San Jose Dog Bite Lawyers
If you or your child are suffering from dog bite injuries, it is a good idea to talk with an attorney about your legal rights and options. Our San Jose dog bite lawyers will listen to your story and advise you of the next best steps. If another person’s dog caused you harm through no fault of your own, then under California law, you can pursue compensation for your injuries.
At Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, we are devoted to helping accident and injury victims recover just compensation for their injuries. We are proud to have aided more than 5,000 clients to win over $300 million in settlements and court rulings. While we never guarantee that we will win you a certain amount of compensation, we always work as hard as possible to obtain the maximum amount of compensation possible for your injuries.
To learn more about California’s dog bite law and when you can sue for dog bite compensation, call us at 1-800-GO-HARRIS. You also can submit your information through our online form, and we will contact you to schedule your free consultation.
Who is Responsible for a Dog Attack?
If you were injured when you were attacked by a dog, we recommend calling our dog bite lawyers in San Jose. We will review with you which individual or people may be liable for your injuries.
In many situations, the dog owner will be liable for your injuries. Following the attack, it is helpful if you can identify the dog’s owner, even if all you get is their name and phone number or address. Our attorneys can then move forward with filing an insurance claim against the dog owner’s homeowner’s policy or filing a lawsuit against the owner. If you were unable to identify the dog bite owner right away, we can undertake an investigation into this issue.
The dog owner may not be the only party you can hold liable for your injuries. If, at the time of the attack, the dog was under the supervision of another person, such as a dog walker or daycare or kennel employee, then that individual or business may be liable for your injuries.
In some circumstances, a property owner can be liable for your injuries. A property owner may be required to provide safe premises for their customers, guests, or tenants. Failing to keep a dog contained may constitute negligence.
California Dog Bite Law
California’s law regarding holding dog owner’s responsibility for dog bites is California Civil Code Section 3342. A dog’s owner is liable for the damages any person suffers by bitten by their dog in a public place, or when the victim is lawfully in a private place, regardless of whether the dog had a history of viciousness or the owner had knowledge of the dog’s former viciousness.
This is a strict liability law. The owner is automatically responsible for the harm their dog causes. It does not matter whether the dog has attacked anyone else before. Even if the dog had bitten someone before, it does not matter whether the owner knew about the incident or not.
That being said, there are ways for dog owners to defend against strict liability claims. One dog bite defense is that the victim was trespassing on private property. If you believe the dog’s owner may make this claim, call a San Jose dog bite attorney right away.
Another possible defense is that the victim antagonized the dog. If you believe the owner may claim you were at fault for the attack, call a lawyer immediately. It can help your claim to prepare for possible defenses that could cause you to lose your case or to receive limited compensation.
Pursuing Compensation Based on Negligence
If you believe a dog walker, doggy daycare, kennel, or property owner is responsible for the attack and your injuries, you will need to establish that party’s negligence. You must be able to prove that the dog handler failed to act as a reasonably prudent person would under the circumstances.
This may mean the handler failed to keep the dog on a leash or secured on their property. It may mean the handler let the dog run free in an off-leash area knowing that the dog had a history of aggression or viciousness.
Pursuing Dog Bite Compensation in San Jose
Whether you pursue compensation from the dog owner through a strict liability claim or from a dog handler or property owner through a negligence claim, we are here to fight for you to receive full and fair compensation for your injuries.
We will look for a relevant insurance claim. However, if there is no insurance coverage or the insurer refuses to offer a fair settlement, then we are not afraid to represent you in court.
Whether through a lawsuit or an insurance claim, we will demand fair compensation for your:
- Medical Bills
- Lost Wages
- Other Injury-Related Expenses
- Physical Pain and Suffering
- Emotional Distress
- Permanent Disfigurement
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
- Reduced Earning Capacity
Call our San Jose dog bite attorneys at 1-800-GO-HARRIS for help.