California imposes strict liability on dog owners for dog bites. In other words, dog owners are liable for their dogs’ bite and resulting injuries, regardless of whether the dog bit someone before or whether the owner knew of the dog’s vicious nature.
If the dog’s owner’s insurance policy excludes coverage for your dog bite, the dog owner must use his or her personal assets to cover any judgment or settlement for your injuries. An experienced dog bite lawyer will analyze the dog owner’s insurance policy and aggressively negotiate the maximum compensation for your injuries.
However, the at-fault owner may raise several defenses. The owner may argue that you provoked the dog prior to the attack, and therefore, you are fully liable for your injuries. Additionally, trespassers of private property are not entitled to compensation for a dog bite. However, the dog owner is at-fault for dog bites that occur in public places. Also, if you are bitten by a dog that is assisting the police or military, the governmental agency is not liable for your injuries. This is why it is important to retain an experienced dog bite lawyer, who will conduct a thorough investigation.
Dog bites often result in significant injuries, including deep cuts, scars, bone fractures, and death. Victims of dog bites are entitled to compensations for their injuries. If you are bitten by a dog, you may recover compensation for the following:
Dog bites may also result in the fatal loss of a loved one. In such tragic circumstances, the surviving heirs can file a wrongful death lawsuit. In a wrongful death case, the decedent’s surviving heirs include the decedent’s spouse, domestic partner, and children. The decedent’s parents and stepchildren may also file a wrongful death lawsuit if they can show that they were financially dependent on the decedent.
Generally, lawsuits must be filed in Court within the applicable statute of limitations. Dog bite cases must be filed within two years from the date of injury. If the plaintiff fails to file his or her lawsuit within such period of time, his or her case will be dismissed by the Court. As such, you should immediately contact a dog bite attorney after your injury occurs.