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Who is Responsible for My Dog Bite Injuries?

Do you have questions about this subject? Contact Schwimer Weinatein today to schedule your consultation.
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Dog owners in California should be held liable for injuries caused to a victim after a dog bite. According to Section 3342 of California Law, the liability still lies on the dog owner regardless of whether the dog bite occurred on the owner’s property or in a public area.

Whether you experience a dog bite on the beach, a private property, or a public space, it is prudent to seek the help of a Santa Monica dog bite attorney. An experienced attorney will help you claim the damages to cover medical expenses, lost wages, psychological trauma, pain, and suffering.

Dog Owners Legal Defenses

As a dog bite victim, you may not be eligible to file for a dog bite liability claim if you:

  • Provoked the dog -  if the dog owner proves that you were provoking or harassing the dog right before the bite, they may not be held liable.
  • Cannot prove ownership -  Sometimes, a stray dog can roam around a person’s property, which does not make the property owner liable for the dog bite. You can prove ownership of the dog by checking veterinarian and animal control records.
  • You were trespassing - If you were unlawfully at the dog owner’s property during the time of the attack, you are ineligible to file for a dog bite claim.
  • Carelessness - If you contributed to the bite by being careless, you may not be able to file a claim.

What Damages Can You Recover After a Dog Bite?

You are entitled to compensation for injuries and damages from the at-fault party or their insurance company. Some of the damages you may seek include:

  • Emergency medical expenses
  • Ongoing medical treatment or therapy
  • Lost wages
  • Lost overtime
  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering

If the dog bite resulted in death, the victim’s family might recover damages for medical expenses, funeral expenses, and loss of family income.

The “One-bite Rule”

Under the one-bite rule, the dog owner is not liable for the harm caused if the dog has never bitten before. However, this rule is only applicable in certain states - not California. This means that you do not have to prove that the dog had previously attacked another individual or the owner is historically negligent.

Negligence Claims

If the dog caused injuries but did not bite, the victim can make a negligence claim. However, you have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the owner failed to take reasonable care to prevent injury, and the negligence caused the injuries.

Schedule an Appointment with a Santa Monica Dog Bite Attorney Today

Getting compensation for a dog bite injury can be challenging, particularly if you have to deal with the at-fault party’s insurance company. At Schwimer Weinstein, our Santa Monica dog bite attorneys can help you recover the compensation you deserve. Contact us online or give us a call at 310-957-2700 to schedule a consultation.

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