EXPERIENCE MATTERS...
LET US PROVE IT TO YOU.

view our case results read client reviews

Personal Injury Blog

Submit

Understanding Dog Bites / Animal Bites Law in California

Thursday, September 22, 2016

If you are the victim of a dog bite or other kind of animal bite in California, you need to understand the laws that affect your situation before making any decisions about compensation or settlement. Dog and animal bite situations can range anywhere from relatively harmless to life-changing. You will need to take several factors into account and speak with an attorney to learn your options and understand how to navigate the complicated legal process.

To put it simply, California law is quite clear, in Civil Code section 3342 that dog owners are liable for any physical damage suffered by a person in a public or reasonable private residence or dwelling. So, if you are a dog owner, it's important to make sure your dog is obedient and well-trained. Conversely, if a dog or animal bites you while you are acting reasonably, you are perfectly within your rights to seek compensation that aligns with your scope of pain and injuries.

With the right legal and medical analysis, victims of dog and animal bites can increase their chances of a swift and fair judgement for compensation in a court of law, if necessary. In the best outcomes, victims can reach a settlement without the need for a court appearance. If you experience a dog or animal bite, we can help you determine the best next steps you can take as a reasonable course of action.

Please know, there are times when you may not have a case...

California law is quite clear about the instances when dogs or animals can bite without breaking the law. For instance, if you are bit by a canine working for law enforcement, you may not hold the agency liable if you were breaking the law or inciting the animal in any way that proved the attack. Also, if you are being held as the suspect in a crime and get bit, you will not have.

The main takeaway is you need the advice of experienced lawyers who handle dog and animal bite cases before settling with the owner of an attacking animal. We specialize in helping citizens of Los Angeles and several surrounding areas, including: San Fernando Valley, Woodland Hills, Van Nuys, Encino, Thousand Oak and North Hollywood. Contact us to talk about your situation as soon as possible. Sometimes, the longer you wait, the weaker your case. And be sure to follow us on Twitter to keep up with our latest legal news, blogs and other helpful info.

Dog Bites / Animal Bites: How To Prevent Them

Friday, August 26, 2016

Nearly 4.5 million Dog Bites / Animal Bites occur in the U.S. each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many of the victims are children, and many of the bites occur in the dogs' own homes.

And dogs aren't the only companion animals who can bite and cause serious injury. Cat bites, too, can be very dangerous.

How do you prevent Dog Bites / Animal Bites? Just follow these safety tips.

  • Never corner or try to pick up a frightened cat. Even the sweetest, gentlest house cat will attack if it feels trapped.
  • Supervise young children when they're with family pets, and teach them to treat dogs and cats with respect and caution.
  • Never startle a dog or cat who's sleeping, and don't disturb dogs when they're eating or caring for puppies. Cats caring for kittens need their own space, too.
  • Don't try to pet a dog without allowing it to see you and sniff your hand first.
  • Discourage aggressive play by both dogs and cats.

When An Unfamiliar Dog Approaches

Always be cautious of dogs you don't know. Keep these suggestions in mind to avoid an attack or bite.

  • Avoid direct eye contact with the dog. Direct eye contact sends an aggressive message to both dogs and cats.
  • Stand sideways and stay still until the dog goes away.
  • Say "No" or "Go Home" in a firm, deep voice, but don't clap your hands or make loud noises that will frighten the dog and make it more likely to attack.
  • If the dog knocks you over, curl into a ball with your head against your chest, and put your hands over your neck and ears.

Sometimes the worst happens, and it's not possible to prevent an attack. If you're the victim of a Dog Bite / Animal Bitecontact us to discuss your options and to find out whether you're entitled to compensation for your injuries.

Dog Bites / Animal Bites: Protect Your Rights After an Attack

Thursday, August 18, 2016

There are literally over 4 million dog bites and injuries each year, according to recent reports from the CDC; injuries can range from minor scrapes or bruises to significant wounds, some extreme attacks are even fatal. Knowing your rights and what to do if you or a loved one is attacked can help you respond the right way and get all of the help you need to recover after a dog related injury.

