A dog bite can be extremely traumatic for the victim, especially in the event of catastrophic injury or wrongful death. In the history of dog bites, the most severely wounded victims have been children and the elderly. For these vulnerable parties, a dog bite can leave emotional scars or conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder. A bitten child, for example, may develop a fear of dogs or of going outside. For all injuries, physical and emotional, you or a loved one may have suffered from a dog bite, come to The Law Office of Arash Khorsandi for counsel. We understand the dog bite laws in California, and can help you bring a claim against the dog’s owner.
California Dog Bite Law
Every state follows its own statutes when someone’s dog bites another person. California law Section 3342 outlines the legal processes in a dog bite case. It states that the owner of a dog is liable for damages a person suffers due to a bite from the dog in a public place or a private place that the person was lawfully within. This is the case regardless of the owner’s knowledge of the dog’s violent tendencies. The “owner” can be anyone in charge of controlling the dog at the time of the attack. There is an exception in which the bitten person could not file a claim – such as when the dog was performing police or military work at the time of the bite.
California’s dog bite law is a strict liability statute. That means the courts will hold the dog’s owner strictly liable for the actions of his/her dog. A dog owner cannot use the defense that he or she had no prior knowledge of the dog’s viciousness, as this is irrelevant to the law. It also does not matter if the dog’s owner took steps to prevent a dog bite. If the dog bites someone, the owner is strictly liable for damages unless the person was trespassing on private property at the time of the attack. This is the only exception. This means that if someone’s dog bit you in California, odds are that person will have to pay for your medical bills and other damages.
Section 3342 applies specifically to dog bites, not other incidents such as a dog knocking someone down. In some states, the “dog bite” statute also covers these types of dog-related injuries. If a dog injured you in a way other than biting you, however, you could bring a claim against the owner on the basis of negligence. In this type of case, the injured party would have to prove that the dog’s owner was careless and did not use reasonable care to prevent the injury. For example, if a dog was loose in a yard and jumped on the mailman, knocking him down and breaking his hip. The mailman could assert that the dog’s owner reasonably should have foreseen the risk of this happening, and taken steps such as a fence or a leash to prevent the injury.
What to Do After a Dog Bite
Dog bites are often violent and hectic events, sometimes with more than one dog attacking the victim. If the victim survives the attack, he or she will likely have puncture wounds, scratches, or crush injuries. If the dog’s vaccinations were not up-to-date, the dog bite victim may have to receive a rabies shot or other treatments to avoid infection. Puncture wounds from dog bites can be very painful and take weeks to heal. The most important thing to do after a dog attack is to seek medical attention. The faster doctors treat these injuries, the better your prognosis may be. Then, contact The Law Office of Arash Khorsandi. We can help you pursue compensation.