Laws on Dog Bite Liability

Laws regarding dog bites vary state by state‚ but California holds dog owners strictly liable for any injuries caused by a dog bite. Strict liability means that a party holds “absolute legal responsibility for an injury that can be imposed on the wrongdoer without proof of carelessness or fault.” In other words‚ even though the owner did nothing wrong‚ their ownership of the dog makes them liable for the bite injury. California used to have what is known as a “one free bite” rule. This meant that‚ for a dog’s owner to be held liable for a bite injury‚ they would have to have knowledge that their dog had bitten someone before‚ had exhibited the capacity to bite‚ or had behaved aggressively toward people in the past.

Dog bite laws can be very complicated. If you or a family member has been injured by a dog‚ it is important that you seek the representation of an experienced San Diego dog bite attorney who is familiar with California’s laws. Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers has been successfully representing San Diego area injury victims for over 15 years. We will put our knowledge and experience to work on your claim and get you the compensation you deserve. Call Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers at (888) 233-5020 for a free case evaluation.

Exceptions to Owner Liability

Strict liability only applies to dog bites. If someone’s dog jumps up on you and knocks you down or scratches you‚ there would have to be negligence on the owner’s part for you to pursue an injury claim. Other times, when a dog’s owner can’t be held liable for an attack, include:

  • The victim was trespassing on the owner’s property
  • The victim was physically threatening or attacking the owner
  • The victim was provoking the dog in some way

Keeper or Handler Dog Bite Liability

A person working with a dog (trainer‚ handler‚ walker‚ groomer‚ vet‚ etc.)‚ who is not the dog’s owner‚ is not under the strict liability doctrine. They (the trainer‚ walker‚ etc.) can only be held liable for an injury by the dog if they had knowledge that the dog had previously bitten someone or displayed a tendency to bite.

Compensation for Damages in a Dog Bite Injury Claim

In a dog bite claim‚ the victim may be able to pursue any of the following damages:

  • Medical bills
  • Future medical treatments related to your injury (such as skin grafts and plastic surgery)
  • Pain and suffering
  • Costs of physical therapy and rehabilitation
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Permanent injury or disability
  • Emotion trauma and mental duress
  • Emotional therapy
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of career or earning potential
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Hedonic damages for loss of joy of life
  • Property damage or loss
  • Punitive damages

Contact a Dedicated Dog Bite Liability Attorney in San Diego

If you or a family member has been injured by a dog bite‚ it is important to have the representation of a skilled San Diego personal injury attorney if you want to successfully secure compensation. Call Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers today for a free consultation at (888) 233-5020.

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