Cat Bite Laws in California
Can You Sue for a Cat Bite Injury in California?
Cats tend to be more elusive than dogs so it is no surprise that cat bite cases are less common than dog bites. However, that doesn’t mean that they do not happen. Cats are more mysterious than dogs. It can be difficult to know when they’re about to attack. But when they do, the damages can be severe.
In California, the cat owner is held liable if the victim can prove the owner knew the cat was aggressive and did nothing to protect others from the aggressive behavior. Our qualified personal injury attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers are readily available to offer legal assistance. We will review your case to determine what necessary actions to take in order to get you the compensation you deserve for your losses.
California “Strict Liability” Law
According to California’s strict liability law, all pet owners are liable for unprovoked injuries caused by an animal with dangerous tendencies. In California, it is the owner’s duty of care to prevent their animal from attacking. Proving that the owner knew the cat was dangerous can be difficult.
Victims can get testimonies from neighbors or others that have witnessed the animal’s behavior in the past. California also requires doctors to report cat bites, so if there is a previous cat bite on file, you are likely to have a stronger case.
Are Cat Bites Really That Bad?
Many do not know that cat saliva contains a bacteria called pasteurella multocida, which can be dangerous to humans. Since cats have smaller, sharper teeth than dogs, their bites are usually smaller and deeper. Due to the nature of the bite, the wound usually heals fairly quickly, which traps the bacteria beneath the skin.
Once in the bloodstream, the bacteria can cause cellulitis or blood poisoning. Those with compromised immune systems, such as children and the elderly, are particularly at risk. According to a study from the Mayo Clinic, one third of cat bite victims needed to be hospitalized and 57 percent of them required surgery. About 67 percent had to get cleaning and removal of dead or infected tissue. 8 patients were required to have more than one operation to make a full recovery.
Though cat bites are dangerous, their first line of defense is their nails. A cat scratch can dig deep into your skin, exposing your blood to bacteria. A common illness caused by a scratch is Cat Scratch Fever or Cat Scratch Disease, which is caused by the bacteria called bartonella henselae.
Symptoms for CSD appear anywhere between 3 to 14 days. Victims may have a fever, headaches, poor appetite, or exhaustion. If left untreated, this disease will eventually cause complications in the heart, brain, and eyes.
West Coast Trial Lawyers Can Defend You in a Cat Bite Case
If you have sustained injuries as a result of a cat bite, our expert personal injury attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers can help you recover compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
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