Santa Monica Dog Bite Attorney
Attacked by a Dog in Santa Monica?
Gabriella, a dog bite client of the firm.
Dog bites can result in serious injuries. Most at risk are
children and the
elderly because they are less able to defend themselves. Medical bills resulting
from an animal attack can be substantial. There is often an emergency
room visit. There are follow-up visits to make sure that no infection
sets in. Plastic surgery may be required. Your injuries may force you
to take time off work. You should not have to foot these bills on your
own. Nor should you go uncompensated for the tremendous pain and suffering
that can result from a dog attack.
California Dog Bite Law
Under California law, a dog owner is strictly liable for injuries caused
by the owner's dog. California Civil Code Section 3342 states:
"The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person
who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private
place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the
former viciousness of the dog or the owner's knowledge of such viciousness."
The dog owner is on the hook, regardless of whether the dog has ever harmed
Hesitant to make a claim if the dog is owned by a friend, neighbor or relative?
In approximately 75% of dog bite cases, the dog owner is a family member,
neighbor or friend of the victim. If you were bitten by a dog owned by
a friend, neighbor, or relative, you may be concerned that if you pursue
an injury claim, it could damage your relationship. You may also be concerned
that the dog owner will have to pay you out of their own pocket. You should
know that if the dog owner has homeowner's or renter's insurance,
their insurance company will likely pay your claim. The insurance industry
estimates that it pays more than $1 billion per year in homeowner's
and renter's liability claims resulting from dog bites.
As to any fear about damaging your relationship with the dog's owner,
there is no reason why the relationship should be harmed if you make an
injury claim. That is why they purchased insurance in the first place
– to cover them for a situation like this. In fact, if the dog owner
is at all concerned about your welfare, he or she should encourage you
to pursue an injury claim with the insurance company so that you are compensated
for the harm you have suffered, and do not end up out-of-pocket for your
medical bills and lost wages.
Family Members who Witness a Dog Attack may also have a Claim
Family members who witness an animal attack can suffer tremendous emotional
distress. A parent who witnesses
injuries to their child may have to cope with overwhelming guilt.
Under California law, if a person witnesses an injury inflicted on someone
with whom they have a close family relationship, they have a right to
make a claim on their own behalf for emotional trauma. These claims are
referred to as "bystander claims."
Bystander claims have three pre-requisites:
- The plaintiff must be closely related by blood or marriage to the injury victim;
- The plaintiff must be present at the scene of the injury producing event
at the time it occurs and is then aware that it is causing injury to the
- The plaintiff suffers serious emotional distress as a result.
If you witnessed a family member be attacked by a dog, you should consult
with a personal injury attorney regarding your right to compensation.
Top 10 Most Dangerous Dog Breeds
According to the most recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control,
the top 10 most dangerous dog breeds are:
1. Pit Bull
6. Doberman Pinscher
7. Chow Chow
3. German Sherpherd
8. Presa Canario
5. Alaskan Malamute
Our Santa Monica Dog Bite Lawyers will Demand Full Compensation for your Injuries
To receive maximum compensation on your dog bite claim, you will need an experienced legal team behind you. Our husband and wife
team of personal injury attorneys have extensive experience representing
dog bite victims. We will make sure that you get the medical treatment
you need and we will demand that you receive full compensation for all
of your losses, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Contact a Santa Monica dog bite lawyer
at our firm for a free consultation.