Los Angeles Dog Bite Lawyer
To most of us, pets are a part of the family. We shower our furry friends with love, companionship, and care. Unfortunately, not everyone shows the same devotion to their animals. In fact, some people neglect their pets or even abuse them, which can lead to aggression. And some animals will randomly act aggressive no matter the upbringing or training. California law provides recourse to victims of dangerous animal attacks. If you or a loved one has recently sustained a domestic animal bite or other injury from an animal in Los Angeles or Southern California, our attorneys at Panish Shea & Boyle, LLP can help. Here’s what you need to know about dog bite laws in CA.
The Strict Liability Rule for Animal Bites
California is one of a handful of states that has a “strict liability rule” when it comes to canine bites. Also known as a dog bite statute, California Civil Code Section 3342 makes pet-owners legally responsible for injuries in most scenarios. Some states allow owners a pass when they didn’t know a pet was dangerous, which makes it more difficult to obtain compensation. California law, however, states that owners are responsible for the actions of their pets, even if they didn’t have reason to believe a pet was dangerous.
There are exceptions to this rule, however. To collect compensation, victims must be able to say they were in a public place or were lawfully in the space where a dog or other animal bit them. In other words, owners cannot be strictly liable for the actions of their pets if someone was trespassing or committing a crime on their property.
As with most personal injury claims in Los Angeles, there is a statute of limitations that applies. In the case of a dog bite, the claim must be filed within two years of the incident.
In general, dog bite statutes in California work in a victim’s favor. For example, if a dog grabs someone but doesn’t break the skin, it can still count as a bite. Similarly, a victim may collect compensation under California dog bite statutes if a pet knocks someone over or causes injury in ways other than biting.
Careless Pet Ownership
In some cases, however, victims will have to prove a pet owner was negligent to collect compensation. Examples might include when a canine bites a bicycle wheel and causes a crash or when a dog runs out in front of a car and contributes to an accident. Injured parties may still be able to get compensation in this instance but only if they can prove their injuries resulted from the pet owners’ negligence. If the dog was not on a leash, for example, this may be grounds for a negligence claim.
Our Los Angeles Dog Bite Injury Attorneys Can Help You!
When a dog bites someone in Los Angeles, the state of California also has laws on “dangerous dogs.” This means that owners must take reasonable steps to remove the risk of future attacks. In some cases, this might mean installing a fence for a yard; in others, it might mean putting an animal to sleep.
If you or a loved one has sustained an animal bite, you have legal options under California law. Contact the Los Angeles dog bite injury attorneys at the law offices of Panish Shea & Boyle, LLP for a strategic review of your legal options. We’ll help hold the negligent parties responsible. Call us today! (310) 477-1700