We Know the Pain You are Feeling. We are Here to Help You!
Dog bites can affect the lives of both the victim and the pet’s owner. Generally speaking, the recipient of a dog bite can sue for damages if he or she suffered harm due to their interaction with the pet. In some states, there are statutes limiting this harm to those who have not provoked the dog. In California, however, the fault lies with the owner.
If you would like to learn how a Los Angeles dog bite attorney from BD&J, PC can help you better understand the compensation you or your loved one deserve, call our firm today at (855) 906-3699. At BD&J, PC, we are in pursuit of justice for those whose safety has been jeopardized. As seasoned dog bite lawyers located in Los Angeles, we can help you identify lapses in ownership and determine liability for your injury.
Who is Liable for a Dog Bite Injury?
While the dog owner is the primary party responsible for canine aggression, there are certain circumstances in which other people may be found responsible for the dog harming another person.
This includes the following additional parties:
- Someone who has assumed care of the dog and is keeping it in his or her custody: They can be liable for any injuries that occur, as the owner would be. Keeping or harboring a stray dog, or even dog sitting for a friend, means you are responsible for its actions while the pet is in your care. Therefore, regardless of what past incidents may have led the dog to bite, the fact that it attacked while you’re in charge means you may have to compensate any injured parties.
- Owner of the property: Much as with dog keepers, those with a canine on the property they own assume some responsibility for that dog’s behavior. The mere act of a dog on the premises biting someone does not open the property owner to liability. However, if the property owner has not taken sufficient measures to keep the people in and around the property reasonably safe from the dog, it is likely that some liability may fall on the property owner’s shoulders.
Children, including anyone under the age of 18, are more or less immune from liability when it comes to a dog attack. Even if they are technically the primary caregiver, a minor is unable to be sued for damages. In a case like this, the parents of the minor would be held accountable for the actions of their child’s dog.
What to Do After a Dog Attack
Assuming you do not need emergency medical attention, your first step after a dog attack should be to start collecting evidence of what happened. You will want to know the dog owner’s name and contact information if they are there. Exchanging phone numbers quickly is an easy way to get in contact with them later. Be sure to verify the number is authentic while the dog owner is still present, though.
You will also want to take a photograph or video of the dog using your smartphone if possible. The dog’s breed and personality could influence the outcome of your future claim. As you would after a car accident, you will also want to talk with passersby and other parties who have stopped to help you. They might have valuable information regarding what led up to the dog attack that you do not know.
Once ample evidence has been collected, it is time to go to the doctor. Even for seemingly non-serious cuts and abrasions, you should head to urgent care for medical attention. A doctor can explain the extent of your injuries and plan how to treat them. They might order a rabies shot if you have not had one in a while. Seeing the doctor the same day also clearly establishes when your injuries happened and why, which further benefits your claim.
California’s Dog Bite Statute
In California, the pet owner is responsible for any damage a pet does through the act of biting in a public or private place. Damages suffered as a result of the bite will likely be the responsibility of the dog owner, and the former behavior of the dog will likely be deemed irrelevant.
The owner may escape liability if he or she can prove the dog was provoked in some way by the recipient of the bite. However, proving provocation is an extensive and sometimes fruitless process. If you have been affected by a dog bite, contact BD&J, PC to speak to one of our lawyers today.