Santa Ana & Irvine Dog Bite Attorney
Dogs are fantastic pets and companions, but it’s vital for Californians to understand how serous dog bite injuries are and what to do in the event of a dog attack. California law places strict liability on dog owners for their dog’s actions, and victims of dog bites need reliable legal representation to secure compensation for their damages.
Bentley & More, LLP provides comprehensive legal representation to clients in Orange County for a variety of practice areas. If you or a loved one has suffered a dog bite injury in Santa Ana, Irvine, Anaheim, or anywhere else in Orange County, it’s important to understand your options for legal recourse and how to build an injury case against the dog’s owner.
Strict Liability for Dog Attacks in California
Some states follow a “one bite” rule for dog bite injuries. In these states, a dog owner may escape some liability for his or her dog attacking another person under certain conditions. If a dog attacks a person, the dog’s owner will face liability for future attacks under the one bite rule. California follows a strict liability rule, meaning dog owners are liable for any damage their pets inflict on others.
Dogs can cause injuries other than bites as well. Large dogs can cause deep scratches with their claws and can knock a person to the ground, possibly causing head injuries, broken bones, or other wounds. Under California’s strict liability law, victims may sue dog owners as long the injuries are the result of the dog’s attack and the victim was lawfully present at the location of the incident. It’s important to make this distinction because California law does not allow trespassers to sue dog owners for dog bite injuries. Trespassing is the only viable defense for dog owners facing liability for dog bite injuries in California.
Filing a Dog Bite Lawsuit in Santa Ana, Irvine or Anaheim
Unlike some other personal injury lawsuits in Irvine, Santa Ana or Anaheim, the plaintiff does not have to prove the dog owner was negligent in his or her care of the dog to secure damages. The plaintiff only needs to prove he or she was lawfully present at the time and place of the attack and that the victim suffered actual harm. The plaintiff’s attorney will gather any evidence necessary for building a case, including a medical report of the victim’s injuries, the police report on file for the incident, and proof of any economic damages resulting from the attack. Compensation in dog injury lawsuits can include:
- Medical expenses. Dog bites can require stitches and may become infected. Plaintiffs can sue for their hospital bills, the cost of any necessary surgeries, and any other expenses for medical care resulting from the attack.
- Pain and suffering. Dog bites and secondary wounds like head injuries and broken bones are painful, and the experience of suffering a dog bite attack can be traumatic. Plaintiffs can claim damages for their mental anguish and physical pain.
- Lost income. If a dog attack leaves the victim unable to work for any extended time, the plaintiff can sue for the wages lost in that time.
- Property damage. If a dog attack happens to result in damage to the victim’s personal property, he or she may claim compensation for that as well.
Dog bite cases in Orange County are usually straightforward, but victims still need reliable legal representation to handle their claims and secure fair compensation for their losses. The Orange County personal injury attorneys at Bentley & More, LLP have the experience and resources to help clients in Orange County recover after suffering dog bite injuries. Contact us to schedule a consultation about your dog bite claim.