Dog Bites Legal Overview
Although typically recognized as “man’s best friend,” dog bite injuries occur regularly and can often times be serious. An estimated 4.5 million Americans were bitten by dogs in the United States last year, over 2 million of which were children. Los Angeles is consistently among the top cities in annual dog bite reports. Approximately 75% of all dog bite injuries are caused by dogs that are owned by friends or family of the victim, and 50% of the time the injuries require serious medical attention.
In California, there is a strict liability statute that holds the owner and keeper of a dog responsible for all injuries resulting from a dog bite regardless of the size or breed of the animal. This means that the owner of a dog can still be held liable for a dog bite injury, even if it is never shown that the owner was negligent in handling the dog. Despite common misconceptions, this is true for dogs that have no history of aggression and bite someone who is lawfully present on their owner’s property.
Dog Bite Injuries Commonly Include:
- Permanent Scarring
Take the Right Steps Immediately
After an animal attack it is important to contact a lawyer. Identification of the animal and the animal’s owner is crucial. It is equally important to document your injury and photograph the aftermath of the attack. It is likely that the animal owner’s insurance company will contact you after the accident. Your lawyer can assist you in making sure the insurance company does not take you advantage of you.