Dogs are the most common pet in the United States, with more than 69 million households in the country owning at least one dog. While most dogs make great pets, that isn’t the case for all of them. In fact, 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs every year.
Those injured by a dangerous dog can pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the animal’s owner. While California has favorable laws for dog bite victims, there is no guarantee that an insurance company will handle a claim fairly.
At Wells Call Injury Lawyers, we help dog bite victims and their families pursue maximum compensation for their injuries through our aggressive advocacy. For four decades, we’ve connected injury victims with meaningful compensation that helps them move past their injuries and on with their lives.
When Is a Dog Owner Liable for an Attack?
When it comes to dog bite law, California is a strict liability state. This means, in most situations, a dog bite victim does not need to prove the owner’s negligence. Similarly, there is no requirement that an animal bit or showed signs of aggression in the past.
However, the state’s strict liability laws apply only for dog bites occurring on public property or when you are on private property with the owner’s permission.
Additionally, dog owners are usually not liable if their pet bites someone who first attacked, annoyed, or harassed their dog.
The other catch is that California’s strict liability law applies only when a victim’s injuries stem from a dog bite. Thus, if a dog scratched you or started to chase you and you fell, strict liability wouldn’t apply.
Of course, you could still pursue a personal injury claim against the dog’s owner, but not under the theory of strict liability. In these cases, you must prove that the owner of the dog was negligent. A few examples of a dog owner’s potential negligence include if they were walking their dog without a leash or failed to safely secure their animal in a fenced yard.
The final thing to note is that, even when liability in a dog bite claim is clear, you still need to ensure you recover fair compensation for your injuries. Insurance companies are notorious for undervaluing dog bite claims.
However, an insurance company’s offer to settle a case is just that—an offer. An experienced California dog bite lawyer can help victims negotiate with the insurance company to maximize their recovery.
Learn More About Bringing a Dog Bite Personal Injury Claim by Scheduling a Free Consultation
If you recently suffered serious injuries after being attacked by a dog, reach out to Wells Call Injury Lawyers.
By filing a personal injury claim, dog bite, victims can obtain much-needed compensation for their economic and non-economic damages. And, the dog bite lawyers at Wells Call can help. We have more than 40 years of legal experience advocating on behalf of the injured and look forward to seeing how we can help you.
To learn more, call Wells Call Injury Lawyers at 707-243-8569 to schedule a free consultation. You can also connect with us through our online contact form.