Long Beach Dog Bite Attorney
Dogs have been “man’s best friend” throughout history, but they do harm people from time to time. While some dogs act out of protectiveness or fear, it is still every dog owner’s responsibility to understand the dog bite laws in their area. The state of California follows a statutory strict liability statute when it comes to dog bite law. A dog’s owner is completely liable for any dog bite at any time, with very few exceptions and little room for defense.
If you’ve suffered a dog bite injury in Southern California, you should consider your legal options by speaking with a knowledgeable Long Beach dog bite attorney. A dog bite is usually painful, and significant bites can puncture the skin, leaving victims open to infections and other medical complications. If a dog owner was negligent in his or her handling of the dog, injured victims can file personal injury lawsuits to obtain compensation for their injuries.
Why Do Dogs Bite?
Many people believe there is no such thing as a bad dog, and that many violent dogs are products of mistreatment and dangerous environments. However, while human influence has a great deal to do with the temperament of most dogs, no one can ever predict how a dog will act in every situation. Many dogs with no known history of aggression suddenly bite people, and it’s impossible to tell why this happens. This is why dog owners must exercise caution and protect other people from their potentially dangerous animals.
Dogs also perform valuable services for the military and police. If a police dog bites and restrains a fleeing suspect, the suspect may not be able to file a lawsuit for the bite since the bite happened as part of the dog fulfilling its duties. Additionally, people who provoke dogs to attack or who abuse dogs cannot file claims for a dog biting in self-defense or retaliation.
Filing a Lawsuit for a Dog Bite Injury
Anyone who suffers a dog bite injury in California has a two-year statute of limitations for hiring a Long Beach personal injury lawyer, filing a lawsuit, and pursuing damages. It’s also important to remember that the plaintiff must prove that his or her damages were the result of a dog bite and that he or she suffered the bite while lawfully present at the incident’s location. Dog owners owe a duty of care to lawful visitors on their private property, and to the general public when taking their dogs into public spaces.
Dog owners do not owe the same duty of care to trespassers, such as criminals who break into a home and then suffer wounds from the homeowner’s dog. This is basically the only viable defense dog owners have in California when facing lawsuits for dog bite injuries. California law is also very specific concerning its strict liability for injuries caused by dogs. Scratches or injuries suffered from a dog knocking a victim to the ground are not held to the same strict liability statute as bites.
Contact a Long Beach Dog Bite Lawyer If You Have Been Bitten
Winning a dog bite case in California is fairly simple. A plaintiff must only prove that he or she was lawfully present at the location the bite took place, and the dog actually bit him or her and caused injury. The logic behind this strict liability is that dog owners must be willing to shoulder the liability for injuries their dogs cause if they wish to keep them. Anyone in the Southern California region that has suffered a dog bite should look to qualified and reliable legal counsel to manage their cases. At Harting Simkins & Ryan, LLP, we work tirelessly on behalf of our clients to secure the compensation they need to return to normal life. Call our office at (562) 981-1010 or contact us online to schedule a consultation about your dog bite case, and we will let you know how a Long Beach dog bite attorney at our firm can help.