Dog bites can cause severe injuries, which is why the state has such strict liability laws for pet owners. If another person’s dog attacked you or a loved one, you could pursue compensation through a civil lawsuit.
A determined personal injury attorney could work with you to gather evidence and present a strong case to the court. Do not hesitate to speak with a Glendale dog bite lawyer about your situation.
Common Dog Bite Injuries
When a dog attacks someone, it can lead to severe injuries. In addition to bites, the animal may inflict several scratches or cause an individual to suffer a devastating fall. Some cases may lead to death. Common dog attack injuries include:
- Puncture wounds
- Scars and disfigurement
- Excessive blood loss
- Infection and disease
- Broken bones
- Face and eye injuries
- Muscle and tissue damage
- Head and brain injuries
There are often long recovery times from these injuries, and the financial costs can be debilitating. The road to recovery is often exacerbated by the high costs of medical bills and time lost at work.
In addition to physical injuries, a person could also face psychological consequences such as flashbacks, extreme fear of dogs, post-traumatic stress, and mental anguish. Both physical and mental injuries are potentially compensable through a dog bite lawsuit in Glendale.
Dog Bite Laws in Glendale
California Code § 3342 sets the state’s liability law for dog attacks. The law imposes strict liability upon dog owners for the acts of their pets in most cases. Unlike other states that require plaintiffs to prove that the dog has previously bitten someone in order to establish negligence, California law does not require any previous aggression to prove liability. Even if it is the first time the dog has ever bitten someone, the court can still hold the owner liable.
However, a plaintiff is not permitted to recover after a dog attack if he or she:
- Was trespassing on a person’s private property
- Provoked the animal
- The animal was protecting its owner per state self-defense law
- The animal was a police or military canine used as legally permitted
If these exceptions apply, liability does not attach to the defendant. However, many defendants will falsely claim the plaintiff provoked the dog. In cases such as these, a skilled lawyer could argue against those claims. A dedicated dog bite attorney in Glendale could also analyze the unique aspects of the plaintiff’s case to determine what compensation may be available.
Recovering Damages in Dog Attack Cases
A dog bite can cause the plaintiff to incur financial losses and endure great pain and suffering. In a successfully proven case, the injured party may receive monetary compensation to cover those costs. Economic damages can include lost income, lost earning capacity, and medical bills. Plaintiffs may also seek restitution for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and mental anguish.
State law does permit punitive damages in limited cases. The purpose of these damages is not to compensate the plaintiff. Instead, the court uses them to punish the dog owner. To obtain a punitive damages award, a plaintiff and his or her attorney would need to prove that an act of fraud, malice, or oppression led to the dog attack.
Consult a Glendale Dog Bite Attorney at Our Firm Today
A dog bite injury can leave you severely injured. Fortunately, state law requires most dog owners to take financial responsibility for the damages their dogs cause. You could recover significant compensation after an unprovoked attack. Contact our firm today to get started. A Glendale dog bite lawyer could represent your interests and seek compensation on your behalf.