Whether you are a proud dog owner, understanding state laws on ownership can be useful to you. Although owners have a soft spot for their furry companions, preventative measures should always be taken to prevent an accidental situation from happening.
In the case of an accidental dog bite, looking for representation can be a tedious task. Between taking life day-by-day during this pandemic, the last thing you may want to do is to anxiously search for a firm that will advocate for you.
Fortunately, Okhovat Law Firm is skilled in handling cases ranging from common auto injuries to wrongful deaths and everything in-between. Our Sherman Oaks attorney for domestic animal attacks has a proven track record and a passionate, dedicated work ethic to support the needs of their clients, including a lawyer for feral dog attacks.
Dog Accident Attorneys You Can Depend On
There is never a wrong time to look for a personal injury lawyer. If you are getting sued or have been harmfully attacked, you should consider making an appointment at our law firm in Sherman Oaks. Anna Okhovat, a skilled personal injury attorney and litigator, is experienced in dog bite injuries and can explain how California’s strict law applies to best help your case.
If you are a dog owner, faced with complaints, criminal charges and lawsuits regarding your furry companion, it is best to seek consultation before the court rules relocation or putting your pet down. As the victim of a dog attack, your circumstances are slightly different. Our attorney aims to help you reach a verdict or settlement that will compensate for treatments, traumas, and anything you may need.
This firm is known for putting clients first, with no prominent fees until the case is won. We handle a variety of California personal injury lawsuits, such as:
Don’t wait and lose your opportunity to file a claim for compensation. Instead, give us a call at 310-362-6740 or email us at email@example.com.
How Does California Law Assess Dog Bites | How to Determine Liability?
California is one of many states that enforces a strict civil code. If you have been personally affected or faced with a lawsuit, it is important to know how dog bites are legally determined:
- Breed or altered breed
In court, dog bite rulings are determined by how severe the wound is – whether mild or life-threatening. If the dog’s teeth puncture or graze without completely breaking the skin, it is still considered a “dog bite.”
The second factor of the case is dependent on the pet’s breed. Dog breeds with a history of being vicious are susceptible to being categorized and cross-referenced with statistical reports and data. Most wounds require medical treatment, which can be costly.
The One-Bite Rule
While other states consider the one-bite rule, California does not enforce this policy. The one-bite rule declares that dog owners are liable if said person knew of their pet’s dangerous past or vicious tendencies. It is normally ruled by actions exhibited in the past.
The one-bite rule is unique; not only does the person injured have to show the wound, but also prove the owner had previous knowledge of an aggravated or harmed pet. Injured victims in California do not have to prove that the owner was involved in neglectful behavior of their pet or had previous knowledge of misbehaving or acting dangerously.
That means owners are more susceptible to getting sued based on certain factors like the type of attack, prevention methods, and severity.
California laws regarding dog bite injuries are straightforward, but there are limits. In the case of a regular dog owner, any bite taken on public or “lawfully” private property can result in liability. More specifically, “lawfully private places” are locations in which a civil or public servant is at work.
The most common example that prompted an awareness week of dog bites is between a mail carrier and a pet. While dog bites are a common public health issue, it is crucial to be aware of the normally unexpected liability risks. Our accident injury attorney in Sherman Oaks is skilled in handling various cases if you have any questions about damages, possible liabilities, or seeking representation.
However, injured persons are unable to sue if they were bitten by official military or police dogs. In this circumstance, the dog must be assisting with law enforcement work or using reasonable force to protect and defend. Assessment of these types of situations can be complex and nuanced, as laws vary by state. They are subject to change at any time.
It may be useful to check out your local state guide for additional civil codes, laws, or policies for more information.
What If the Dog Doesn’t Bite You?
Dog bites are normally reactionary, from acting in self-defense to responding to a stressful environment. Reasons behind an attack are endless, but the question remains – what if the dog doesn’t physically bite?
Perhaps a chase down the street causes you to fall, an unexpected pounce catches you off guard, or a child winds up getting hurt. That could mean the owner is not taking the proper precautions to care for the pet, such as using a leash when needed, putting up a gate, or installing a cautionary dog sign. Our Sherman Oaks dog bites attorney may be able to prove injuries resulted in negligence depending on lack of prevention. This type of dog attack does not fall under California’s statute on dog bites, but compensation is still possible.
Whether pets are trained, they can still feel very wary of unfamiliar people and other pets. Regardless of the circumstances, guardians are responsible for supervising and tending to any actions taken by their companion animals. Dog breeds with a history of predatory behavior seem to pose a more serious threat and get assessed accordingly if they injure others. Potentially dangerous and threatening behaviors to look out for include:
- Determining if your pet has been involved in more than one incident, showing signs of aggression
- Hurting, severely wounding, or killing a person
- Engaging in physical harm toward other pets
What Happens If the Dog Is Determined to be Dangerous or Vicious?
If the court adjudicates the dispute by stating the dog is dangerous or vicious, it is up to the dog owner to correct the pet’s behavior. A few examples of corrective and preventive action are:
- Getting your pet trained or treated by a certified expert
- Leashing your dog in public settings
- Using a muzzle to prevent harmful dog attacks
- Installing a secure perimeter, (ex. Fencing around the house) to prevent unsupervised contact
The examples listed are dependent on the nature of the attack, such as if the victim was trespassing or acting with ill intent. If the court finds that the actions are irreversible, pets may be subject to forced relocation or getting euthanized.
Animal control can also get involved to enforce the consequences. Extreme force is only warranted when the dog has caused life-threatening physical injuries or death.
Related Articles About Dog Bite Accidents
How To Take A Dog Bite Case To Court
In the U.S., 1 out of 5 dog bites requires professional medical attention. If you were among the many Americans who’ve had to undergo surgery or get medically treated for a terrible puncture wound, there’s no reason why you should foot the bill. This article addressed how to take a dog bite case to court successfully. Although you’ll be working with a personal injury lawyer from Sherman Oaks, you’ll learn how to best prepare for court, the type of evidence needed for your claim, and how long you’ll have to file a lawsuit.
Damages In A Dog Bite Claim
Were you or a loved one attacked by a dog recently? It might have been a neighbor’s, friend’s, family member’s, or stranger’s furry companion that caused you harm. Whether it happened out of fear or owner negligence, you can recover multiple damages should you decide to take legal action. Keep in mind that not every case warrants a lawsuit. But we can certainly help to give you an idea of the compensation you are entitled to.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Bite Lawsuits
Who is liable for a dog bite injury in California?
In California the dog owner is responsible for any and all damages the victim has suffered. However, if someone was dog-sitting at the time of the accident, they could share fault if they had prior knowledge of the dog’s dangerous behavior.
What are the exceptions to liability?
There are a few instances where the owner might not be held liable. That includes:
- The victim provoked the dog
- The victim was committing a crime or felony
- The dog in question was aiding the police or military
- The victim was a veterinarian who had been treating the dog before an accident ensued
- The dog was trying to apprehend a trespasser
What does an attorney have to prove for a successful case?
In all dog bite accident cases, an attorney is required to prove:
- That the dog bit you – forming a puncture wound or worse injury
- You were in a public or lawfully private place when the accident occurred
- The attack inflicted damage, loss, harm, and suffering
Who pays for my damages?
Filing a lawsuit against a close friend or relative is a tough decision. Most victims worry about who will pay for their damages without the pressure of its financial burden. Though they are liable, you’re likely to get compensated through their homeowner’s or renters’ policy insurance.