How to Seek Financial Compensation From a Dog Bite in the State of California
Civil Code Section 3342 governs dog bite laws in the State of California. Under this code, canine owner could be held strictly responsible in the many situations in which his or her pet has attacked or bitten another individual. Under the code, the pet owner will be held strictly responsible even if the dog did not have a history of being aggressive or if the pet owner had no prior knowledge of the animal biting a person.
The purpose of the law is to prevent dogs from becoming a danger to society, thereby placing the burden of ensuring public safety on the pet owner.
Filing a Lawsuit After a Dog Bite Injury
Victims have a legal right to file a lawsuit against a dog owner other party who has care, control, or some form of custody over the dog for the bite and/or attack under the conditions of strict liability.
The conditions for filing a lawsuit involve the following:
- The identified defendant is the owner of the animal
- The claimant was bitten while being on public property or was otherwise lawfully on private property
- The claimant suffered injuries or other damage from the attack
- The identified defendant’s canine was the substantial factor in causing the claimant’s injury
Legally Protected Individuals
Individuals who are legally within private premises include those who implied or were expressly invited to be there. This also includes individuals who were in a property while performing a duty that was required by law such as a mail carrier, police office, meter reader, firefighter, contractor, census taker, or other individual who entered based on implied invitation.
Those who are likely not able to collect restitution involve those who did not have permission to be in a private property. Trespasser can be an individual who is not legally on the property by means of expressed or otherwise implied invitation.
Under the State of California, there could be limited situations in which a trespasser could file a lawsuit to collect damages. One of these is by suing under negligence laws, which is done by demonstrating that the dog owner had a trained canine attack without the trespasser showing threat of injury to the owner or others in the property. Without this, even by being in the property unknowingly would prevent a trespasser from being able to collect restitution for his or her injuries.
Circumstances In Which a Lawsuit Is Unlikely
Even in the event that there is substantial injury caused by the attack, there are certain situations where a person will not be able to file a lawsuit. These cases could involve:
- A canine protecting its owner or other individual in self-defense
- A military or police dog acting adequately
- A person who has provoked a dog by teasing it or abusing it
Seek Compensation After a Dog Bite Injury
Dog bite cases can be very complex and involve many different required factors. There are various state laws or local ordinances that can affect the outcome of the case. If you or someone you know has been bitten by a dog, contact a skilled attorney who can represent you.
The attorneys at Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox, LLP are skilled in the field of personal injury lawsuits involving dog bite cases. The firm is dedicated to defending the rights of their clients after these have suffered injuries after a negligent pet owner.
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.