Orange County Dog Bite Lawyer
Dog Bite Lawsuits in California
In recent years, dog attacks have become a serious problem in the state of California, particularly in Orange County. While some attacks are minor, there have been a significant number of deaths caused by dog bites, particularly involving young children. According to California dog bite laws, victims of these attacks may have grounds to pursue compensation on behalf of themselves or their injured child.
On This Page:
- Is California a “One-Bite” State?
- California Dog Bite Statute of Limitations
- When Can I Sue for a Dog Bite?
- How Much Can I Sue for a Dog Bite?
- What To Do After a Dog Bite
- How To Report a Dog Bite
- Get Help Today
The one-bite rule refers to a statute that says dog owners can only be held liable for any injuries caused by their pet if the owner was aware of or should have been aware that the dog posed a danger to others because of its past behavior. When it comes to dog bite liability in California, this state does not operate under the one-bite rule, rather, they adhere to a strict liability system. This means that regardless of whether or not their dog has bitten someone in the past, California dog owners are liable for any damages or injuries their dog may cause.
California dog bite law allows for victims of dog attacks to file a personal injury lawsuit for up to 2 years after the date of the attack. If you do not file your lawsuit within the designated statute of limitations, your case will likely be dismissed by the court.
If you have been the victim of a dog attack, you may be asking yourself “Do I have grounds to file a dog bite lawsuit?” If you only suffered a minor dog bite, you may be wondering if it’s even worth suing. According to California dog bite law (California Civil Code section 3342), you may have grounds for filing a lawsuit if any of the following are true:
- You were bitten by the dog in a public place (this could be in a park, while walking on the sidewalk, etc.)
- You were bitten by the dog while you were lawfully in a private place (this can include the dog owner’s residence)
There are a few exceptions to this rule, for example if you were bitten by a military or police service dog while it was carrying out lawful work, you do not have grounds to sue.
If you were attacked by a dog under one of the above-mentioned circumstances, you most likely have grounds for a dog bite claim. Call our dog bite attorney in Orange County today for a free consultation.
There is no average dog bite settlement amount in California, however, there are several types of damages that are taken into account when determining a fair dog bite lawsuit settlement amount:
- Medical expenses (stitches, surgery, physical therapy, medication, etc.)
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages (if you missed work or were unable to return to the same kind of work as a result of your injuries)
- Emotional damages including PTSD
In general, if your injuries were minor, your settlement may be smaller than if you suffered severe injuries as a result of the attack.
If you have been attacked by a dog, you should take immediate steps to obtain medical treatment and compile evidence for your case. After a dog attack you should do the following:
- If the bite appears to be severe, call 911 and get medical attention immediately
- If the bite appears to be minor, attempt first-aid yourself by washing and bandaging the wound; you should still see a doctor as soon as possible, as infection and rabies are some of the biggest concerns when it comes to dog bites
- Collect any evidence and information possible including: the dog owner’s contact information, a description of the dog and its location if there was no owner present, witness contact information, photos of your injuries, etc.
- Report the attack to animal control so that they can ensure no further attacks occur
- Contact a dog bite injury lawyer in Orange County immediately to ensure that your rights are protected and you receive just compensation for your injuries
Orange County requires victims of dog bites or attacks to report the incident. If you have been attacked by a dog or other domestic pet, you can fill out this form and submit it to Orange County Animal Care. While you may be hesitant to report the incident either out of fear of what may happen to the dog or fear of retaliation by the owner, it’s important that you take steps to protect your own rights and the rights of those around you. By reporting the incident, you can help ensure that no one else suffers the same attack.
If you have suffered any type of injury from a dog attack in California, you may have the right to pursue compensation for your medical treatment and any other damages caused as a result of the attack.
Harris Grombchevsky LLP has been representing the legal needs of Southern Californians for many years. Our Orange County dog bite attorneys have the skill, experience and knowledge to provide our clients with the solid legal representation they need. Clients always come first at Harris Grombchevsky LLP. You'll never feel like just another number when you use our firm. Instead, we try to keep our clients involved in the process and informed of their legal options so that we can work together to create a legal strategy that is tailored to their unique needs.
Contact us today to get started!