Los Angeles Dog Bite FAQ
Getting bitten by a dog can be a very scary circumstance, especially for a child or an elderly person who is unable to escape from the danger and damage the animal can cause.
At the Land Legal Group, our Los Angeles, California dog bite attorneys provide skilled legal representation for individuals and families whose loved ones have been bitten or attacked by both family and friends’ dogs and those belonging to strangers.
Our Los Angeles County personal injury lawyers sincerely hope you or anyone in your family is not affected by the pain and suffering that accompanies a dog bite or attack, but we do want you to be informed and aware of your legal rights should the unexpected injury occur.
To follow are answers to the most frequently asked questions our dog bite attorneys receive.
What Are the California Dog Bite Laws?
Each state has unique dog bite laws, and California is no exception.
Our state operates under strict liability dog bite laws, which means the owner cannot escape liability by claiming they had no idea the animal was capable of aggressive behavior.
Even if the dog has never bitten another person before, the owner is responsible for all damages resulting from a dog bite.
Our California dog bite statute outlines the fact that a dog owner is liable for damages if the:
- Physical damages to the injured party that were caused specifically by a dog bite
- Individual who was bitten by the dog was in a public place or lawfully in a private place
The statute does not apply to those who are bitten while carrying out military or police duties.
How Long Do I Have to File a Dog Bite Legal Claim in California?
California’s statute of limitations on premises liability cases, including dog bite injuries, is two years from the date the bite occurs.
The sooner you can contact our Los Angeles dog bite attorneys, the quicker we can pursue the negligent dog owner for your financial recovery needs.
How Often Do Dog Bites Occur?
Throughout the United States last year, there were over 18,000 dog bite claims filed, accounting for over 33% of all homeowner liability claims and equaling total payouts of more than $612 million from insurance companies across the nation.
The State of California ranked first in dog bite injury claims, accounting for over 1,900 of the total dog bite claims filed throughout the country, which paid over $76 million to injury victims, including the average claim of nearly $39,500.
Why Do So Many Dog Bites Occur in California?
The size and population of California aid in our state’s top dog bite ranking.
But the real culprit is dog owner negligence.
This can include:
- Allowing dogs that are known to be aggressive around other people and pets
- Allowing dogs to wander off their leashes despite municipal leash laws
- Failing to properly secure a dog behind a fence, closed door, or kennel
It only takes a second for a dog to bite or attack another person, and when dog owners fail to restrain their dogs properly, negligence is the leading factor in those injuries.
What Are the Most Common Types of Dog Bite Injuries?
Depending on the size and weight of both the dog and the person who was bitten, the injuries will differ dramatically.
If a small child is bitten by a dog, chances are the injuries will occur to their head, face, and neck, which can result in severe injuries that can lead to scarring or disfigurement that requires reconstructive surgery.
Adults can also suffer significant injuries when the dog bites and tears skin or through a sustained attack that causes severe blood loss.
The most common California dog bite injuries can include, but are not limited to:
- Broken bones
- Head trauma
- Muscle and ligament tears
- Puncture wounds
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Severe infections, including rabies or MRSA
- Soft tissue damage
- Torn or ripped skin
In some tragic cases, dog bites can lead to wrongful death, most commonly in children and elderly attack victims. These unthinkable circumstances leave families reeling from their loss and require a skilled Los Angeles dog bite attorney to pursue the financial results that will give our clients the time they need to heal.
What Should I Do After Being Bitten by a Dog in Los Angeles?
If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog in Los Angeles, do not assume you are okay.
- Seek medical help immediately to learn the full extent of your injuries and follow all physician care instructions
- Locate the owner and insist on copies of the dog’s vaccination records to share with medical professionals
- Do not speak to the insurance company about your injuries or intentions to pursue financial recovery
- Contact the Land Legal Group to pursue the financial recovery you deserve for your medical bills, ongoing care, lost wages, and overall needs
Who is Responsible for Paying My Medical Bills After a Los Angeles Dog Bite?
The negligent dog owner is responsible for your medical bills and any additional expenses associated with your recovery.
Often, our clients are worried about holding the dog owner responsible because most dog bites are caused by a friend or family member’s dog.
The reality is, we will take the lead in pursuing the dog owner’s insurance coverage for your complete recovery needs, so you are not left paying for your injury expenses out of pocket.
If you were bitten by a dog and suffered injuries as a result, contact our California personal injury attorneys at Land Legal Group today by calling 310-552-3501 to schedule a free consultation. We are available now to protect your rights and provide the legal solutions you need to pursue the best financial outcome available for your unique case.