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Dog Bites/Animal Attacks

Each year, approximately 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs.  Children are at particularly high risk for dog bite injuries, with the highest rate occurring between the ages of 5 and 9 years old.  Most dog bites happen at home, with dogs that are familiar to us.

Dog bites and other types of animal attacks can be incredibly scary.  They can also leave lasting damage or even lead to permanent disability.  In some cases, a dog bite or animal attack may lead to death.

At the Law Offices of Michael A. Kahn, we know that dog bites and animal attacks can lead to devastating injuries.  Our seasoned lawyers will work with you to help you recover compensation for your losses.  We never charge a fee unless we obtain a settlement or award for you, and initial consultations are always free.  Contact us today at (310) 209-1600 or info@michaelkahnlaw.com to schedule an appointment.

California’s Dog Bite Law

In California, dog bites are subject to a legal theory known as strict liability.  This means that if you are bitten by a dog, you do now have to prove that the dog has bitten someone before or that the owner knew of its viciousness.  Even if a person’s dog showed no prior signs of aggression, an owner will still have to compensate you for a dog bite.

There are some exceptions to this general rule of strict liability, however.  A dog owner is not liable if:

  • You were trespassing on private property at the time of the bite;
  • The dog is a law enforcement animal;
  • You have “assumed the risk” (for people who work with dogs, such as veterinarians and kennel workers); and
  • You provoked the dog.

Under this law, if you are bitten by a non-law enforcement dog while on public property or while lawfully on private property, then you can recover for your damages — as long as you were not provoking the dog.  You can still recover for a dog bite if you were bitten as a veterinarian or another professional.  You will just have to prove that the owner was negligent, and cannot take advantage of the strict liability theory.

Importantly, strict liability is not the only way that a person can file a claim for a dog bite.  You can still pursue a claim based on a theory of negligence — that the owner knew or should have known of the dog’s viciousness and failed to prevent harm.  However, because you do not need to prove these elements in a strict liability case, it is generally easier to use this theory.

Getting Compensated for Your Dog Bite Injuries

In California, you have two years from the date of the bite to file a claim.  This is known as the statute of limitations.  If you fail to file a claim within this time period, then you will lose your right to file a claim.

There is no minimum amount of damage that you must have suffered in order to file a dog bite claim.  However, studies show that the average cost of a dog bite claim is $39,017 . Common injuries suffered in dog bites include:

  • Broken bones
  • Puncture wounds
  • Scars and disfigurement
  • Rabies
  • Infections
  • Head injuries
  • Psychological trauma

An experienced California dog bite attorney can help you recover the amount of money that you and your family need to help you get your life back on track after a dog bite.  This may include medical expenses, treatment for emotional trauma, lost wages, and more.

How We Can Help

At the Law Offices of Michael A. Kahn, we understand how challenging it can be to deal with the aftermath of a dog bite or animal attack.  We are here to help.

Our team of skilled attorneys will thoroughly investigate every aspect of your case to put together a strong claim for damages.  We will stand by your side throughout the process, helping to ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve.

To learn more or to schedule a free initial consultation, contact our firm today at (310) 209-1600 or info@michaelkahnlaw.com.  We never charge a fee unless we recover money for you.

Need Help? Call us anytime at (310) 209-1600