Sadly, every day about 1,000 people require emergency medical treatment in the U.S. as a result of dog bites. Dog owners are responsible for their dog’s behavior and must maintain control over the animal. If a dog bites or otherwise attacks an individual, the owner is liable for the conduct of the dog. The Centers for Disease Control has estimated that there are approximately 4.5 million dog bite victims every year in the US. If you were bitten or attacked by a dog, you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries.
Dog Bite Statistics
- Dog bites and other dog-related injuries accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claim dollars paid out in 2016, costing more than $600 million. Dog Bite Liability by Insurance Information Institute, 2017
- In 2016, dogs attacked over 6,750 U.S. Postal Service employees -- over 200 more attacks than last year. The city of Los Angeles had the most attacks (80). United States Postal Service (USPS), April 2017
- Approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur each year in the United States. Nearly 1 out of 5 bites becomes infected. Preventing Dog Bites, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, May 2015
- In 2015, more than 28,000 people underwent reconstructive surgery as a result of being bitten by dogs. 2015 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 2015
Liability for Dog Bite Injuries
In California, the owner of a dog is strictly liable for any injuries caused by their dog. The owner does not have to have knowledge that their dog had a propensity to bite or attack. California Civil Code, Sec. 3342 states, in part,
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…”
Call Us for a Free Consultation with a Dog Bite Lawyer in California
The key to recovering the proper amount of compensation for a dog bite injury is to hire an experienced and knowledgeable dog bite attorney. Johnson Attorneys Group has recovered more than $98.4 million in the past years for their injured clients and for the families of victims who were killed. You may be entitled to compensation for hospitalization, doctor visits, medical rehabilitation, pain and suffering, lost income and more. There are no up-front legal fees and no fees at all unless we settle or win your case. For a free consultation call the Johnson Attorneys Group at 1-800-208-3538.
Dog Bite Resources
California Dog Bite Attorney FAQ
Yes, if you were bitten by a dog on your private property, you can file a claim. Under California Civil Code section 3342, as long as you did not provoke the dog and you were on your own property, you can file a legal claim.
California is a “strict liability” state when it comes to dog bites. This means an owner will not escape liability in a dog bite case simply by claiming they had no idea their dog was aggressive or would act aggressively in a given situation. Under strict liability, the owner is responsible for all damages that result from the dog bite, whether the dog has bitten someone before or not. If you have been bitten by a dog, you just need to show that the bite happened in a public place or lawfully in a private place.
No. If you do not know the owner of the dog, or cannot find the owner of the dog, you will not be able to file any type of dog bite lawsuits.
Yes. If you were legally on private property and were attacked by the owner’s dog, you can file a claim. However, you cannot have provoked the dog at all.
It depends. In California, after any type of attack, the dog must be quarantined. The purpose of this quarantine is to ascertain whether or not the dog has been exposed to the rabies virus. The quarantine will last for 10 days; this quarantine may be on the owner’s premises or at a county Animal Care Center. During this period, the county Animal Care Center will assess the health of the dog. This will ensure the dog does not display any symptoms of rabies. If the dog does not display any symptoms, the dog will be removed from quarantine. Generally, the dog is not euthanized after it attacks someone. However, in California, the law does allow dogs to be euthanized if they attack someone and have bitten someone on at least two separate occasions, or if the dog has been trained to attack. If either of these is the case, the dog will be removed from the owner’s home and there will be a hearing.
If you’re wondering “what kind of compensation can I receive for a dog bite injury in California?” In California, you can claim a wide variety of damages after a dog bite. This can include expenses you have concerning medical bills, pain and suffering, lost income, property damages you may have incurred, and any punitive damages. A dog bite attorney in California can help you determine what your expenses are and what you can claim. Contact lawyers for dog bites in California if you are wondering how much can I claim for a dog bite.
Again, it depends. In this case, it could depend on your relationship with the dog owner. If the owner is a friend or family member, the situation could be uncomfortable, but you will most likely need to speak with them. However, if it is a complete stranger, avoid contact with the owner. Up front, give as much information to the dog owner as is necessary, but keep it limited. Talk to your dog bite attorney so they can guide you on what the smartest decision is for your situation.
Contact a California dog bite attorney to find out more about dog bite lawsuit settlement amounts. Legal action could be worthwhile depending on the compensation for a dog bite amount.
When it comes to what to do after a dog bite, seek medical attention right away, and get the owner’s contact information. Look for witnesses on the scene and get their contact details. File a report with animal control and then contact an experienced California dog bite attorney. These are the main steps to follow if you are wondering what to do when a dog bites you.