Los Angeles Dog Bite Lawyer
Although a dog bite may seem fairly minor compared to other serious injuries, it is nonetheless a dangerous injury that can significantly impact a person’s life.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured due to a dog bite, please contact The Ryan Law Group today to discuss your case. We can help you pursue compensation for your injuries to the fullest extent of the law through exceptional representation and aggressive negotiation.
Why Choose Us?
The Ryan Law Group has successfully represented clients throughout Los Angeles and Southern California in all types of personal injury cases.
- We are a full-service personal injury law firm that can handle every aspect of your case for your convenience and peace of mind.
- We have a record of successful results, totaling hundreds of millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements—including one of the largest medical malpractice settlements in Orange County.
- We retain industry experts to help evaluate your case—giving us a honest, realistic expectation of the maximum possible compensation to pursue.
- We represent clients on a contingency fee basis. You do not pay any initial costs, and all expenses are advanced to the conclusion of your case. If we don’t win, you don’t pay.
Our clients’ needs always come first.
The Danger of Dog Bites
Although many consider dog bites to be minor, the reality is that serious damage can occur from dog bites. Some of the most common injuries include deep cuts and lacerations. However, more serious injuries can result, including:
- A bacterial or viral infection
- Nerve damage due to a deep bite
- Fractures due to the bite and subsequent jerking from a larger dog
Additionally, the psychological trauma from a dog bite can be debilitating and potentially take years to recover from.
Why Do You Need a Lawyer?
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries from a dog bite, it is highly recommended to seek out a lawyer specializing in dog bite injuries. What may seem like a minor attack may result in significant expenses to help treat the injury. A qualified Los Angeles personal injury attorney can help you determine who is liable for your injury, pursuing them for any compensation you need. If there are any parties who may be uncooperative or otherwise unreceptive to legal action, we can initiate correspondence on your behalf so that you do not have to deal with any potential arguments or unnecessary stress.
Dog Bite Laws in California
In most states, liability for a dog bite falls solely on the owner of the pet, but the circumstances may vary from state to state. In California, the dog bite laws follow strict liability rules (Civil Code 3342). The dog bite statute states that any dog owner may be liable if:
- The damages were caused by the bite, and
- The victim was in a public place or lawfully on private premises.
Strict liability rules state that negligence is not a factor in liability. The owner is responsible for all damages that occurred as a result of the dog bite—even if the dog has never shown aggression, or has never bitten anyone previously.
Who Is Liable for a Dog Bite?
In most cases, the owner of the pet is liable for a dog bite. Liability means the pet owner pays for all of the injuries and damages caused by the bite. Typically, a pet owner’s homeowners insurance company will pay for a dog bite injury claim if the owner cannot afford to pay a settlement out of pocket. Dogs and other pets are classified as property in the State of California, meaning they are covered by most homeowners insurance policies.
If someone other than the pet owner was controlling the dog at the time of the attack, he or she will be liable instead. Anyone responsible for the care or custody of the dog at the time of the incident, including an animal shelter, could bear responsibility for injuries caused by the dog. A landlord could also be held liable for a dog bite injury if he or she permitted a tenant to live with a dangerous pet.
Holding a pet owner or another party liable for a dog bite in California requires you or your attorney to provide evidence that your injuries were caused by the dog and that you were not trespassing at the time of the attack. Evidence used to prove liability may include eyewitness statements, surveillance footage and photographs.
Does California Have a “One-Bite” Rule?
No, California does not have a one-bite rule. A one-bite rule means that in order to hold a pet owner liable for a dog bite injury, the dog must have bitten someone previously. A prior attack would give the pet owner knowledge of the dog’s propensity for viciousness. Only if the pet owner knew or reasonably knew that the dog was violent, and still failed to prevent a foreseeable attack, would the pet owner be liable for an attack in a one-bite state.
Instead, California is a strict liability dog bite state. This rule states that dog owners are 100 percent at fault for a dog bite attack if the victim wasn’t trespassing and did not provoke the dog. It is not necessary to prove that the dog had bitten someone in the past or was known to be violent, nor is it required to prove the pet owner’s negligence, to recover compensation for a dog bite injury in California.
What Damages Can I Recover?
Generally, damages may depend on numerous circumstances, such as severity of injury. However, many commonly are able to recover the following:
- Medical bills
- Bills for emergency treatment
- Future medical expenses, such as rehabilitation
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Pain and suffering
What to Do If You Get Attacked by a Dog
If you or a loved one gets attacked by a dog in Los Angeles, take certain actions to protect yourself. Call 911 immediately for emergency medical treatment. While you wait for paramedics to arrive, apply pressure to any wounds that are bleeding.
If you can, gather information about the attack. This includes the pet owner’s name and contact information, as well as facts about the dog, such as whether it is up-to-date on its shots. Take photographs of the scene of the attack and your injuries, as well, for documentation.
Once you have left the scene of the attack and received professional medical care, contact the County of Los Angeles Public Health Department to report the dog bite. Reporting the bite can give important data to the county to help keep the community safe. It can also create a record of a violent or dangerous dog. Finally, contact a dog bite attorney in Los Angeles for a free consultation about taking legal action.
What Is the Statute of Limitations on Dog Bites?
A statute of limitations is a law that places a deadline on the ability to file a lawsuit. In California, the statute of limitations on personal injury cases, including dog bite injury claims, is two years. The clock will start ticking on the date of the attack or the date you discover your injuries. If you are bringing a claim against the government, however, you will have a deadline of just six months. Speak to an attorney as soon as possible to make sure you meet your time limit to file.
Contact a Los Angeles Dog Bite Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured due to a dog bite, please contact us today and see how we can assist you. The Ryan Law Group understands the impact of dog bites on a person’s well-being, and we are dedicated to providing support in order to secure the compensation you need.
Schedule a free consultation today and let our Los Angeles dog bite attorneys help you.