Surprisingly, California has more dog bite claims than any other state. In California, strict liability is imposed for dog bites. This means that if you are the owner of a dog, and the dog bites someone, you are liable – even if you did not do anything wrong and the dog has never bitten anyone before. This differs from other states where there is a “one bite rule” – where an owner of a dog is only held liable if the dog has exhibited at least one instance of vicious propensity (violent tendencies) in the past.
However, there are exceptions to recovery. For instance, if you intentionally provoked the dog or trespassed onto a person’s private property and in trespassing, was then bitten by the dog, you would not be entitled to recovery.
Because dog bites can cause serious injuries such as disfigurement, a victim may be able to recover compensatory damages not limited to the following: pain and suffering, lost wages, medical bills, therapy (vocational or physical), scarring and counseling.
Sometimes, a dog bite could lead to an individual’s death where recovery for damages would be in the form of a wrongful death claim. And, specifically in California, families of the dog bite victim may be able to recover damages for loss of consortium.
If you or your loved one has been bitten by a dog, you are urged to seek advice from an experienced personal injury attorney or professional. The deadline (statute of limitations) to sue for a dog bite in California is two years.
Authored by Scott D. McDonald, Esq.
Scott McDonald is a California native who graduated from Pepperdine Law School in 2008. He has been aggressively litigating cases in Personal Injury and Bankruptcy Law for nearly a decade. Mr. McDonald prides himself in being anything but a “typical” attorney. His unique and very personal approach to practicing law has helped numerous clients obtain their goals and get the legal relief they need.
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