There are few places in San Diego where dogs and their owners can both have a great time like at a dog park. The City of San Diego maintains several public dog parks and there are also countless private dog parks in neighborhoods and apartment complexes.
They usually provide entertainment for dogs and their owners, but there are some hazards in being around so many dogs on the loose. A confused dog may bite you or you could end up in between two or more dogs engaged in a confrontation.
If you or a family member are bitten at a dog park, you’ll likely wonder who can be held liable for your emergency room bills and any medical care you need in the weeks ahead.
Contact a San Diego Dog Bite Lawyer for a Free Consultation on Your Options
After you or a loved one suffers a dog bite at a dog park or anywhere else in San Diego, don’t waste time wondering if you should file an insurance claim. Take advantage of a free consultation with a real San Diego dog bite lawyer.
It’s a way to find out what you’ll need in compensation to fully recover from a bite wound and how to force unhelpful insurance companies to provide full support. Before signing away your rights on a “lowball” insurance settlement, contact Quirk Accident & Injury Attorneys, APC, to schedule a free case review today.
Liability for Dog Owners After a Dog Park Dog Bite Incident
The good news is that in many cases, dog owners are financially responsible for bite incidents involving their dogs. California is a “strict liability” state and that means pet owners are liable for dog bite injuries even if their dogs have never been deemed aggressive or dangerous before.
In dog attacks occurring at a dog park, there are two criteria that must be met to ensure an injury claim against the owner’s insurance provider is successful.
- The dog must be proven to have bitten the victim.
- The dog must not have been provoked.
Victims may file an injury claim and try to earn fair compensation for their recovery costs and other losses. The owner’s homeowners insurance or renters insurance would likely be targeted first in a claim for damages. If the policy didn’t cover dog bites or the owner didn’t have insurance, the owner would be personally responsible for the compensation that victims received.
San Diego Dog Park Owner and Operator Liability
Unfortunately, dog bite victims often have a harder time holding the City of San Diego or a landlord or property management company liable for dog park bites.
A city dog park or a dog park provided at an apartment community will usually feature a posted sign that says “Use at Own Risk.” This is sometimes enough to leave owners and operators blameless after you’ve been injured.
However, there are instances where city government or an apartment owner could be held accountable. The “Use at Own Risk” signs mean that you assume the reasonable dangers associated with entering a dog park. But sometimes there are dangers at dog parks that go beyond normal dangers.
This might include a dog owner and dog that had been identified as dangerous in the past, but for some reason was allowed to return to the park to endanger others. For a city department or a property manager, this would represent a known danger. A court could find them negligent for not making sure this dog was restricted from the dog park.
A San Diego Dog Bite Lawyer would investigate your bite incident and determine if more than just one party should be providing financial support to you as you recover.
San Diego Public Dog Parks
The City of San Diego operates at least 16 dog parks that are approved for off-leash play. It’s important to remember that a dog bite occurring at any of these parks would leave you asking a dog owner’s insurer for support. You may find that you can’t sue the city or a park property owner.
Here is a list of the approved leash-free locations mentioned on the Parks and Recreation dog park website:
- Balboa Park
- Cadman Community Park
- Capehart Park
- Charles L Lewis III Memorial Park
- Dog Beach
- Doyle Community Park.
- Dusty Rhodes Neighborhood Park
- Fiesta Island
- Grape Street Park
- Kearny Mesa Community Park
- Maddox Neighborhood Park
- Nobel Park
- Rancho Bernardo Park
- Rancho Peñasquitos Park
- Torrey Highlands Park
- Ward Canyon Neighborhood Park
Compensation for a San Diego Dog Park Bite Injury
Dog bite victims should never wave off a serious injury at a dog park. You should secure contact information from the dog’s owner and 911 should be called to bring an ambulance crew to check your injury. Police officers should respond if the dog continues to threaten others at the park. Take photos of the dog and your injuries if possible.
These important steps can help you secure evidence of what happened. This proof will be important when your Dog Bite Lawyer files a dog bite injury claim. Included will be a list of every hardship you’ve faced and will face as you try to rebuild your life.
These and other damages will all factor into the amount you’ll see on a dog bite injury settlement check:
- Current medical bills and physical therapy costs anticipated in the weeks ahead.
- Lifelong support for permanent disfigurement or disability resulting from a dog bite. This could include income reimbursement if the victim can no longer perform job duties.
- Pain and emotional trauma suffered. This includes the anxiety and PTSD symptoms victims may have every time they go outside their San Diego homes. Depression is also a common side effect if a victim experiences a loss of enjoyment of life during a long, difficult recovery.
- Wrongful Death Benefits. Families who lose a loved one in a San Diego dog attack are protected by the State of California. Close relatives are encouraged to file a wrongful death claim. This claim earns support for burial costs and supplements the family’s income now that the deceased can no longer provide weekly economic support.
- Lost wages and benefits the victim forfeits while healing and unable to make it into work.
Contact a San Diego Dog Park Dog Bite Lawyer
Schedule a free case review with our San Diego dog bite lawyers here at Quirk Accident & Injury Attorneys, APC. We can talk about what happened, how it happened, and how it has affected you or your loved one. After that, we will go over all of the legal options available to you and your family.
There’s no obligation and if you do hire us to represent your dog bite injury claim, you won’t need to have any money upfront. We don’t get paid unless we win your case for you.