California law imposes strict liability on a dog’s owner for injuries when his or her dog bites someone. The application of this strict liability rule is not always straightforward, and it is subject to a small number of exceptions.
Dog bite lawyer Sean Salamati in Los Angeles has the knowledge and experience to help victims that have suffered injuries from dog bites and other animal attacks to recover full damages from the party or parties responsible for controlling and restraining the dog.
Section 3342 of the California Civil Code specifies that a dog’s owner is strictly liable for injuries that a person suffers from a dog bite. This code section applies to any victim that is bitten by a dog in a public place and when the victim is lawfully on private property, including the dog owner’s property. This law imposes liability on the dog’s owner regardless of whether the dog has previously demonstrated any dangerous or vicious propensities.
A dog’s owner may be excused from liability under certain limited exceptions:
The California statute is not limited to injuries caused by dog bites but encompasses other injuries that might occur, for example, when a dog knocks over or causes another person to fall, or pushes an object over that then strikes and injures that person.
In these circumstances and dog bite cases, the injured party has two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for his or her injuries.
California is a strict liability state for dog bite injuries, and the owner will be presumed to bear liability for the injuries. Nonetheless, the owner can argue that the victim was not authorized to be on the owner’s property, or that the victim provoked the animal or ignored warnings to stay away from it. A knowledgeable and experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney will be best able to overcome these defenses when a lawsuit is filed as soon as possible after a dog bite or animal altercation when all facts and witness memories are still fresh.
As with other injuries that you might suffer, you should never ignore a dog bite injury. If you can, you should first identify and gather as much information about the dog and its owner as you can, including contact information and license and rabies vaccine records for the dog.
Take pictures of the injuries and where the dog bite occurred. Sterilize any wounds with soap and water and get medical attention, including emergency room treatment if necessary, and save all medical records and bills.
Contact your local California animal control officials or the police to report the injury
After you have treated your wounds and reported the dog bite incident, please see call the Salamati Law Firm to speak with a Los Angeles dog bite lawyer for a no-fee consultation. Sean Salamati represents clients in Los Angeles and throughout southern California that have experienced serious injuries from dog and animal encounters. We will fight to recover the damages you deserve for your losses and injuries. You owe us no money unless we recover compensation on your behalf!