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California Dog Bite Attorney
Every client we took on recovered the maximum amount of damages for their injuries.
Every year, more than 800,000 people receive medical attention after being bitten by a dog. Dog bites can be painful and frightening. They may also lead to significant medical bills, scarring, and even disability. If a dog has injured you, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Our dog bite lawyers can help you receive damages after you have been attacked.
Dog bites are a more common problem than you might think
- The CDC reports dog bites are a more significant health problem for children than measles, mumps, and whooping cough combined.
- Dog bites argoode more common than bike accidents, playground injuries, mopeds, skateboards, or ATVs.
- The most common victims are boys ages 5 to 9.
- Due to their size, children, in general, are most frequently bit in the face, neck, and head.
Covid lockdown and the increase in dog bites
The number of dog bites in the home increased during the Covid Lockdown.
A study in Italy titled Consequences of COVID-19 Lockdown on Children and Their Pets: Dangerous Increase of Dog Bites among the Paediatric Population found an increase in dog bites from familiar dogs than stranger dogs in 2020 during the Covid outbreak compared to 2014-2019.
The number of bites that required sutures was significantly higher in 2020 as an indirect sign of greater violence in the act of biting.
Taken together, the results are indirectly suggestive of familiar dogs' higher level of anxiety, stress and behavioural disorders resulting in more aggressiveness towards children.
Source: US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health
Top places where dogs attack
An article on Heliyon by author Randall T. Loder on The demographics of dog bites in the United States showed, from 2005-2013, most incidents of dog bites occur
- highest in the homes (28,281)
- on the street (2,634)
- other property (3,564)
- forty-five incidents of dog bites occurred on farms
California ranked #1 in the total number of dog bite claims
Our Golden State raked in 2,396 dog bite claims in 2019, according to the Insurance Information Institute. The average cost per claim is approximately $52,000, making California the #1 state with reported dog bite claims.
In 2019, California paid over $122 million in dog bite claims.
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), which analyzed data from homeowners insurance claims reported to State Farm and other insurance companies, the total dollars paid out by insurers for dog bite claims nationwide in 2018 was $675 million. In 2003, it was $324 million.
Who is liable for your dog bite injuries?
Negligence covers most dog bite cases. This means that the dog's owner is responsible for failing to prevent the attack.
To prove the dog owner's negligence, you must show that:
- The owner had a duty to control the animal;
- The owner failed to meet their duty; and
- You were injured as a result of this failure.
In most cases, the dog owner will be legally responsible for any injuries caused by a dog bite or attack.
In other cases, it may be necessary to prove that the owner knew about the dog's temperament before the incident to hold them liable for injuries caused by their dog.
In California, the dog owner is strictly liable for the damages caused by a dog bite, regardless of the dog's history.
What kind of damages can a dog bite attorney recover for you?
Medical costs: a knowledgeable attorney will recover compensation for your medical expenses related to your injuries, including hospitalization, surgery, medication, and rehabilitation
Lost wages: when you miss work due to your injuries, an attorney can fight to recover compensation for your lost income.
Pain and suffering: A dog bite attack can cause emotional and physical pain and suffering.
If a dog injured you, the dog's owner might have to pay you compensation for your pain and suffering.
Punitive Damages: In some states, severe dog bite injury victims are entitled to punitive damages when a dog owner acted with malice or exhibited willful neglect toward their animal.
Punitive damages are considered "exemplary" because they serve as an example to others of what happens if they engage in similar behavior.
Punitive damages are sometimes (though rarely) awarded in addition to the plaintiff’s compensatory damages in order to serve as punishment to the defendant. In a California dog bite case, the defendant’s behavior would need to be malicious, oppressive, despicable, or fraudulent in order for punitive damages to be awarded.
In other words, the behavior would be intentional, willful, or with knowing disregard for the victim’s safety.
California dog bite law
States vary in how they handle dog bite cases.
In California, the courts operate under strict liability law.
Under California strict liability law, a dog's owner is responsible for attacks, regardless of whether or not they knew the dog was dangerous.
In 1931, California enacted a strict liability law for dog bites.
California code 3342 states:
(a) The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner's knowledge of such viciousness. A person is lawfully upon the private property of such owner within the meaning of this section when he is on such property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him by the laws of this state or by the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or when he is on such property upon the invitation, express or implied, of the owner.
In most cases, California dog bite victims only need to prove that the dog significantly injured them and that they were on public property or had permission to be on private property.
Have you recently been bitten by a dog? Or had someone close to you been bitten by an animal?
We're in your corner.
Our MVP Accident Attorneys are here to help you recover from the trauma of a dog bite.
If a dog has recently bitten you, or even if someone close to you has, we understand that it can be a very difficult emotional experience. We have expertise in helping you get back on your feet and find justice for what happened.
Please don't wait to contact our personal injury attorney.
Let us do our best to lighten the financial burdens you are facing. We suggest you act quickly.
The longer you wait to pursue your case, the lower your chances of a successful outcome.
Put Our Experience To Work For You
When can I file a dog bite lawsuit?
California statute of limitation is two years.
If you do not file a lawsuit within two years from the date of your injury, your case will likely be dismissed.
I wasn't injured in the dog attack, but my dog was. What can I do?
You can sue the dog's owner.
Keep in mind this doesn't apply under California's dog bite law.
In our Golden State, dogs are legally considered "property." If your "property" is damaged, you can recover compensation in a property damage lawsuit.
Do you have a case?
At MVP Accident Attorneys, we can help you determine whether or not your case has merit.
After many years in the legal profession, we know which cases are worth pursuing. Once we take on a case, we work closely with our clients from start to finish. You will be able to speak directly with your attorney any time, day or night.
You're at a point in your life when you need help, and this is the place where the best attorney can come in.
Put Our Experience To Work For You