Dog Bites, What is the Law?
A dog bites you! Something you never think of until it happens, then what? Who will cover your injuries, who can help? San Diego dog bite lawyers at Rejali Law Firm are ready to assist you.
Just look at these statistics from The American Veterinary Medical Association:
· Over 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year .
· Almost 1 in 5 people bitten by dogs require medical attention.
Every year, more than 800,000 Americans receive medical attention for dog bites; at least half of them are children.
Senior citizens are the second most common dog bite victims.
Children are more likely to be severely injured.
Most dog bites affecting young children occur during everyday activities and while interacting with familiar dogs.
What are your options?
According to California Civil Code section 3342: (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.
California has enacted strict liability laws for dog owners. It no longer recognizes the “first time” free rule, meaning that a dog does not have to have shown aggression or have bitten in the past for the owner to be held liable. Although homeowners and renters insurance typically cover dog bites, there may be a cap on the amount. If the liability exceeds the insurance limits, the person is held responsible. Some states have specific breeds that they deem dangerous and may not be covered by homeowners insurance, such as pit bulls, Rottweilers, German shepherds, and husky-type dogs, therefore making the dog owner responsible. However, any dog can attack or bite and dog owners take on this responsibility.
Additionally, California law states that a caregiver or handler of the dog can also be held liable, especially if they have knowledge that the dog is aggressive or has had issues of biting. Negligence can be proven if the caregiver did not take reasonable precautions to protect the victim against injuries.
When to contact an experienced dog bite lawyer?
California's statute of limitations on personal injury cases is two years. This means that the affected or injured person has two years after the bite occurs to file the case. An experienced lawyer such as the San Diego dog bite attorneys at Rejali Law Firm will consult with you to ensure that the best courses of action is pursued. These cases are handled on a contingency basis, which means the client will not be responsible for any fees unless a recovery is obtained. For a free evaluation of your case please contact us.