Dog bites and other injuries caused by dogs are all too common in Echo Park. Whether a negligent dog owner has a dog off-leash or the owner simply doesn’t maintain control over their dog, they are responsible for any damage their dog does to a human.
There are a variety of reasons why a dog might bite someone in the Echo Park area. It might be provoked or intimidated, protecting its territory, food or puppies. Some dogs are raised by animal abusers who in turn make dogs aggressive, while some other dogs might just have a nasty disposition. According to the Los Angeles Department of Public Health, about 20,000 dog bites are reported every year. Nearly 66% of those are suffered by small children.
California’s Strict Liability Rule
California is known as a strict liability dog bite state. Dog bites are governed by CCCP 3342 which states in pertinent part as follows: “The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog 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.”
Some states use the “one free bite” rule to determine whether a dog is vicious. After its first bite, there’s a presumption that it’s vicious. California doesn’t give any dog any free bites. The general rule is that its owner is liable for any injuries and damages caused by a dog’s bite.
Other Injuries Caused by Dogs in Echo Park
Take notice that the controlling statute pivots on dog bites. It doesn’t address other causes of injury that might have been caused by a dog, like an 80-pound retriever jumping on a human friend and knocking him or her down and injuring the friend because the dog is so happy to see the person.
Although not actionable under California’s strict liability dog bite statute, the person who was knocked down and injured certainly has the right to seek compensation for their injuries and damages pursuant to common law negligence.
When a Dog Bites a Child in Echo Park
Unpredictable behavior and a child’s sense of playing with a dog often cause dogs to be defensive around small children. Dog attacks are especially dangerous for child victims because they’re often bitten around the face and neck.
California’s comparative negligence laws might operate to reduce a settlement in a dog bite case against a person who is a trespasser or who provokes the dog, but if a victim is less than five years old, he or she cannot be guilty of comparative negligence.
If a dog bite case settles, and the victim is less than 18-years-old, any such settlement must be approved by a judge. That’s why you should have an Echo Park dog bite lawyer from our law firm from the beginning.
Contact an Echo Park Dog Bite Lawyer
The general rule is that you have two years from the date of a dog bite to bring a lawsuit. There are exceptions to this rule, especially when a child is the bite victim. After suffering a serious bite, contact our Echo Park dog bite lawyer for a free confidential consultation and case review. We are happy to answer any questions you have so that you can make an informed decision on how to proceed.