Dogs make great pets when they are well-socialized. Because a dog will often be left alone with young children, or unfamiliar adults, one of the major purposes of obedience training is to make sure the dog is well-behaved around such people. Most of the time, this is not a problem, but unfortunately, there are times when a dog will snap at a stranger, or even at a familiar member of the household. According to statistics, a high number of dog bites involves the family dog and someone that the dog is familiar with.
As dog bite attorneys with years of experience in this field, we understand the difficulties and frustrations that victims of an animal attack face. The trauma of a dog bite often exceeds the victim’s physical injuries. It can include psychological and emotional distress, and financial ruin due to long periods of hospitalization and years of therapy. That’s why we have made it our mission to help victims of dog bite accidents. Our San Diego dog bite law firm works on a contingency basis. We do not charge a fee unless we get our clients money. Please see below for the types of damages that can be collected.
First: Who Is Responsible For A Dog Bite in San Diego?
In the state of California, a dog owner is supposed to keep their dog supervised and restrained at all times. The owner of a dog is liable for all damages inflicted upon anyone who is bitten by the dog in a public place or private place. The caveat to the private place requirement is that the person must have been there lawfully, no trespassers (people who enter a private property without consent on behalf of the owner) are protected under this doctrine. The doctrine goes on to say the owner is liable regardless of the dog’s history of viciousness or the owner’s knowledge of it. Unlike some other states, the state of California does not have a one bite rule. The owner is liable even if the dog has never bitten anyone before. For more information, please refer to Calif. Civil Code § 3342.
What Kinds of Damages Can I Collect?
Dog bites can cause serious physical and emotional harm. A dog bite victim may end up having multiple surgeries, physical therapy, and psychological therapy. If the dog was not vaccinated, the person might get infected with rabies, and other secondary infections. The victim may suffer from emotional trauma, and be scared of all dogs for the rest of their life. They may have laceration, head injuries, eye injuries, and disfigurement. The list of injuries goes on and on. All these damages are usually paid by the owner’s home insurance policy. San Diego is in California, so we will apply CA rules. In general, you can collect damages for:
- Medical bills, including emergency room visit, surgeries, hospitalization
- Future medical care - if the victim will require continuous medical care in the future
- Pain and suffering, emotional trauma, therapy
- Lost income and loss of earnings – if the victim was working and can no longer work, or if they missed work for a period of time and lost income
- Punitive damages – if it’s proven that the owner of the dog acted in an outrageous manner, the courts may award punitive damages
How Our Law Office Can Help
We have years of experience in the field of personal injury, and have litigated many dog bite cases. If you have been bitten by a dog, and you need a dog bite lawyer in San Diego, please contact our office for a free consultation. The consultation is free, and we do not charge upfront for our services. We only get paid when you do.