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California’s Strict Dog Bite Law

For many families across the country, dogs are considered to be part of the family. Regardless, whereas humans rely on common sense to make a decision, animals, particularly canines, rely on pure instinct when making a decision. Even the most docile animal can attack when threatened and because of this, it is the legal responsibility of all canine owners to ensure their pet does not bite a person.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that every year, approximately 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs. Moreover, one in every five dog bites will result in an injury that demands immediate medical attention. The organization continues to highlight the following:

  • Minors are at the greatest risk for suffering canine bite injuries.

  • Pet owners who keep their canine indoors increase the probability of a bite accident occurring as statistics indicate that these types of accidents increase when the pet is allowed to co-inhabit with humans.

  • Canines have a history of being aggressive pets.

Pet Owner Liability

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that approximately 800,000 Americans seek medical aid every year because of dog bites. About half of these people are minors. When a canine is not restrained when it is supposed to be, is out in public and not in close proximity to the owner, or has escaped from its home and ultimately bitten a person, the responsibility for the incident will rest on the shoulders of the pet owner. The dog owner will be liable for damages caused by the dog bite.

Statute of Limitations for Dog Bite Claims in California

In California, the statute of limitations for a dog bite claim is two years. This means that victims who have suffered a dog bite will need to file a claim for monetary compensation within that time frame. In the event that the victim has discovered the injuries related to the attack after the allowable time, he or she will have one year from making the medical discovery of the injury to file the claim.

It is important that victims not wait until time has almost expired. Not only does waiting too long jeopardize the ability to have a case, filing a claim as soon as the incident occurs can help the case by:

  • Keeping the facts fresh in mind,
  • Ensuring that evidence is preserved, and
  • Helps keep witnesses on the case.

Contact the Legal Support of an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

Dog bite injuries can sometimes lead to serious injuries that can require costly medical care services. Dog owners in California can be held liable when their pet has caused the harm of another person. If you have been bitten by a dog, consider seeking the legal advice of a knowledgeable law firm who can help you obtain the compensation you are owed.

The personal injury attorneys at Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox, LLP are skilled in the field of dog bite cases in California. If you or someone you know was bitten by a dog, it is important to act quickly and consider seeking legal support. Contact the firm for a free case evaluation today.

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Stephen Levine, is a Board Certified Specialist in Criminal Defense — an honor achieved by only the top criminal law attorneys in California. Mr. Levine has over 40 years of experience in criminal defense and family law serving Southern California, and is a highly regarded Super Lawyer as well as AV Rated attorney.