In California, there are strict laws and guidelines for animal owners. This is even true for dog owners, even though these furry friends are often viewed as harmless pets. The reality is that dogs are animals with instincts and behavior that we cannot always understand or predict.
Each year in the United States, there are 4.7 million dog bite reports. Around 800,000 of those require medical attention. In 2017, State Farm reported 488 dog bite claims in California, accounting for more than $18 million in payouts.
California Law and Dog Bite Claims
California lawmakers have responded to high rates of dog bites by passing strict laws for pet owners. In California, dog owners are strictly liable for the actions of their pets. Past behavior or previous ownership conditions do not serve as defenses for a dog bite claim.
If you have been attacked by a dog and want to file a dog bite claim, you will only need to establish the following:
- That the dog is owned by the person you name as a defendant
- That the attack occurred public property, or while you were lawfully on private property
- That you were actually bitten by the dog
- That you suffered injuries as a result of the attack
If the ownership of the dog is unknown, or you cannot prove that the defendant owned the dog, then you may have difficulty proving your case. Further, if you provoked the dog or were unlawfully on someone else’s property, you may be prohibited from filing a dog bite claim.
Dog Bite Claim Information
If you have been bitten by a dog and want to file a claim, there are a few important things to remember, such as:
- There is a statute of limitations on personal injury claims, including dog bite claims, of two years from the date of the injury.
- Depending on the severity of the injury, you may be able to pursue damages beyond physical injuries, including disability, pain and suffering, and mental anguish.
To find out more about filing a dog bite claim, contact Sunset West Legal Group to speak with our personal injury team. We can help ensure your claim is filed properly and in a timely manner, and will work to maximize your recovery.