Dogs are generally great pets. They can be loyal animals that provide us with years of faithful companionship, love, and many happy memories. However, dogs are still animals, and no matter how well trained they may be, it only takes one moment to turn “man’s best friend” into your worst enemy.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dogs bite as many as 4.5 million people per year, with nearly 900,000 people suffering an injury requiring medical treatment of some kind.
Strict Liability for Dog Bites in California
California no longer has the “one free bite” rule that many states still use, where the owner of a pet dog is not liable for the first time the dog bites a person. Pursuant to California Civil Code section 3342(a), an owner of a dog may be liable for damages suffered by an individual bitten by his or her dog regardless of whether the dog has a history of viciousness.
This law is a strict liability law, which means that a dog owner will be found liable if the injured victim can establish the following:
- The defendant owned the dog;
- The bite took place on public property or while the victim was lawfully on private property;
- The victim was actually bitten by the dog; and
- Suffered an injury as a result.
You do not have to prove that the dog had a history of attacking people, or that the owner knew that the dog had vicious tendencies. California has made it clear that a private owner of a dog must be responsible for the animal at all times.
It is important to note that the statute refers specifically to dog bites. This means that injuries caused by scratches from a dog’s paws, from tripping over a dog, or as a result of a dog jumping onto you may not be injuries for which the owner will be strictly liable. Determining the best way to approach a dog bite case requires the assistance of an experienced Anaheim dog bite attorney.
What To Do If Bitten By a Dog
If a dog has bitten you or someone you love, the first action you should take is to seek medical attention. You need to preserve a record of the injury, including medical records, photographs, and witness accounts (if any). You should also contact your local animal control agency and your local police department to have a report taken documenting the incident. Make sure to identify the breed of the dog, as some communities outlaw certain breeds such as Rottweilers and Pit Bulls for having aggressive tendencies. If the owner is violating a breed restriction, he or she may also be subject to a fine.
Once you have had your injuries treated, you should speak with an Anaheim dog bite and personal injury attorney to seek compensation for your injuries.
Contact Jamal Injury Law For Help With Your Case
We all know that pets are special to their owners, and it is not an easy decision to pursue a claim against someone because of something their beloved family pet did. Nevertheless, an attack by a dog can have serious, long-lasting consequences, and even if you feel sympathy to the pet’s owner, you still deserve the right to recover for your injuries.
Jamal Injury Law is here to help with your dog bite case. Attorney Suliman Jamal knows how to build these cases, and is dedicated to giving you the very best in skilled and knowledgeable representation. He will work hard to give you the best possible chance at receiving fair compensation for your injuries. Call Jamal Injury Law today at 714-907-1021 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.