All across the United States, dogs have become a beloved member of millions of families, bringing companionship, happiness and even protection to so many people. A beach city tends to welcome more dogs out in public than in other cities, and Long Beach is no different. Almost daily, walkers, joggers and beach-goers encounter dogs of all breeds. Unfortunately, not all dogs are friendly and not all owners keep their pets properly secured, leading to thousands of people being bitten, mauled or attacked by a dog each year.
Most dog bites are rather minor and can be treated at home with ointments. The concern is with the more serious dog bites that can cause painful and life altering injuries, including permanent scarring, disfigurement, psychological trauma and sometimes death. These injuries will require emergency medical treatment, often incurring numerous costly medical bills over several years.
Most children find dogs and other animals to be an irresistible lure. However, face bite injuries in children are more prevalent than in adults since they are more likely to be interacting at eye-level and their actions are often startling to a dog.
While most parents are vigilant with their children around dogs, they cannot always prevent a sudden attack from happening.
Fortunately, California is a strict liability state, meaning owners are responsible for their dogs and may be held liable if their dog attacks a person, whether or not the owner knew the dog was aggressive or likely to bite someone. This differs from states where plaintiffs must prove that the owner knew or should have known of the dog’s aggressive tendencies.
As part of a lawsuit involving a dog attack or bite, the victim or the person suing on their behalf must use strong evidence to prove that the defendant is responsible because they were the owner of the dog at the time the bite occurred. Furthermore, owners are only liable if the person bitten was in a public place or on private property “lawfully”. In the case of trespassing, the dog owner may have a defense to a dog bite lawsuit.
If you or a loved one has been bitten by an animal, you may be able to recover damages for the resulting injuries. Determining your legal rights can be overwhelming and unimaginably complicated. You will likely have questions about your rights and you should consider immediately contacting a personal injury attorney with experience handling dog/animal bite cases. Keep in mind that time is of the essence when filing a case because the statute of limitations for a dog bite lawsuit in California is 2 years. That means claims filed after this time period will be time-barred and dismissed.
A serious dog bite can result in costly medical bills, lost wages, and other costs that are more difficult to measure like pain and suffering. Some victims may need facial reconstruction surgery or other plastic surgery as a result of their injuries. Those with permanent injuries may also wish to seek compensation for future lost earnings, if the effects of the dog bite will likely affect their future job prospects.
Contact our Los Angeles County Personal Injury Attorney at 1-877-241-9554 to learn more about your legal options. A free consultation is just a phone call away. You can even use our online contact form, and we’ll reply to you quickly.
Fields Marked With An ” *” Are Required