What are my legal options if a dog bites me? I know I can sue for a severe bite, but can I sue for a minor dog bite?
Every day, about 1,000 people are treated in a hospital for non-fatal, dog bite-related injuries. Even more staggering, California continues to have the highest number of dog bite-related claims in the United States.
On average, the cost per dog bite claim in California is $49,025.
If you have been injured due to a dog bite (even a minor one), you should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. At Wells Call Injury Lawyers, we have experienced dog bite injury attorneys that can assist you in your major or minor dog bite lawsuit in California.
California Law on Dog Bites
California is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites. This means that regardless of an owner’s awareness of their dog’s past or potential viciousness, the owner of a dog is liable for damages suffered by any person who is bitten by their dog.
So, if you are asking if a minor dog bite lawsuit is possible, the answer is yes.
Exceptions to California Dog Bite Law
There are some important exceptions to California law surrounding dog bites. You cannot sue for a dog bite when the dog that bit you was actively participating in military or police work. Specifically, you cannot sue if the dog was defending itself from an annoying, harassing, or provoking act, or assisting an employee of the agency in any of the following:
- In the apprehension of a suspect of who the employee reasonably believed was involved in criminal activity,
- In the investigation of a crime or possible crime,
- In the execution of a warrant, and
- In the defense of a peace officer or another person.
There are some other exceptions to the California dog bite laws—for example, if you were provoking the dog that bit you or you were bitten while trespassing. In these cases, you may be held partially responsible. A dog bite attorney will be able to explain these situations to you.
If you are seeking a minor dog bite settlement, it may be useful to know what types of damages you may be entitled to. Generally, in personal injury cases, the injured party can seek economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are for things that are quantifiable in nature, like:
- Lost wages,
- Medical expenses, and
- Property damage.
Non-economic damages can include things such as:
- Pain and suffering,
- Loss of enjoyment of life, and
- Compensation for mental distress.
These are just some of the types of damages you may be entitled to if you have suffered a dog bite in California.
How Can Wells Call Injury Lawyers Help?
Further, at Wells Call Injury Lawyers, we work on a contingency fee basis. This means that you only have to pay us if you win your case. To schedule a free case review, you can fill out our online application form or call us at 707-273-1278.