Personal Injury Firm in Los Angeles
Being attacked by a dog can be extremely traumatic. The majority of dog bites come from dogs that are familiar to their victim, and they often happen when an animal is surprised or afraid. Whether the dog in question is familiar or a stray, dog bite injuries can be very painful and will usually require costly medical treatment.
Thousands of Americans suffer dog bites every year. Sadly, many of these victims are children. Emergency room visits are usually necessary to prevent the spread of dangerous infections and contagious diseases. Reconstructive surgeries may also become necessary if victims have suffered deep lacerations.
The attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers are experienced dog bite lawyers. We are prepared to fight for the rights of victims who have suffered as a result of a dog bite injury. Our lawyers are first rate trial attorneys who know how recover maximum compensation if you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog.
California’s Dog Bite Law is California Civil Code Section 3342, which states that a dog owner is liable for damages suffered by anyone who was bitten by the dog irrespective if the owner knew or should have know about the dog’s dangerous condition. As long as the victim is in a public place, or lawfully on private property–including the dog owner’s property–the dog owner will automatically be held responsible for any injuries the victim has suffered as a result of the attack. Even if the dog in question has never acted violently and its owner has no prior knowledge of the dog’s aggressive tendencies, the dog owner is strictly liable under California law. In other words, a dog bite victim does not have to prove that the dog owner acted negligently. This is different than the “one bite” rule followed by several other states where a dog bite victim must prove that because of a previous biting incident, the dog owner knew or should have known that the dog was dangerous.
Most states, California included, have breed specific laws for dogs. These breed specific laws are primarily targeted at pitbulls and other breeds included in the pitbull line, as well as other dogs mixed with pitbull blood.
There have been 392 deaths in the United States throughout the past 12 years as a result of dog attacks. Approximately 65% of these deaths were caused by pitbulls. However, combining pitbull numbers and rottweiler numbers raises the figure to 76%. And when you add dog breeds that are considered as “cousins” of pitbulls and rottweilers, the figure rises to nearly 90% of all deaths caused by breed specific dogs.
There are many breeds cited on breed specific ordinances. They include (but are not limited to):
The history of the pitbull is violent and filled with grotesque imagery. Pitbulls were bred to bait and take down bulls that were chained up or placed inside a hole in the ground. The pitbull was specifically bred and trained to viciously attack the bull.
Bull baiting didn’t actually begin as a bloody pastime. It was once believed that bull baiting would tenderize the bull’s tough meat for consumption. For a long time, it was illegal to kill a bull that hadn’t been baited by dogs. Over time, public perception changed and a collective demand to end bull baiting grew in popularity.
Dog lovers protest that people are quick to misjudge the pitbull. But facts show that the pitbull, and other related dogs, are involved in more serious dog attacks than any other breed.
The state of California doesn’t specifically target the pitbull over any other breed, but there are ordinances pertaining to the pitbull. According to BSL ordinances, a pitbull over four months old, and all dogs on the BSL, must be licensed. All pitbulls, any other dogs on the BSL, must also be spayed or neutered. The state of California takes this effort so seriously that $50 vouchers are available for low income families or any families with financial hardships to meet this requirement.
There is evidence that breed specific laws are working. The number of pitbulls abandoned in animal shelters has dropped. This means that fewer animals are being euthanized. There are less pitbull mixes wandering the streets, and people are becoming more responsible dog owners.
An experienced Los Angeles dog bite injury attorney can help dog bite victims recover the compensation they deserve as a result of their injuries. Dog bite victims may be entitled to receive compensation for the following:
Having a skilled Los Angeles dog bite lawyer on your side can help you get the compensation you deserve. If you or your loved one was injured because of a dog bite, West Coast Trial Lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact us today for a free consultation. We handle our cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that you only pay us if we get compensation for you. You can reach our legal team 24 hours a day by calling 213 927 3700 or emailing [email protected].