3 Things to Know about Dog Bites/Animal Bites

Any Dog Can Bite

While pit bulls make headlines, injuries are caused by even small breeds every day. Little pups like Chihuahuas can cause significant damage, particularly if they are being held by the person they attack. Facial scarring and damage can occur in an instant if a little dog decides to attack. The size of the dog or its breed have no bearing on your ability to file a lawsuit and recover your losses. If you have been injured, you are entitled to compensation for your suffering and injuries.

Other Injuries Matter, Too

If a dog attacks your child or pet and then turns on you, the collateral damage matters as well. You still will incur significant expenses even if you are not the party the dog attacked first. Dogs can cause injury without biting at all; a large dog can knock over an elderly person or a small child and cause significant damage without ever bearing his teeth at all. An attorney can help you protect your rights and ensure that you are compensated for any injuries caused by the dog in question.

Other Animals Can Attack

Any pet that has not been properly restrained or is not under control of its owner could attack and injure you. Even if the animal is an exotic species instead of a dog, you still have rights and can still pursue compensation. Recent cases have made headlines; snakes, birds and even a pet chimpanzee have caused catastrophic injuries when they attacked a visitor or bystander.

A personal injury attorney familiar with animal bites and dog bites can help you learn about your options and seek out the compensation you deserve after an attack. If you have been bitten or injured by someone else’s pet, contact us to talk about your case and determine what to do next. We are committed to helping you recover and put the attack behind you. 

You Got Bit? Don't Get Burned by Ignoring California's Dog Bite Law

Friday, March 18, 2016

Dogs are wonderful companions, but when poorly trained by their masters and under limited supervision, they can be a threat to the community. If you or someone you know has been attacked by an unsupervised dog, California's Dog Bite Law states that the owner of the animal must be held responsible for the actions of their pet. Before paying for hefty medical bills, be sure to understand that you may be able to take legal action against the dog owner to make sure that the fault of their actions doesn't have to come out of your wallet.

California Civil Code Section 3342 states, in its simplest terms, that the owner of any dog is held liable for damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog on either public or private property, which includes the dog owner's home. This also holds true regardless of whether or not this was the dog's first display of viciousness. The only exceptions to the law is if the dog bite victim was provoking the animal, trespassing, or in the process of committing a crime.

When to Seek Legal Representation?

If you were the victim of a dog bite that resulted in either physical injury or documented emotional trauma, you are eligible for litigation against the dog owner. With strong evidence of the event, you can also seek to any damages caused by the traumatic event.

Claim damages can include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Surgeries
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress

Were you or a loved one bit by a dog in California and forced to pay your own legal expenses? We can help. Contact us for a free consultation, we can make sure that you can win your court case before paying a penny in legal fees.


Bitten by a Dog in California? Things You Should Know

Friday, February 19, 2016

Dogs are wonderful, loyal creatures, but not all of their owners are. Sometimes, their owners let their loyalty stray, or misguide it. A dog with the wrong master can become a real menace. On the occasion that a dog bites a human, that dog's owner must be held responsible. Fortunately, California law reflects this.

In plain English, the law has several points that are worth noting:

  • Lawsuits against owners are either dismissed or damage amounts are reduced if the victim was found to be provoking the dog.
  • A defense of provocation is not applicable if the victim is under five years old.
  • Dog bite lawsuits apply strictly to an act of biting, not ramming or knocking-down.
  • If the victim is the dog owner's landlord, lawsuits can be filed on the grounds of negligence.
  • If the victim is an employee of the dog owner and the bite took place on company property, the lawsuit falls under labor action instead of dog bites.
  • People eligible for lawsuits are those who are bitten when invited onto the dog owner's property, or who are permitted by law to enter someone's property in the line of work, such as mail carriers, firefighters, or police officers.

If you or anyone you know falls under any of the above criteria, you may be entitled to a settlement. Freeman and Freeman represent all personal injury cases, including dog bites. Feel free to contact us or visit our website for more info or to see if you are eligible for our services.



Office Locations

21900 Burbank Boulevard
Third Floor
Woodland Hills, CA 91367-7418

P: 818-992-2919
F: 818-992-2940


From our offices in Woodland Hills, California, Freeman & Freeman, LLP, provides legal advice and representation for clients in communities throughout the state, including those in Burbank, Glendale, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, Tarzana, Santa Clarita, Agoura Hills, Reseda, Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Northridge, Granada Hills, Pacoima, Panorama City, North Hollywood, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Lancaster, Palmdale and Alhambra.