A dog bite attorney can help those who have been bitten by a dog recover money for their injuries.
A dog bite can be an extremely traumatizing experience and cause ongoing pain and suffering. If you have been bitten by a dog in California, Dog Bite Attorney Paul Denni explains the rights you have, and how you can find hope after such a devastating experience.
Am I Protected by California Law if I Got Bitten by a Dog?
California imposes strict liability on the owners of dogs who bite another person. Strict liability means the owner of a dog is liable for the damages caused when his dog bites another person, even if the owner did not act intentionally, or even negligently.
Specifically, the law says under California Civil Code § 3342 that the owner of a dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by a dog, if:
- the injured party was on public property, or lawfully on private property
- regardless of whether the dog behaved viciously in the past
- regardless of whether the owner knew the dog was vicious
Being lawfully on private property can fall under two scenarios:
- You were on private property pursuant to a duty imposed by governmental law, such as being employed as a postal worker; or
- You were on private property by either the express or implied invitation of the property owner.
Can I Recover Money for Pain as Well as Medical Bills?
Dog bites can be extremely painful, require ongoing treatment and rehabilitation, and may seriously inhibit your ability to work again.
When a defendant is found liable to you in a personal injury action, you are allowed to receive monetary recovery, called “damages.” Damages can include:
- loss of income due to the inability to work
- compensation for the pain and suffering you have experienced
- past medical bills
- expected future medical bills
- physical therapy and psychotherapy
- loss of “consortium” – comfort from a loved one
- emotional distress
The key with damages is they must be reasonably foreseeable and causally connected to the injury received from the defendant’s wrongful conduct.
Limitations on Recovery from a Dog Bite
You Cannot Recover for a Dog Bite if Too Much Time Has Lapsed
The time you have to bring a lawsuit for a dog bite injury is two years. So as long as you were bitten less than two years ago, you still have an opportunity to recover damages for your loss in civil court. Just contact dog bite attorney Paul Denni below.
Trespassing on the Owner’s Property
Since the law requires you to be lawfully on the the private property of the dog owner, if you were not present on private property by the express or implied consent of the owner, you were trespassing and will be unable to recover for a dog bite injury under California’s strict liability statute.
However, this would not prevent you from seeking recovery for your injuries under a separate legal theory, such as an intentional or negligent act by the defendant. For help with your legal rights, contact dog bite attorney, Paul Denni below.
Being Bitten by a Police Dog
You cannot recover compensation if you were bitten by a police or military dog, if:
- The dog was defending itself after being provoked; or
- The dog was assisting law or military enforcement while apprehending a suspect, investigating a crime, executing a warrant, or defending another the officer or another person.
However – the police dog exception does not apply if you were not the suspect, the target of investigation, or the one who provoked the dog. Nor does it apply if the agency did not adopt a written policy explaining the necessary and appropriate use of the dog.
So if you were an innocent bystander, or the government agency did not have a written policy justifying the use of the dog, you can still recover for damages inflicted by a police or military dog.
Assumption of Risk
A dog owner has a potential defense that you assumed the risk of injury, even if you were invited onto the property by the dog owner. One California case held that a property owner was not liable for the injury of a child bitten by a dog, where the mother and child were invited onto the property, but the child opened a gate that would have kept the dog restrained.
Assumption of risk would also include kicking, teasing, or provoking the dog. It’s important to note, however, that an assumption of risk defense by the defendant is not necessarily an absolute defense to recovery, but may serve to lessen the amount of money you are able to recover.
How Much does a Dog Bite Attorney Cost?
A dog bite case is a personal injury action. For personal injury lawsuits, Denni Law, Inc. can represent you with zero upfront cost to you. The way we get paid is based on a pre-agreed percentage of whatever we recover for you. In other words, we only get paid if you get paid!
We can fight for you to get the compensation you deserve, so you can return to the normal life you lived before you suffered this horrible injury. Attorney Paul J. Denni and team is ready to get you the help you deserve. Just click below to get help now.