Every year, approximately 4.5 million people in the United States are injured by a dog bite or dog attack. These injuries can be minor, requiring an emergency room visit, or major, requiring major surgery and years of therapy. In either case, there are statutes protecting the public against such attacks, and allowing victims of dog bites to be compensated for their damages. Since San Francisco is located in the State of California, the laws that apply to the victims of dog bite accidents are California statutes.
A dog owner has a special duty to have their pet restrained and under control, especially in public places. In California we have a statute of strict liability, which is designed to protect dog bite victims to the fullest extent. A dog owner is liable for any injuries their dog causes to a person or property, regardless of the dog’s past history. In other words, the victim of a dog bite can collect damages whether or not the dog owner was being negligent in their actions. Even if the dog has never bitten anyone before, and has never shown any kind of aggressive behavior, California law says the owner, or the person in charge of the dog, or both, are responsible for any damages. Unlike in some states, the dog does not have to be of a dangerous breed, like Doberman pinscher, pit bull or Rottweiler.
Types of Damage
Like any other personal injury claim, a dog bite injury claim can potentially be awarded several kinds of damages. These include:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical bills, including cost of emergency room, any surgeries, and physical therapy
- Loss of income – if the victim can no longer work, or if they missed some time from work due to the injuries, they can be compensated under the law. If they lost their job due to absence from work, they may be able to file an additional claim for loss of income
- Pain and suffering – It’s difficult to come up with a number. How do you put a value to pain and suffering? Your San Francisco dog bite lawyer shall come up with a reasonable number and convince a jury of its accuracy
- Punitive damages – If it’s proven that the dog owner’s behavior or action was grossly negligent, punitive damages may also be awarded
- In addition, special rules apply if the victim of the accident was a child, elderly, or mentally disabled.
How We Can Help
Our law firm has extensive experience in dog bite cases, and we have a track record of successfully obtaining fair and just compensation for our clients. We have the resources to take on complex cases, and we will fight for you all the way, even if that means taking cases to trial. To speak to a dog bite lawyer in San Francisco, call us toll free by dialing the number on the top of this page. An actual attorney will pick up your call and consult with you right away. The call is free, the consultation is free, and our work is guaranteed. If we decide to take your case, you pay nothing upfront. We will only collect payment if/when we get you money. If you prefer, you can also complete the online Free Consultation Form and we will get back to you right away.