Thousand Oaks
Dog Bite Lawyer

California is a strict liability dog bite state. That means owners are responsible for their dog’s actions.

If you were injured by someone’s dog, contact Thousand Oaks Dog Bite Lawyer Logan Quirk today for a free consultation and case evaluation.

California dog bite laws

Why do Dogs Attack?

Dogs bite for a variety of reasons. They might be scared, stressed, provoked, startled or protecting something like puppies or food. Whatever the size or the breed of the dog, any dog can bite a person.

The American Veterinary Medical Association reports that more than 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs every year. Of those, about 800,000 require medical care. More than half of those victims are children who are usually bitten in the neck face and head. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health estimates that about 20,000 people are bitten by dogs in the county every year.

The bites can be serious and have long lasting effects along with infection, permanent disability, disfigurement and emotional trauma. A large dog can rip through human skin, muscles and nerves and even seriously fracture bones.

California’s Dog Bite Law

California’s legislature has enacted the state’s own dog bite statute. Section 3342 of the California Civil Code states in part as follows “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.”

This language makes California a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites. Dog owners or keepers are responsible for their dogs at all times. In many other states, a dog gets one free bite before its owner is put on notice of any vicious propensities and potential liability.

What to do After Being Bitten

A dog’s teeth and mouth harbor a number of different types of bacteria that can cause serious infections. Upon being bitten, wash the area thoroughly, and if the wounds are serious, get to an emergency room. After that, learn as much information as you can about the dog’s owner or keeper.

Then, report the bite to your county’s animal control office. If no such office exists, phone your local police department and they can get you pointed in the right direction. Take photos of your injuries, and follow up with your doctor.

Then contact our offices, and we’ll arrange for a free consultation and case review.

Falls from a Jumping Dog or a Dog that Trips You

A large dog that’s an old friend might be excited to see you visit, jump up to put its paws on your chest to greet you and push you over and injure you.

Another scenario is tripping over a dog that you didn’t know was behind you and being injured in a fall.

In either case, you weren’t bitten, so California’s strict liability dog bite statute doesn’t apply. You’ll likely be able to seek compensation for your injuries and damages under the laws of negligence though.

We’ll be pleased to speak with you about any such accident.

Compensation for Dog Bite Injuries

As per California’s strict liability dog bite rule, owners of dogs are generally liable for the following damages that are suffered by their dog’s victim:

  • Past medical bills in connection with the attack along with any future medical bills reasonably expected o be received in the future.
  • Past lost earnings in connection with the attack along with any earnings diminution reasonably expected to be suffered in the future.
  • Any permanent disfigurement or disability.
  • Pain and suffering
  • Diminished enjoyment of life.
  • Other valuable damages in the event of a wrongful death.

Every victim of a dog attack is different. A successful settlement of a dog attack claim or lawsuit disposes of a case at the maximum value that the particular client deserves. If you pursue your cases on your own, you’re likely to receive pennies on the actual value of your claim, if anything.

Contact a Thousand Oaks Dog Bite Lawyer Today

Contact our Thousand Oaks dog bite lawyer here at Quirk Accident & Injury Attorneys, APC for your free consultation and case review. We can talk about what happened, how it happened and how it has affected you or your child. After that, we can advise you on all of the legal options that are available to you.