Almost 5 million people are bitten by dogs every year, and more than 800,000 require medical attention.
A lot of these victims, though, fail to collect damages from the owners or the other liable parties either due to ignorance of their rights or ignorance of their law.
The California dog bite law can be pretty complicated and each dog attack case may use a different legal concepts.
That is why it is important that you consult an expert Los Angeles animal attack attorney to guide you in your claim.
To help you, here are the commonly used legal concepts in dog bite injuries.
- 1. One Bite Rule
This is seldom used in dog attack injuries anymore, especially since the state has adopted the strict liability clause for dog attacks.
Under this rule, the dog owner is automatically held liable for the dog attack if the victim can prove that the dog had previous history of viciousness or have bitten another person before he was attacked.
- 2. Strict Liability
As said before, this replaced the one bite rule as the prevalent legal rule used in holding dog owners liable for their pet's attacks.
Under strict liability, the dog owner can be held liable if the following elements can be proven:
- The defendant is the owner of the dog.
- The victim was injured due to an actual bite from the dog.
- The dog bite occurred in public or when the victim is legally within the premises of a private property.
- The dog bite injuries resulted in damages to the victim.
The most important note to remember is that the injury must be caused by a "dog bite" for strict liability to be applicable.
- 3. Negligence
For cases not covered under strict liability, the victim can still use the negligence tort to hold the dog owner liable for the injuries.
To prove negligence, the victim must show that the dog owner failed to reasonably handle or control his pet.
- 4. Negligence per se
This type of negligence is related to the owner's violation of existing laws that resulted to injuries.
An example would be the animal control and leash laws.
If the dog owner is found to have violated these public laws, then he is automatically liable for any injuries caused by his dog's attacks.
Figuring out which of these concept you should use in your dog attack case can be very difficult, especially if you are not familiar with the various technicalities that separate one from the other.
Consult an LA animal attack expert, personal injury attorney for guidance and legal help.