Fiore Legal Seeking Justice for Dog Bite Accidents

There are thousands of reported animal attacks and dog bites in California yearly. While some of these injuries don't require medical attention, severe bites can cause extreme pain and suffering, disfigurement, or lifelong disability. However, California is a strict liability state regarding dog bite victims' ability to pursue compensation for their damages, meaning your damages award is reduced if you were at all responsible for the accident. The seasoned and knowledgeable dog bite attorneys at Fiore Legal can help you understand the legal process and develop the best strategy for maximizing compensation.

a dog that is barking and snarling on a street

Dog Bite Laws in California

Many states require victims to show evidence that the owner knew the dog was aggressive. But California imposes strict liability on dog owners that cause injury (which means it is unnecessary to prove that the dog's owner was aware of past aggressive behavior). There are a few exceptions to this rule, which must be satisfied to have a strong claim for damages:

  • You should be lawfully present on the property at the time of the attack, meaning you were not trespassing
  • Anyone in control of the dog, not necessarily its owner, can be sued for negligence
  • Kennel workers and veterinarians cannot sue dog owners for strict liability because they assume the risk in the course of their employment
  • Strict liability is forfeited if the animal was provoked, harassed, or annoyed by the injured victim

Types of Damages You Can Claim

Dog bite victims in California can collect both economic and non-economic damages, including:

  • Lost Earnings
  • Lost Future Earning Capacity
  • Doctors Fees
  • Hospital Expenses
  • Testing Costs
  • Rehabilitation Facilities
  • Physical Therapy
  • Devices and Prosthetics
  • Long Term Care
  • Pain and suffering
  • The psychological impact of disfigurement
  • Loss of pleasure from life
  • Emotional distress
  • Inability to perform daily activities

Determining Liability for Dog Bites in California

The dog owner is liable for injuries, property damage, and death caused by their dog in most cases. Under California statute, a dog owner refers to someone harboring or keeping the animal. As such, if someone else was keeping or controlling the dog, such as a family member or a dog walker, they may be held liable instead.

If a minor owns the dog, their parents can be held vicariously liable. Also, a landlord can be held liable if they know a tenant keeps a dangerous dog. Landlords must prevent foreseeable attacks if they know of a hazardous situation.

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Who Pays After a Dog Bite in California?

Most dog bite injury victims refrain from seeking legal remedies because they are concerned that the dog owner will suffer financial hardships because of the lawsuit.

This is especially true if the owner is a family member or friend. However, the pet owner’s insurance company usually covers the injury claims.

Pets are technically classified as property, and the homeowner’s insurance policy usually covers dog bite injury claims at the dog owner’s house. In case the injury occurs while the pet is inside a vehicle, the car insurance will cover damages. Additionally, many companies specifically sell policies that cover dog attacks. If the pet owner had one of these policies, their insurance would pay for the dog bites.

Statute of Limitations for Dog Attack Claims in California

In California, the statute of limitations for dog attack claims is typically two years from the date of the incident. This means you have two years from the date of the dog attack to file a lawsuit against the responsible party. If you were under 18 when attacked, you may have until your 20th birthday to file a claim. Acting quickly in these cases is essential, as waiting too long can result in losing your legal rights to pursue compensation. At Fiore Legal, we have a team of experienced personal injury attorneys ready to help you navigate the legal process and protect your rights. Contact us today to learn more about your options for pursuing a dog attack claim in California.

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Our Capable and Resourceful Dog Bite Injury Lawyers are Ready to Fight for You

The proven and experienced dog bite attorneys at Fiore Legal are here to help you pursue financial compensation by holding the pet's owner or liable party accountable. You can count on us to employ the full power of our skills, network, and resources to prove your case and help you get through this difficult time. Schedule your free and confidential consultation with us today. Call 800-440-4157 or contact us online.

Mauro Fiore Jr. with Fiore Legal Injury Attorneys sitting with a client looking at a laptop together
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