Being attacked by a dog is an incredibly frightening experience, especially for children who, unfortunately, are the most common victims of dog bites. Victims often suffer serious, even life-threatening injuries, as well as extensive emotional distress and lasting trauma.
At Aghabegian & Associates, PC, we believe that dog owners have a responsibility to make sure their pets do not harm others—and the law agrees. In California, negligent dog owners can be held accountable for their animals’ behavior. If you, your child, or your loved one was attacked or bitten by a dog, our firm can help you fight for justice and a fair recovery.
Call (818) 350-8870 to speak to one of our Glendale premises liability attorneys about your case today. We offer contingent fees, meaning there is no upfront cost for you and you only pay if we win.
Understanding Strict Liability in Dog Bite Cases
California is known as a “strict liability” state when it comes to dog bite cases. Simply put, this means that dog owners are almost always responsible for their pets’ behavior, regardless of whether or not the dog in question has ever shown aggressive behavior before. A dog owner in California cannot escape liability by claiming that he or she didn’t know that the dog would bite/attack. The only exceptions to this rule are if the victim was on private property unlawfully (trespassing) when the bite/attack occurred or if the dog in question is a military or police dog that was in the line of duty when it bit/attacked.
Here are some examples of when an individual can bring a claim against a dog owner:
- A woman is walking in a public park when an unleashed dog runs up to her and bites her leg. If the park is not a designated off-leash zone, the woman may bring a claim against the dog owner.
- A mail delivery person is bitten by a dog that was allowed to wander freely in the front yard of a home or on a property that does not have any fences to restrain the dog.
- Hikers walking with their leashed dog are attacked by an illegally unleashed dog on a local trail and suffer serious bite injuries as a result.
- A child is bitten by a dog in a friend’s home while the child and his parents are invited guests of the friend.
- A dog escapes its yard and bites a jogger who is running through the neighborhood. The injured jogger requires surgery to treat his bite injuries.
If a person is attacked, knocked down, or otherwise harmed by a dog but not bitten by the dog, he or she may still be able to bring a claim against the owner if he or she can show that the dog owner acted negligently. For example, if a dog is off leash in an on-leash only area, such as a public playground, and the dog jumps on a small child, scratching the child’s eye and causing serious damage, the owner of the dog can be held liable for failing to properly restrain the dog.
Speak to an Attorney at Our Firm Today about Your Rights
While victims of dog bites and dog attacks in California are granted broad rights under state law, proving fault in dog bite cases is not always a simple matter. In many cases, victims find themselves in a he-said-she-said battle against the dog owner. For this reason, if you are bitten or injured by a dog, it is important that you take down any available witness statements and contact information (if possible). This can seriously help your case in the event that the dog owner denies culpability.
Regardless of your particular situation, it is in your best interests to discuss your situation with an experienced dog bite injury attorney. Our Glendale dog bite lawyers can answer your questions, address your concerns, and help you navigate each stage of the legal process with compassion, attentiveness, and dedicated advocacy. We proudly assist clients in Glendale, Los Angeles, and throughout the San Fernando Valley.
To request a free, confidential consultation, call our office at (818) 350-8870 or contact us online.