Dog bites pose a serious health risk to our neighborhoods and communities. More than 4.5 million people are victims of dog bites per year, and more than 800,000 dog bite victims must seek medical attention for their injuries. Children are often the victims of dog bites and are more likely to be seriously injured from an attack. (https://www.avma.org/resources-tools/pet-owners/dog-bite-prevention). The injured victim of a dog bit has the right to be compensated from the dog owner.
California has a strict liability for dog bites, regardless of whether a dog has an aggressive history (Cal. Civ. Code §3342). California Civil Code §3342 states, “the owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.” An owner is required to take reasonable steps to keep the dog from biting anyone. Further, the California Courts have upheld decisions in favor of plaintiffs where the plaintiff was lawfully on the property where the injury occurred and there was no evidence plaintiff provoked the animal. See Davis v. Gaschler (2019) 11 Cal. App. 4th 1392; Gomez v. Byrne (2019) 51 Cal 2d. 418; Uccello v. Laudenslay (2019) 44 Cal. App. 3d 504.
In most cases, the dog owner’s homeowners, or renter’s insurance policy covers the expenses of the victim’s injuries. In cases where the claim amount is more than the liability insurance limit, the dog owner is liable to pay the amount above the policy limit. If you or someone you know has been bitten by a dog, you may be able to collect compensation for medical expenses, lost wages if you missed work, and pain and suffering, including any scars from the attack.
Contact BRUNO | NALU to discuss the potential compensation you are entitled to after becoming the victim of a dog bite attack.