‘Barking dogs seldom bite’ is not a valid cliché anymore, especially if you live in California,where statistics reflect the high number of dog bite attacks.
Each year, about 4.5 million people in the U.S. suffer from dog bites,with California topping the list of states with the highest number of dog bites cases in 2015.This number, however, may not be totally accurate as not every incident is reported. A majority of dog bite attacks don’t reported but many victims do not understand dog bite laws and as a result, may suffer at the hand of insurance companies. These companies minimize the damages and fail to pay the full amount of the claim.
A general understanding of these laws can help deal with the pain, shock and legal issues pertaining to a dog bite incident.
California Dog bite Rules
Under Civil Code Sec. 3342,, California imposes strict liability on the owner of the vicious dog.
Strict liability means that the victim simply has to prove:
- that the defendant was the owner of the dog,
- the injury was caused by the defendant’s dog, and
- the person who received the injury was in a public place or his/her private property.
A sigh of relief for the victims
California law does not acknowledge the ‘one free bite’ rule that some other states recognize. This rules states that if the dog had no history of previous attacks, the victim’s claim may be dismissed in favor of the defendant.
The strict liability rule ensures that the dog owner is held fully liable for his dog’s actions. In California, the victim does not have to prove that the owner had knowledge of the impending attack or did nothing to prevent its possibility.Simply demonstrating that the attack happened in a public place or on your private property can be sufficient to establish charges.
There may be a few potential objections that a plaintiff could encounter when pursuing dog bite claim. The dog owner can defend their case by emphasizing that the attack was provoked by the victim–that the dog attacked because the victim was trespassing or knowingly disturbed the dog. An experienced dog bite attorney will be able to work with you to refute this allegation.
Law enforcement or military agencies also make similar claims if their dogs attack other people.Some exceptions are extended to police or military dogs. However, here the defendant has to prove that the dog was engaged in duty when the bite occurred.
An expert investigation into the dog bite claim is required in order for the victim to successfully prove their claim. Attorney Barry P. Goldberg and his legal team are have a track record of recovering substantial financial compensation for dog bite victims.