In 2017, dog attacks took two lives in the state of California. Dozens of other victims survived their dog bite injuries but ended up in emergency rooms with lacerations, puncture wounds, bruising, and broken bones. Dog bites are serious incidents that are almost always preventable. Recognizing when someone else is liable for your dog bite injury and related damages can help you seek the recovery you deserve.
The Chula Vista dog bite lawyers at the Law Offices of Howard Kitay know how to maximize compensation for injured victims. We’ve recovered millions of dollars for our clients in the past through relentless hard work and commitment to justice. Our firm offers personalized legal solutions for each of our clients. We’re confident our Chula Vista dog bite attorneys can get more for your case than you can on your own – all on a contingency-fee basis. Contact our dog bite attorneys today to request a free dog bite case consultation.
Owning a dog in the state of California comes with certain duties and responsibilities. Dog owners are in charge of controlling their pets and preventing injuries to others through reasonable and prudent care. Chula Vista itself does not have any dog-related legislation, but several other municipalities in California have breed-specific laws, such as mandatory pet sterilization. Breaking a state or city law is an act of negligence as a dog owner that could lead to liability for a bite or attack.
In the state of California, pet owners are strictly liable for injuries their dog’s cause in most cases. This means owners will have to pay a victim’s damages regardless of whether they were negligent in the control of their pets. It generally won’t matter whether an owner knew or should have known the dog could be dangerous, or whether the owner did everything he/she could have to prevent the dog bite. Either way, the owner will be legally responsible for paying for damages, unless he or she has a successful defense.
A dog owner will only be liable for a damage in California if the victim actually sustained a bite, and if the victim was lawfully on private property or in a public place at the time of the attack. A victim who was trespassing at the time, for example, probably could not file a personal injury claim in Chula Vista against the dog owner. A “bite” does not necessarily have to break the skin. If the dog’s jaws clamped around the victim, it constitutes a bite. The strict liability law does not apply to dog-related injuries other than bites; however, victims of these incidents may have other options.
If a dog in Chula Vista jumped on you and knocked you over, chased you and caused an accident, or injured you in ways other than a dog bite, you might have a claim against the owner on the grounds of negligence. The courts may award you compensation if you can prove the pet owner owed you a duty of care (such as leash-curbing the dog in a public place) and breached this duty, and that this breach caused your injuries. A conversation with one of our local attorneys can help you find out whether you have grounds for a claim.
Note that different rules apply to “dangerous dogs” in California. Separate legal procedures exist for these claims. The city may request a hearing if they suspect a dog is dangerous or vicious. If the city deems that the dog is dangerous, the owner will have to take special precautions to prevent injuries. Violating these restrictions can lead to liability for accidents, additional fines/penalties, and possible destruction of the pet.
Need more information about your dog bite injury in Chula Vista? Contact our Chula Vista dog bite lawyers today for a free legal consultation.