Owners Are Responsible
California law applies a rule of strict liability for pet owners for the acts and injuries caused by their animals. The law requires the injured person to prove ownership of the animal and that the victim was lawfully present when attacked. The law also requires the injured victim to not be in violation of the law when the injury occurred i.e. as a trespasser or burglar.
If a dog or other pet attacks you or a loved one, then you should contact us right away for a consultation. We have experienced attorneys standing by to advise you on the law as it applies to your situation and your claim against the dog owner and landlord where the injury occurred. If the bite causes any significant physical injury, medical expenses, and any type of short or long-term injury, you should consider pursuing your claim against the lawful owner of the dangerous animal.
You may be able to recover damages for your physical injuries, medical costs, and pain and suffering. You may also make a claim for future medical costs if warranted. If you lose time from work or business, you can claim for your economic losses including any reduction in your long-term ability to work and earn.
Because the dog bite can involve deliberate or malicious misconduct, California law provides for punitive damages that can add to your recovery for pain and economic losses. The law seeks to punish the dog owner for his or her conduct associated with the attack such as when someone "sicks" a dog to attack. Also, where the owner of the dog knows of the dangerous propensity of its pet and lets the dog wander without a leash, punitive damages can be sought.
Records and Information
If you get bitten by a dog or other pet, you should immediately collect information to prepare your claim. You should make a record of the place the event happened, the name of the owner or person in control of the animal, and if possible take photos of the animal and the scene.
You may not be able to do any of these things right away since you are injured, but you can ask others for help. If possible, you should get the names of any witnesses to the attack. You should ask for the cell phone numbers of anyone that might have taken video of any part of the event. You should also get the personal information of the owner of the pet and the landlord upon which the incident/injury took place.