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California Dog Bite Lawyer- Animal Attack Attorney

Regardless of breed, size, or temperament; when a dog bites, it often leaves a lasting negative impact on the victim. The circumstances surrounding an attack vary, but often take a victim by surprise. In fact, our attorney’s own mother was bitten on the face when reaching down to pet a friend’s dog that was normally friendly with no previous signs of aggression. Most of us have either been bitten ourselves or have had someone close to us deal with these traumatic experiences.

Unfortunately, in California, dog bites are all too common. We consistently lead the nation in number of dog bite claims each year. If you or a family member has been bitten by a dog in California, rest assured you are not alone and Big League Law is here to help.

Quick Dog Bite Statistics

  • While any dog may bite, there are particular breeds that pose a greater threat. Of the fatal attacks in the U.S., these breeds are the top culprits: Pit Bull (66%), Rottweiler (10%), German Sheppard (5%), Mixed-breed (4%), American bulldog (4%), Mastiff/Bullmastiff (3%), Husky (3%)

  • Each day, nearly 1,000 persons in the U.S. are treated in hospital emergency departments for nonfatal dog bite-related injuries,

  • Approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur each year in the U.S. and nearly 1 out of 5 bites becomes infected.

  • In 2018, nearly 27,000 people underwent reconstructive surgery as a result of being  bitten by a dog.

  • Homeowners insurers paid out $882 million in liability claims related to dog bites  and other dog-related injuries in 2021.

  • The average cost per dog bite claim in the nation is $43,653.

California Is a Strict Liability State for Dog Bite Cases

Some states have a “one-bite” rule that would prevent a dog bite victim from making an injury claim for the attack. This rule would protect the dog owner from liability if the dog had not attacked anyone in the past. However, this is NOT the rule in California. In the state of California, dog bite cases are strict liability. This means the dog owner is strictly liable for an attack even if the dog had never bitten anyone before.

Who May Be Liable For Damages Caused by a Dog Bite?

In most cases, the defendant is the owner of the dog and is strictly liable for damages caused the victim by the dog bite, but there are a few exceptions. Reach out today and a Big League Law attorney will discuss with you the facts surrounding your case to determine if other parties may be liable. Depending on the circumstances, the following parties may also be liable for damages:

  • A Landlord: A landlord may be held liable for damages 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.

  • A Property Owner: The owner of a residential property may be held liable if a dangerous dog escapes the property due to a hole or other property defect and the attack happens off-site.

  • The Dog’s Caretaker: If the dog was under the care or control of another person or business when the bite occurred, that party may be liable for damages. However, the caretaker can only be liable if he/she had “prior knowledge” that the dog was dangerous. The caretaker may also be liable if there was negligent handling of the dog.

  • Landlord of a Commercial Property: Commercial Property law in California places a duty on the landlord to inspect their premises for dangerous conditions and that includes dangerous animals. If a tenant of a commercial property allows a dog on the premises that bites a customer, the landlord may be held liable even if he/she was unaware that the dog was on the property.

What You Must Prove for a Successful Dog Bite Claim

In order to recover for your dog bite-related injuries, it must be shown that:

  • The Defendant owned the dog

  • The bite occurred when the victim was lawfully on public or private property; and

  • The victim was actually bitten by the dog, resulting in an injury.

Important Steps to Take If Bitten by a Dog in California

Dog bite claims in California may seem straight forward given the strict liability nature of the law; however, these cases often result in complicated legal battles especially if proper steps weren’t taken following the injury. Here are some steps that any victim should take immediately following a dog bite that will give the injury claim the most favorable chance of success:

  1. Take multiple photos of the injury and the dog that caused them.

  2. Visit a doctor for medical evaluation and treatment.

  3. Locate the owner of the dog that bit you and take down their personal information such as name, address, phone number.

  4. Report the attack to law enforcement and obtain a written report if possible.

  5. Contact a dog bite and animal attack attorney to discuss your case.

Far too often, dog bite victims fail to consult with a dog bite attorney before settling the injury claim with an insurance company. This commonly results in inadequate compensation for recovery. If you or a family member has been bitten by a dog, consult first with a Big League Law attorney and DO NOT sign any documentation with an insurance company until we have had the opportunity to review the case with you.

Unfortunately, insurance companies are most concerned with paying as little as possible to compensate victims for dog bite injuries. Insurance companies do not have your best interests at heart and any information you give them can be used against you. If you accept a settlement offer without the approval of your attorney, it may not include certain damages you are entitled to such as future medical bills, emotional distress, or pain and suffering, etc.

Speak with Our California Dog Bite and Animal Attack Attorney Today!

What may seem like a small case to some law firms, any dog bite can leave a BIG emotional scar on the victim. You need a dog bite attorney that puts your interests first and will aggressively represent your interests throughout every step of the proceedings. At Big League Law, YOU are our #1 and our attorney will seek the BIGGEST possible compensation to help you recover for your injury. Call (949) 414-6630 NOW or fill out our FREE Consultation Form and we’ll contact you when you’re ready.

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