Dogs have been called man’s best friend since as long as many of us can remember. However, there are millions of instances that show dogs do not always live up to this name. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 4.5 million dog bites occur in the US year. Even minor bites can result in scarring and infections. The CDC estimates that one in five dog bites become infected.
Some dog bites and attacks could cause paralysis, lacerations, nerve damage, factures and severe puncture wounds. Victims may also lose an eye, ear or other parts of the body that are visible to others. Some victims may be unable to control areas of their bodies that are affected by nerve damage. Infections and severe crush injuries may even require victims to have limbs amputated. Corrective surgical procedures could be required.
Victims of dog attacks could also develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other psychological problems. Disfigurement could cause significant harm to a person’s self-esteem, which could affect their social and professional lives.
Victims of dog attacks could accrue thousands in medical bills and may require rehabilitation services. They could suffer lost wages or a loss in future earning capacity. The factors described above could be considered when determining compensation for dog bite cases.
Who is Liable for a Dog Bite in California?
Liability for dog bites in California depends heavily on the circumstances and which laws are being discussed. California has a strict-liability statute when it comes to dog bites. Therefore, the owner is strictly liable under the state’s dog bite statute in many circumstances. In other states, the owner must have firsthand knowledge that the dog was dangerous before they can be liable for a bite. Dog owners could be liable if the victim was in a public place, lawfully on private property, or invited onto the owner’s private property when they were bitten.
Even if the owner is not liable under California’s dog bite statute, there could be other options for victims to seek compensation. Dog owners can still be negligent in other ways. If you or a loved one were bitten or attacked by a dog, we encourage you to speak with one of our attorneys. The Fairfield personal injury lawyers at Barnett, Bennett, & Scott, LLP could review your situation at no cost and explain whether you have legal options against a dog’s owner or other parties.