Dogs may be man’s best friends, but in some cases, these animals attack people and they can inflict serious injuries on the humans. Although in most cases dog bite injuries can be attributed to the owner of the animal, the liability in these cases needs to be determined in order to satisfy any claims for damages suffered by the attacked individual.
Law for dog bites in California, presented by our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys
Dog bite injuries in Los Angeles fall under the category of Article 2 of the California Civil Code, Section 3342. According to law, the owner of a dog is liable for any damages suffered by an individual who is bitten by his or her animal in a public place and/or in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog. Whether or not the owner was aware of the dogs’ aggressiveness is not important.
The same law does not allow for any legal actions against a dog that serves in any governmental agency, like military or police dogs if the bite occurred while the dog was defending itself from any provoked act and while it was assisting an employee of the agency who was exercising his or her duties. This applies if the governmental agency using a dog for police matters has a written policy on the necessity to use the dog for a certain type of work. This can include police activities like the investigation of a crime, the execution of a warrant or the defense of the policeman.
The law on governmental agencies using work dogs does not apply if the individual bitten by a police or military dog was not a suspect in the acts that justify the use of a dog in police or military activity.
The law has a different application in the case of children under the age of 5 because it is not a legal assumption that a child this young could provoke a dog to attack. Also, the provocation does not apply to a child who was acting as per his parents instructed him to do. Our personal injury lawyers can give you in-depth information about special rules in case the victim is a child.
You can find out more about this issue from the presentation prepared by our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys:
Compensations for dog bite injuries
The maximum amount of time a victim has to file a lawsuit against the owner of the dog that provoked personal injuries is two years. This is called statute of limitations. Our personal injury attorneys in L.A. can help you build a case using the legal provisions for the owner’s liability or proving that the attack was a case of negligence on the part of the owner.
Although each case is different, according to law, you can request compensations for the following damages in case of a dog bite attack:
-lost wages caused by lost time off work during the recovery period;
-property damage, if applicable;
-future medical expenses, including cosmetic surgery, if needed.