Sacramento Dog Bite Lawyer
Dog Bite Attorney
If a dog bites you the owner is liable for your injuries.
If you have been injured by a dog bite you may be entitled to compensation. California law holds dog owners 100% liable when their dog bites a person. Even if the dog does not have a history of vicious behavior, the dog owner is still liable.
Dog bite victims may pursue several forms of damages. If you have been the victim of a dog bite you may be entitled to reimbursement for your medical expenses, lost wages, and compensation for your pain and suffering.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a dog bite, call our personal injury attorney at (916) 596-1018 for a free consultation.
California Dog Bite Law
California law holds dog owners strictly liable when their dog bites a person.
“Calif. Civil Code § 3342.
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.”
The statute makes dog owners 100% liable when their dog bites another person. 100% liability only applies to the dog’s owner, not just someone who harbors or keeps the animal. For example, if a person purchased the dog, paid for the dog’s license, and was often seen walking the dog they would likely qualify as the dog’s owner and would be 100% liable when the dog bites another person. Furthermore, 100% liability under the statute only applies to biting injuries. However, even if the bite does not break the skin the dog owner is still liable under the statute for any pain or damage resulting from the bite.
Dog owners do have some defenses to avoid 100% liability. The language of the statute makes the owner liable only if the person bitten by the dog was lawfully in a private place. Consequently, the statute and 100% liability does not apply if the plaintiff was trespassing on the defendants property. In addition, the dog owner may escape liability if the plaintiff assumed the risk of being bitten by the dog. If the plaintiff is paid to encounter the risk of being bitten by a dog, the plaintiff can be said to have assumed the risk of being bitten by the defendants dog. For example, if a kennel worker or veterinarian is bitten by a dog under their care, the kennel worker and veterinarian assumed the risk of being bitten by the dog and cannot recover damages under the dog bite statute.
Statute of Limitations
You have 2 years from the date of injury to file a lawsuit under California’s dog bite statute. If the 2 year period passes you cannot file a lawsuit and will lose your ability to recover compensation for your injuries. Therefore, it is important to contact a Sacramento dog bite attorney shortly after the attack takes place. Before the statute of limitations runs out your dog bite lawyer will negotiate with the defendant or their insurance company to reach a settlement. If your personal injury attorney cannot reach a settlement, you will need to file a lawsuit before the 2 year period runs out.
Any dog can bite a person, and California law holds all dog owners responsible when their dog attacks a person regardless of breed. However, some breeds are regarded as being dangerous due to their frequent involvement in dog bite cases. According to a study by the Center for Disease Control, Pitbulls and Rottweilers were involved in more than half of dog attack deaths between 1997 and 1998. German Shepherds, Husky-types, Malamutes, Doberman Pinscher, and Chows were also responsible for dog bite fatalities in that time period.
Dog Bite Lawyer
If you or your loved one has been injured by a dog bite call Sacramento Law Group at (916) 596-1018.
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What To Do After A Dog Bite
If you have been bitten by a dog there are several things you should do right away to protect yourself and your legal interests.
- Identify the dog. Identifying the dog is the first step to identifying its owner. Write down the address of where the dog lives and the name of the owner. This information will help you ascertain important information for your medical treatment and legal action.
- Obtain medical treatment. Dog bites can become infected and you may require rabies vaccinations. If the dog bite is very serious contact 911 or have someone drive you to the emergency room.
- Report the dog bite to the City of Sacramento Animal Care Services or your local animal control agency. Also, report the dog bite to the police.
- Identify the dog owner. Write down their name and address and the dog’s license information. Identifying the owner of the dog is an important step in proving liability under California’s dog bite statute.
- Take pictures of your injuries. Documenting your injuries shortly after the attack will help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
- Contact a dog bite attorney in Sacramento, CA. Call Sacramento Law Group at (916) 596-1018. It is important that you pursue your case before the statute of limitations expires.