Dog bites can result in very serious injuries to adults and young children alike. If you have sustained injuries as a result of a vicious dog bite, you may be entitled to monetary recovery under California law.
A Temecula dog bite lawyer may be able to assist you with your case and help you to obtain the monetary compensation that you are entitled to. Contact a compassionate injury attorney today to learn more.
Strict Liability Standard for California Dog Owners
Section 3342 of the California Dog Bite Statute imposes statutory strict liability on owners of dogs that bite someone. Potential dog bite plaintiffs should be aware that a strict liability standard is different from a negligence standard of liability. Strict liability means that a dog owner may still be held liable for the dog’s bite injuries, even if the dog has no prior history of biting people or exhibiting other types of vicious behavior.
In order for strict liability to apply in a Temecula dog bite case, the dog must have bitten someone in a public place or lawfully in a private setting. Therefore, the strict liability rule does not apply to the following:
- Police or military dogs performing their duties
- Damages to property caused by the dog
California “One Bite Rule”
As an alternative to strict liability, a dog bite victim may be able to file a lawsuit under the California “one bite rule.” Under this rule, the dog owner may be liable for damages when the dog owner has knowledge of the dog’s vicious or dangerous propensities beforehand, including prior bites and other vicious behavior.
Negligence Per Se
Under California law, a dog owner is presumed to have acted in a negligent manner by violating a law or statute that is on the books. In the dog bite context, when a dog owner violates an animal control law, such as by walking a dog without a leash or letting the dog roam around the neighborhood ‘at large,’ the dog owner may be presumed negligent when the dog later bites someone.
Statute of Limitations
In dog bite cases, as in other types of personal injury cases, a lawsuit must ordinarily be brought within two years of the date on which the plaintiff sustained the dog bite injury. This is a hard-and-fast rule. If suit is not filed within that time period, the dog bite plaintiff is forever barred from filing suit or seeking monetary recovery for injuries sustained.
Dog Bite Defenses
Under California law, the following legal defenses may apply in the dog bite context:
- Assumption of risk
- Comparative negligence
Talking With a Temecula Dog Bite Attorney
Dog bites can result in very serious injuries and damages. Some of the most common types of injuries sustained in dog bite cases may include permanent scarring, abrasions, bite marks, broken bones, fractures, and other serious injuries.
If you have sustained injuries as a result of a dog bite, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your injuries. In the dog bite context, monetary recovery may include compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, spousal support, and permanent damage.
You should feel free to contact an experienced Temecula dog bite lawyer for a free initial consultation.