Local Animal Attack Attorney Serving the Antelope Valley
For some reason, serious and fatal dog bites and animal attacks occur in Southern California at a rate far above the national average. It is wise never to approach a strange dog when the owner is not present, and to always ask permission before petting a strange dog. These important safety tips should be taught to children, who may not understand that dogs can be dangerous. Regardless of the steps you take, however, dog bites and animal attacks can and do happen. When they do, you may be entitled to compensation for the full range of legal damages inflicted on you, including medical expenses, lost wages for time missed from work, pain and suffering, and emotional trauma you may have suffered.
California imposes strict liability on dog owners
Under California law, dog owners can be held strictly liable when their animal bites or attacks another person. What this means is that the injured person does not have to prove that the owner was negligent in the way the dog was handled or kept, or that the owner had any previous knowledge that the animal might be dangerous and might bite or attack a person. This rule of strict liability can apply to any bite or attack which occurs in a public place or even on the owner’s private property, if the dog bite victim was on the premises lawfully at the time of the attack. Being lawfully on the premises includes invited social guests as well as people on the property for a legitimate business purpose, such as to deliver a package or mail, read the meter, deliver food or perform a service at the person’s house.
Dog Bite Cases are Not a Walk in the Park
Even with strict liability, there are still many elements which you must prove before you can obtain compensation for your dog bite injury. Also, despite strict liability, the dog owner may still have defenses available which can reduce the amount of compensation owed to you or even avoid liability altogether. It is important to get representation from an experienced personal injury or dog bite attorney, and to be represented from the very start, even if your case can be settled with the dog owner or insurance company outside of court. Call Kistler Law Firm for assistance from an experienced animal attack attorney.