Ventura, CA Dog Bite Lawyer
Dogs are America’s most popular pet – there are nearly 90 million pet dogs in the United States. And yet while dogs may eat at our tables and sleep in our beds–quite literally, in many cases–dogs are also sometimes territorial, protective, and aggressive. What’s more, these creatures can cause serious harm when they feel threatened. At the law office of Fisher & Talwar, our Ventura, CA dog bite lawyers are here to support you if you’ve been bitten by a dog. For a free consultation with our Ventura, CA dog bite lawyers, call our law office today.
Top Causes of Dog Bites
Most dogs are friendly, and will only snap or snarl if they feel especially frightened or scared. Sometimes, though, even the best dog will bite if it feels threatened. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) explains that dogs typically bite as a reaction to something – for example, if a dog finds itself in a stressful situation, it may bite or attack in order to protect its territory. Dogs may also bite to defend puppies, others in its home (such as the humans who care for it), or its food or toys. Sometimes, a dog will attack because it is scared, or because it doesn’t feel well.
The best way to avoid a dog bite is to never approach an unfamiliar dog, and to leave a dog–especially one that you don’t know–alone when it is eating or sleeping. Talk to small children about approaching dogs.
If a dog is growling at you, never make eye contact, which can seem threatening to a dog. Instead, keep your head down and back away very slowly.
Injuries Caused By a Dog Attack
When a dog attacks, the injuries can range from mild to severe. Some complications and potential injuries from a dog attack include:
- Severe bleeding;
- Scarring and disfigurement;
- Bone fractures;
- Damaged soft tissues;
- Traumatic brain injuries (from falling as a result of the attack); and
One long-term complication of a dog attack is the potential for the victim to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, or a fear of dogs.
Who’s Liable for a Dog Bite?
If you’re bitten by someone else’s dog and the dog bite causes damages or results in any costs (such as medical costs and lost wages), you deserve to be compensated in full for the harm you’ve suffered. In California, there is a strict liability statute in place for dog bites. This means that if one person’s dog bites another person, then the owner of the dog is liable for any damages incurred by the other person if:
- The damages directly result from the dog bite; and
- The person was in a public place or lawfully in a private place at the time of the bite.
The owner can be held liable for injuries caused by their dog regardless of the owner’s previous knowledge of the dog’s viciousness. While a dog owner can be held strictly liable for damages that result directly from a dog bite, there are a few defenses to liability. For example, the dog owner may state that the individual who was bitten was trespassing at the time of attack; or, the dog owner could allege that the individual was harassing or provoking the dog at the time of attack.
Negligence Theory of Liability
In some cases, a person who is injured as a result of a dog may also bring forth a negligence-based claim against the dog owner. Under the theory of negligence, the victim alleges that the dog owner failed to exercise the proper degree of care for the given situation. For example, if an unleashed dog jumps up on someone and knocks them down, and the person breaks their elbow, they could bring a claim against the dog owner alleging that the dog owner was negligent by failing to keep the dog on a leash.
Statute of Limitations on Dog Bite Claims
If a person is bitten by a dog in California, they only have so much time to bring forth a claim against the dog’s owner. In California, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the dog bite. If a person waits longer than two years, they can be permanently barred from recovery.
Call Fisher & Talwar Today
If you’ve been bitten by a dog, our lawyers want to help you recover the compensation that you deserve. For a free consultation with our Ventura, CA dog bite lawyers, please call us directly or send us a message at your convenience.