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Why You Need to Hire a California Dog Bite Attorney Following Any Dog Bite

california dog bite attorney

The dog bite law in California states that a dog owner will be liable for damages if the victim’s injuries were caused by the dog’s bite and the victim was present in a public place or was legitimately present in a private place at the time of the injury. 

Dog owners may make use of a number of potential defenses to escape liability. This makes it important for you to hire a competent California dog bite attorney to pursue your claim for compensation.

Intricacies in the Dog Bite Statute 

The dog bite statute in California makes an exception for dog bite injury victims if they were bitten by a dog that was carrying out military or police work. Another critical aspect of the dog bite statute is that in order to have a valid injury claim under the law, your injury must have occurred because of the dog bite, and not due to some other behavior of the dog.

For example, if a neighbor’s dog pounces on a child and accidentally scratches the child’s eye, resulting in eye injury, the dog bite law will not apply. This is because the injury did not arise from a dog bite. 

However, if you have a skilled California dog attack attorney on your side, they could argue that the dog owner was negligent and did not take reasonable measures to secure the dog. California’s negligence and personal injury rules would be applicable to situations such as these.

Strict Liability in California for Dog Bites

Unlike some other states, California is a strict liability state as far as dog bite injuries are concerned. This implies that a dog owner cannot avoid liability for a dog bite injury to another person by claiming that they had no past knowledge or indication of the dog’s aggressive behavior.

The dog owner would still be held liable for your damages caused by the dog bite – even though the dog has no prior history of aggression or of biting other people. If you have suffered a dog bite injury, you only need to prove that your injuries resulted from the bite while you were lawfully present in a private place or in a public place.

The strict liability law in California does not require you to prove that the dog owner should know about the dog’s aggression or that they failed to apply reasonable care to prevent the accident. However, you would still need capable representation from a California personal injury attorney because the dog owner is likely to use some defenses to challenge your claim. 

Potential Defenses that Dog Owners May Use

To avoid liability, a dog owner in California may put forward a defense of “trespassing” against your claim. If they are able to show that you were unlawfully trespassing on private property at the time of the dog bite incident, you could lose your claim for damages. 

Military or law enforcement agencies may also put forward two potential defenses: (a) the dog was performing duty as a military or police dog at the time of the dog bite, or (b) you provoked the dog. These types of defenses can be effectively challenged, provided you have hired an experienced California dog bite attorney to represent your case.       

Bite Back With an Experienced California Dog Bite Attorney 

Ready to have a fighter by your side? At the Law Offices of Jeffrey Fleitman, we fight tooth and nail to achieve the best outcomes possible for our clients, and we’ll do the same for you. Call us at (310) 399-2889 or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation today. 

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