Personal Injury Firm in Los Angeles
Dog attacks and dog bite injuries, especially those involving pitbulls, are fairly common in the Pasadena area. Being attacked or bitten by a dog can be an extremely traumatic experience. The vast majority of all dog bites come from dogs that are familiar to the victim. Dog bites often happen because an animal is startled or afraid. Dog bite injuries can be very painful and will usually require costly medical treatment, regardless of whether the dog is familiar or not.
Thousands of Americans suffer dog bites on a yearly basis and, sadly, the majority of dog bite victims are young children. Emergency room visits are generally necessary after a dog attack in order to prevent the spread of dangerous infections or contagious diseases. Reconstructive surgeries might also be necessary if the victim has suffered deep enough lacerations.
The experienced dog bite attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers are prepared to fight for victims who have suffered as a result of a dog bite injury. Our lawyers are first rate trial attorneys who know how recover fair and just compensation if you or a loved one was bitten by a dog.
While California doesn’t specifically target pitbulls over other breeds, there are breed specific regulations in the state of California. According to these BSL ordinances, any pitbull over the age of four months, and all other dogs included on the BSL, must be licensed. All pitbulls, and any other dogs included in these BSL ordinances, must also be spayed or neutered.
392 deaths in the United States throughout the past 12 years occurred as a result of a dog attack. 65% of these deaths were caused by pitbulls. Interestingly, combining pitbull numbers with rottweiler numbers brings the figure up to 76%. And when you add dog breeds considered as “cousins” of pitbulls and rottweilers, the alarming figure of 76% climbs up to nearly 90%.
Dog breeds listed on breed specific ordinances include:
California’s Dog Bite Law is California Civil Code Section 3342. This law states that a dog owner is held liable for any damages suffered by any person who is bitten by their dog, whether the owner already knew or should have known about the dog’s dangerous condition. So long as the victim was in a public place, or lawfully on someone else’s property–this includes the dog owner’s property–the dog owner is automatically held responsible for any injuries the victim suffers as a result of the attack. Even if the dog has never acted violently and the owner has no previous knowledge of the dog’s aggressive behavior, the dog owner will still be strictly liable under California law.
This means that a dog bite victim doesn’t have to prove the dog owner acted negligently. This is different than the “one bite” rule that is followed by several other states, in which a dog bite victim must prove that because of an earlier biting incident, the dog owner already knew or should have known about their dog being dangerous.
Also, any person who is bitten by a dog while trespassing is not entitled to any compensation because they weren’t actually allowed on the property. Persons not specifically invited onto someone’s private property can still have legal cause to be there. Mail carriers, for example, are permitted on someone else’s private property.
The law distinguishes between dog bites and dog attacks. In the city of Pasadena, strict liability only applies to a person who was bitten by a dog. If a dog lunges at a cyclist, throws them off his or her bike, and the cyclist is injured as a result of this attack, strict liability law will not apply because the dog didn’t bite the person.
The cyclist from the previous example can claim compensation by proving the dog owner was negligent and should have restrained their dog while in a public place. The dog owner in this case may therefore be held liable for compensating the injured cyclist.
Many dog bite victims are reluctant or afraid of pursuing an injury claim against a relative, neighbor, or close friend. Dog bite victims may be afraid of creating feelings of hostility with the dog owner, which is understandable. Most dog bite cases, however, will be covered under a homeowner or a renters insurance policy. The dog owner will likely not pay anything out of pocket, and the worst case scenario is a slight increase in their insurance premium.
An experienced Pasadena dog bite injury attorney can help dog bite victims recover maximum compensation for their injuries. Pasadena dog bite victims may be entitled to receive compensation for the following:
Having a skilled Pasadena 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].