Dog Bite Personal Injury Actions in California: Understanding Laws and Seeking Compensation
Dog bites can have devastating consequences for victims, both physically and emotionally. In the state of California, specific laws and regulations are in place to protect individuals who have suffered from dog bite injuries. In this blog post, we will delve into the key aspects of dog bite personal injury actions in California, including the state's strict liability statute and seeking compensation. and promoting safety within the community.
1. California's Strict Liability Statute:
- Civil Code Section 3342: California follows a strict liability rule when it comes to dog bite cases. According to Civil Code Section 3342, dog owners are held liable for injuries caused by their dogs, regardless of whether the dog had shown previous aggression or the owner was aware of its behavior. This law applies both to public places and private property, including the owner's home.
- Exceptions: There are limited exceptions to the strict liability rule in California. For example, if the victim was trespassing or provoking the dog, the dog owner's liability may be reduced or eliminated. However, it is crucial to consult with a personal injury attorney to determine the applicability of these exceptions in your case.
- There is also common law strict liability which allows an injured person to sue a person that has control over the dog and is not the dogs owner. In these types of cases, strict liability may apply if you can prove that the individual with custody of the dog knew or should have known about the dog’s dangerous propensities.
- Finally, basic laws regarding negligence also apply to these types of cases so often your attorney will include both strict liability and negligence causes of action.
2. Seeking Compensation:
- Medical Expenses: Victims of dog bites in California have the right to seek compensation for their medical expenses. This includes costs related to emergency medical care, hospitalization, surgeries, medications, physical therapy, and any necessary psychological counseling to address trauma caused by the incident.
- Lost Wages and Diminished Earning Capacity: If the dog bite results in the victim missing work or experiencing a reduced ability to earn a living, compensation can be sought for lost wages and diminished earning capacity. This ensures financial stability during the recovery process.
- Pain and Suffering: California allows victims to seek compensation for pain and suffering endured due to the dog bite. This includes physical pain, emotional distress, anxiety, and any associated psychological trauma. An experienced personal injury attorney can help calculate a fair amount for these intangible losses.
Understanding dog bite personal injury actions in California is vital for both victims and dog owners. California's strict liability statute holds dog owners accountable for injuries caused by their pets, allowing victims to seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you or a loved one has been a victim of a dog bite, consult with The Schurmer Firm. We have handled these types of cases for over 35 years.