Dog bite statistics are alarming. In 2018 alone 36 fatal dog attacks were recorded. What’s more, it is estimated that 4.5 million people are bitten annually. And of these, 1 in 5 bites will become infected. Even though dogs can be provoked to attack, liability routinely lies with the owner. He or she must ensure that the pet does not bite someone in a public place or even in their home (as long as the victim is there legally).
Anyone who has been bitten by a dog can attest to the associated physical and psychological effects they suffer after the event. These types of injuries often require specialized medical treatment and reconstructive surgery at a huge cost (27,000 people required type of surgery in 2018). Besides pain and suffering, dog bite victims and their families often suffer under financial strain. The average hospitalization for a dog bite costs $18,500. That is 50% higher than the average medical costs for other injuries.
Dog Bites in California (Where Moet Law is based.)
In California, pet owners are liable for any dog-bite injuries caused by their pets in public places. They are also liable if the person who was bitten lawfully entered private property. What’s more, meter readers, postmen and package delivery workers can file claims if they are bitten while at work.
Even if a dog just grabs someone’s flesh with his or her teeth (without breaking the skin) the resulting injury is considered a bite, according to California statute. Also, unless military or police dogs are off duty, people who are bitten cannot sue the state if someone is bitten while carrying out law enforcement work.
If a dog causes a person to be hurt without actually biting – for example jumping up and/or otherwise effectively causing a person to fall and injure themselves, that person may claim compensation. They would just have to prove that the incident was due to negligence on the part of the dog owner.
The dog bite statute in California is Civil Code 3342. It allows for compensation for damages suffered even if the dog lacks an aggressive history. This is different from other states, which have what they call “one-bite rules.” This occurs when a dog owner has strict liability only if it is not the first time it has bitten someone.
If the court proves that the victim harassed or annoyed the dog, associated damages may be reduced. Unfortunately, for dog bite victims, the defense of the dog owner may try to prove that the victim provoked the dog or was illegally on the property (trespassing). That is the reason people seek compensation. Whether your dog bit someone else or you were bit by someone, you deserve legal representation.
If people perceive a dog as a threat. Or, if the canine has a history of biting, the court may impose special conditions the owners should observe. The law imposes strict fines on anyone who fails to comply. With a two-year statute of limitations on dog bite injuries, seek out help sooner rather than later for all of the above.
About Moet Law in Ontario, California
At Moet Law, our team of experienced attorneys is ready to advise dog bite victims as well as dog owners and their families about the best way to seek compensation for damages and trauma or to identify underlying causes for the dog’s aggression. Call today for your free case evaluation at (866) 424-0789