What Information Should I Gather After The Dog Bite To Claim Compensation?


Dogs are considered the most faithful and loyal companions but pose high risks to the public’s safety. They have a positive impact on the lives of individuals while promoting a healthy lifestyle. They can assess the presence of cancers or detect oncoming epileptic seizures and sources of relieving stress and anxiety.

In the US, around 38% of households have more than one or two dogs. It is important to remember that though dogs are beautiful companions, they can be harmful to others as well. It can bring emotional, physical, and financial damage to others.

According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the estimated number of dog bites in the US is 4.5 million annually, where 800,000 require medical attention.

Dog bites bring severe injuries to people, such as lacerations and puncture wounds to fractures and disfigurement. Besides the physical damage, victims do face emotional distress, lost income, medical bills, and other costs related to their injury. To find a solution to this problem., they seek dog bite insurance claims settlement.

A dog bite insurance claim settlement is an agreement between the victim and the dog’s insurance company or owner to compensate the victim for the losses. The claim of compensation depends on the severity of the injury, the level of responsibility of the owner, and the victims’ medical bills.

Dog Bites Law in California- Statistical record

According to the Wilderness Medical Society, people experience more than 4 million dog bite incidents in the United States annually. 279 people were killed between 1979 and 2005 by dog bites.

As per the Insurance Information Institute 2021 data, dog bites and other dog-related injuries were responsible for more than a third of all homeowner’s liability claim payouts, totaling $881 million. 1 out of 5 dog bites require medical attention, and most incidents occur with dogs who have been neutered or spayed.

In 2021, $120 million was paid for dog-related injuries by State Farm Insurance, and California is the highest to be paid for. The average insurance paid by the insurance company in California is approximately $59,900. The average cost per dog injury in California is $59,561.

It is essential to understand that compensation awarded in dog bite settlement relies upon some factors that make every case different. Moreover, the amount of claims is also different based on the scenarios. Thus, each case is unique and needs special consideration or supervision to identify the legal issues and circumstances involved.

Owners responsible for injuries

Even if the dog does not bite, the owner of the dog is responsible for the injuries their dog causes. For example, a bicycle rider got involved in a crash due to the chasing of a dog. Similarly, strict liability occurs when dogs’ biting is involved, but it does not mean canines bite. It is vital to prove the owner’s negligence for the victims’ injury or harm accrued by dogs.

However, in California, a dog’s bite occurs when dogs use their teeth to grab someone or close their jaws around a person. Any accidents that involve dogs and their actions cause harm or injuries are considered accidents by dog bites in California.

California Dog Bite Law: Civil Code § 3342

According to California law, section 3342, the dog’s owner is responsible for the dog’s behavior and the injury caused by the dog’s bites. It can occur at a private place, public place, and owner’s property. The dog owner is liable for the acts of their dogs, no matter if they have displayed any vicious activities in the past.

An exception to this law is that a person cannot claim compensation against a government agency that uses dogs for military or police work. Moreover, even if the dog safeguards himself against any provocation and harassing act, the owner is not held liable for it.  In various situations where a human provokes a dog, the owner will not be liable for compensation. The provocation can bring stressful situations, scared or threatened feelings, past abuse, or a sense of protecting themselves or their owners. You are liable for compensation if a dog bites you without provoking.

Dog Bite Settlement in California

The dog bite laws are different in the US. Some states impose strict liability on dog owners when their dog bites others, while some follow one-bite dog statutes. California is one among 29 states that ensures that strict liability is imposed on dog owners when their dog harms others.

States with one-bite laws ensure that owners are only liable for their dogs’ actions when they already know their dogs’ propensity to bite others. In such states, owners are not responsible for their dogs’ vicious acts the first time they bite someone.

In California, previous knowledge about a dog or its propensity to bite someone is not adhered in the Dog bite compensation settlement. Here, the dog’s owner is responsible for the vicious act, whether it has a reason or not.

It is essential to understand the legal policies undertaken in the cases of dog bites under Civil Code § 3342. The dog’s owner generally pays the claim if they are proven responsible for the actions of their dogs or homeowners or renter’s insurance acts on behalf of them. If you or your loved one has faced such issues, you should file a claim for your compensation. Financial assistance for an injury is needed; your medical expenses, wages, and other losses will be waived. The insurance company will ensure you go away with the cases, but find the best attorney and collect evidence to strengthen your case. Your compensation appeal will enable you to get the best outcome and justice for yourself. Every case is different, so do not settle for less and fight for your rights.

At Sunset West Legal Group, our experienced and efficient lawyers will help you cover all your claims. Our motive is to help victims gain justice legally and authentically. Meet our personal injury attorney to find the desired solution to your problem.

Sunset West Legal Group is here to protect your legal rights.