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Dog Attacks

Personal Injury Claims Against Negligent Pet Owners

Dog attacks can cause serious harm, both physical and psychological, especially for children. These attacks can involve vicious bites, knocking the victim over, which may result in cuts, bruises, sprains, head injuries, and broken bones, maulings, and even death. The majority of dog attacks involve the dangerous breeds of pit bulls and rottweilers but any dog is capable of biting people other than its owner or known family members.

California has strict liability laws concerning dog bites. Per Section 3342 of the California Civil Code, a dog owner is liable for the damages incurred when his or her dog bites another, whether in a public location or where the victim is lawfully on the dog owner's property. Those who are considered to be lawfully on the premises are those performing a public duty, such as a mail carrier, or persons who have been invited on the property, whether expressly or through implication (such as a service provider, repairman, or the like.) Whether the dog has never attacked another person or whether the owner has no knowledge of the dog being vicious is irrelevant.

What to Do Following a Dog Attack

It is important in any dog attack case to establish the ownership of the dog. If you or a family member is attacked, you may need to seek medical attention as a priority. As soon as possible, however, you should take photographs of the dog, the scene, your injuries, and get statements from witnesses who can substantiate the facts. You should also report the incident to city or county Animal Control personnel who will generally make their own inquiry into the incident to determine if the dog is dangerous to the public.

In the case of a dog owner who is covered by insurance, you may be contacted by insurance company representatives who will want to take your information. Before talking to any insurance adjustor, you should discuss your case with our personal injury attorney. Anything you say to an insurance adjustor may be used against you to deny a personal injury claim. At Personal Injury Attorney, we will take all needed legal steps, including gathering the necessary evidence, establishing the ownership and insurance information of the pet owner, and working aggressively to obtain the full damages you deserve through an insurance claim or litigation.