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Dog bites can be traumatic experiences that lead to physical and emotional injuries, or sometimes even death. If you or someone you know has been bitten by a dog in California, it is crucial to understand the state’s dog bite laws and know how to handle your claim to obtain the compensation to which you may be entitled.  

If you were bitten by a dog in San Diego, California, or surrounding areas, our attorneys at the Law Offices of Barry Pasternack can advocate for your rights, negotiate with the insurance company, and fight for your best interests. We also represent victims of dog bite incidents in Ramona, Chula Vista, Julian, Oceanside, National City, El Cajon, and Imperial County.  

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California Dog Bite Laws  

Dog bite laws vary from one state to another. While some states hold dog owners strictly liable for bites, others do not. While some states recognize the “one-free-bite rule,” others do not. Thus, if you were bitten by a dog in California, you need to understand the state’s laws and regulations pertaining to dog bites.   

Under California law, dog owners are legally responsible for all bites that occur: 

  • On private property as long as the victim is lawfully on that property; and 

  • In private places.  

Thus, dog owners can be held liable for bites caused by their dogs even when the incident occurs at the owner’s home, unless the victim is trespassing.  

California is one of the states that has a strict liability law. In other words, it means that dog owners can be held strictly liable for all bites caused by their dogs unless the victim was trespassing. However, there may be exceptions to the rule where trespassers may still be entitled to compensation when bitten by a dog.  

Liability in a Dog Bite Case  

In California, a dog owner is strictly liable for any harm caused by their dog biting someone, regardless of the dog’s history or the owner’s knowledge of its dangerousness. However, proving liability can be challenging in some cases, such as when the dog was provoked or when the injured person was trespassing.  

To establish liability in a dog bite case, one must prove three key elements:  

  1. That the defendant owned the dog;  

  1. That the dog bit the plaintiff; and  

  1. That the plaintiff was lawfully on the property where the bite occurred. 

California follows the doctrine of comparative negligence, which means that if the injured person contributed to their injury in any way, their damages may be reduced accordingly. For example, if the injured person provoked the dog, their damages may be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to their provocation.  

If you were bitten by a dog but the owner says you provoked their pet or were otherwise responsible for causing the incident, contact a dog bite attorney in San Diego, California, as soon as possible.  

Filing a Personal Injury Claim  

In California, the statute of limitations for filing a dog bite claim is two years from the date of the injury. This means that if you are bitten by a dog, you must file your claim within two years or you may lose your right to seek compensation for your damages. It is essential to file your claim as soon as possible to ensure that you do not miss the deadline and to give your attorney enough time to build a strong case. 

If you are bitten by a dog in California, you may be entitled to several types of damages, including but not limited to medical expenses, lost wages, disfigurement, and emotional distress. The amount of damages you can receive depends on several factors, such as the severity of your injuries, the extent of your medical treatment, and whether your injury caused you to miss work.  

Our dog bite attorneys at the Law Offices of Barry Pasternack can help you calculate the damages that you may be entitled to and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. 

How Can a Dog Bite Attorney Help? 

If you were bitten by a dog in California, you might want to consider hiring a dog bite attorney to help you with:  

  • Filing a report and claim. The first thing that you should do after getting bitten by a dog (besides seeking medical care) is to file a report with the local authorities. This is important for two reasons. First, it helps to document the incident, which can be used as evidence later when filing a claim. Secondly, it helps to prevent future incidents by alerting animal control about the dangerous dog.  

  • Gathering evidence. To win a dog bite case, you need to gather evidence that proves that the dog was dangerous and that the owner was negligent. An attorney can help you gather evidence to build a compelling case that can result in a fair settlement or judgment. 

  • Negotiating with insurance companies. After getting bitten by a dog, the dog owner’s insurance company will likely contact you to offer a settlement. An attorney can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to ensure that you receive a fair settlement that covers all your expenses. 

  • Filing a lawsuit. If negotiations with the insurance company fail, the next step is to file a lawsuit. A dog bite lawsuit can be a complicated and lengthy process, which is why it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side to guide you through it. 

  • Having clarity on the legal process. Many people who get bitten by a dog do not know what their rights are or what the legal process entails. An attorney can explain the legalities of a dog bite case and help you to make informed decisions. 

Getting bitten by a dog can be a traumatic experience that can leave you with injuries, medical bills, and psychological scars. However, you do not have to face the aftermath alone.  

Dog Bite
Attorneys Serving
San Diego, California

Dog bites can have serious consequences, and it is crucial to understand California’s dog bite laws if you are a victim of a dog bite. If you have been bitten by a dog, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you navigate the legal process and seek the compensation you are entitled to. Reach out to the Law Offices of Barry Pasternack to schedule a free consultation and discuss your case.