog bite can happen when visiting a friend’s home or when taking a stroll. No matter how the dog bite occurs, suffering a dog bite injury can be a traumatic experience. It’s even more traumatic when the victim is a young child. Below are several things to consider if you or a loved one have suffered a dog bite injury.
1. California Law
California makes a pet owner “strictly liable” for dog bite injuries. That means that if you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit against the dog’s owner, it doesn’t matter if the owner knew that their dog had been vicious in the past. The dog’s owner cannot argue that the dog had always been friendly or that they didn’t know that their dog had the potential to be a danger. However, there are some exceptions as to when a dog owner can be held with strict liability.
An owner is strictly liable only if the injured person was:
- Was in a public place or was lawfully in a private place when the bite happened.
That means that if the victim was trespassing on private property when they suffered a dog bite, then the owner may not be strictly liable. However, that determination should be made by an attorney when reviewing the specific facts of your case.
2. What Constitutes a Dog Bite?
A dog bite is when a dog actually sinks its teeth and breaks the victim’s skin. A dog bite can also include instances when a dog grabs a person with its teeth but doesn’t break the skin. There have been cases where the dog’s owner was liable where the dog closed its jaw on the victim’s pants and caused him to fall off a ladder.
If you decide to file a lawsuit for your dog bite injuries, you want to document the extent of your injuries. That can include medical bills and any other impact that the injuries have caused. If you have been bitten by a dog, discuss your case with an experienced attorney.
3. How Can I Recover From My Dog Bite Injuries?
If a person is injured as a result of a dog bite, he or she may be entitled to two types of damages in a personal injury lawsuit:
- Economic damages
- General damages.
Economic damages are usually quantifiable. They include expenses such as medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, and other tangible costs expected with care and recovery.
General damages on the other hand are harder to measure. They are meant to compensate a person for any loss in life quality, emotional anguish from permanent disfigurement, physical pain, and more.
Contacting a qualified attorney who has handled dog bite cases can help you assess damages in your specific case. For more general information, you can visit our website discussing dog bites.
Speaking With a Lawyer About Dog Bite Injuries
If you were injured by a dog bite, our skilled attorneys at Lederer & Nojima can assess your specific situation, at no cost to you. You may be entitled to damages for injuries. To schedule a free consultation, please contact us at our website or by phone at (310) 312-1860.