California Dog Bite Lawyers | Animal Attack Attorneys
California Dog Bite Attorneys
Dogs of certain breeds and temperaments can be incredibly dangerous. There are millions of dog attacks each year in the U.S., many of which result in severe scarring, disfigurement, infections, and even death. If you, your child, or another member of your family was bitten by a dog, you may have grounds for a claim against the dog owner or another party.
The California dog bite lawyers at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers will evaluate your case for free and help you determine how to proceed. Our animal attack attorneys have a comprehensive knowledge of the laws that govern these cases and will use our experience and resources to help you fight for a fair settlement.
We have recovered more than $300 million for our clients. Call 1-800-GO-HARRIS today to set up a free consultation.
There is Strict Liability in California Dog Bite Cases
Some states have a “one-bite” rule that protects dog owners from liability in certain situations if the dog had not attacked anyone in the past. The idea here is that the dog owner might not have had a reason to believe that the animal posed a threat.
In the state of California, though, the dog owner is liable for an attack even if the dog had never bitten anyone before. This is known as “strict liability.” Even if the dog owner did not know the animal was dangerous, he or she can still be held liable for any injuries caused by an attack.
What You Need to Prove for Your Dog Bite Claim to Be Successful
For your dog bite claim to be successful, it must be shown that:
- The defendant owned the dog;
- The bite occurred when the victim was lawfully on private property or was on public property; and
- The victim was actually bitten by the dog, resulting in an injury.
Who Might Be Liable for Damages After a Dog Bite in California?
The defendant in most dog bite cases is the owner of the dog, but there are certain exceptions. Depending on the facts surrounding your case, the following parties may be held liable for damages:
- The Landlord: The landlord might be held liable for a dog bite if he or she knew that the tenant’s dog was dangerous, and the landlord had the right to remove the dog from the premises
- The Dog’s Caretaker: If the dog was under the control of another person or business when the bite occurred, that party might be held liable for your damages. However, the caretaker can only be liable if he or she had “prior knowledge” that the dog was dangerous. The caretaker might also be liable if the dog was negligently controlled or handled.
- The landlord of a Commercial Property: Landlords of commercial properties in California have a duty to inspect their premises for dangerous conditions, including dangerous animals. If a tenant of a commercial property allows a dog on the premises and it bites a customer, the landlord might be held liable—even if he or she did not know that the dog was on the property.
- Property Owners: The owner of a residential property can be held liable if a dangerous dog escapes due to a hole in the fence or another defect and an attack happens off-site.
Important Steps to Take After a Dog Bite in California
Recovering fair compensation after a dog bite might involve a complicated legal battle. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to simplify the process and give your claim a favorable chance of success:
- Take photos of any injuries and the dog that caused them;
- Visit a doctor for medical treatment;
- Try to locate the owner of the dog that bit you;
- Report the attack to the sheriff’s department or the nearest animal control agency; and
- Contact a California dog bite lawyer to discuss your case.
It is important that you consult a dog bite lawyer before you speak to any insurance companies. Do not sign any documents until you have spoken to an attorney at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers.
The insurance company is far more concerned about protecting their bottom line than about paying for your medical bills. Any information you give them can be used against you. If you accept a settlement without the approval of your attorney, it might not include certain damages to which you may be entitled, such as future medical bills, emotional distress, or pain and suffering.
Speak With Our California Dog Bite Attorneys About Your Case Today!
The California dog bite lawyers at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers are ready to answer your questions and aggressively represent your interests. We will evaluate your case in a free consultation and provide comprehensive legal guidance through every step of the proceedings. Call us today at 1-800-GO-HARRIS or fill out our contact form to schedule a free case evaluation.