Los Angeles Dog Bite Attorney
A dog bite or animal attack is terrifying. It can be painful and traumatic, especially for children (the most common victims of dog attacks).
Santa Monica dog bite attorney David Olan knows that an animal attack can cause more than physical pain. It also can cause emotional trauma and severe financial strain. Dog attacks can result in huge medical bills and lost wages. A dog bite or animal attack can leave a person scarred for life. Most dog bites — especially those that children suffer — are to the face. They can leave a person horribly mutilated. Facial reconstruction surgery may be necessary — and costly.
Dog bites and animal attacks are not the only way you can be injured. You may suffer a serious personal injury if:
- You are knocked down by a dog
- You are tripped by a dog
You also may have a premises liability lawsuit if your personal property was damaged or destroyed by a dog.
Dog Bites and California Law
In California the dog owner is almost always responsible for the actions of their dog – even if the injury was an accident or this was the dog’s first bite.
The dog owner can be held negligent for:
- Ineffective control of the dog
- Violation of the leash law and other Animal Control Ordinances
- Inadequate supervision or management of the dog
- Placing the dog in a situation that the owner could have seen could cause injury
Individual cities also may have their own laws. For example, one city limits how many dogs you can walk at one time. A number of cities consider it a misdemeanor if your dog is tied to a parking meter, bench, or sign without access to food and water. There also may be special laws for specific breeds. For instance, in Santa Monica a pit bull is only allowed on public property if it is muzzled.
Beyond the Dog Owner
Depending upon the facts of your case, people other than the dog owner also may be held responsible for a dog bite. These could include:
- A landlord or other property owner
- A homeowner’s association or condominium board
- A property management company
- Whoever sold the dog to the owner
Liability in dog bite lawsuits can be complicated. That is why you need a Santa Monica dog bite attorney who knows the law and who can best represent you.
When Your Dog is Killed or Injured By Another Dog
If your dog is attacked by another dog, the owner of the attacking dog may be liable.
You may be eligible for damages for the loss of or injuries to your dog.
What Happens to the Dog
It is estimated that 75% of the dogs that bite are owned by a friend, neighbor, or family member.
Understandably, many dog bite victims are concerned about what will happen to the dog. They fear the dog will be “put to sleep.” California has no “first bite” law. That means a dog is not given one “free” bite.
Whether the dog has a history of biting or viciousness will effect what happens to the dog. The severity of the dog bite or dog attack also will be factored into the court’s decision as to what should happen to the dog. The do will not necessarily be “put down.” Sometimes the court rules that the dog must be kept muzzled in public or restrained in a specific way.
The Cost of a Dog Bite Lawsuit
Santa Monica dog bite attorney David Olan of Olan Law takes dog bite lawsuits on a contingency fee basis. This means you pay no fees or court costs until your dog bite lawsuit is resolved.
Time Limits to File a Dog Bite Lawsuit
You want to contact a Santa Monica dog bite attorney David Olan at Olan Law as soon as you are medically able.
There are statutes of limitation (deadlines) by which you must file your lawsuit. If you miss the deadline, then you are giving up your rights to ever file a dog bite lawsuit for the damages or losses you suffered.
The sooner you contact Santa Monica dog bite attorney David Olan, the better it is for your case. He will investigate the facts of the case, determining who is liable for your personal injuries. He will interview witnesses before their memories of the animal attack fade. He also will obtain all records to ensure that evidence is not lost.
Free Consultation with a Dog Bite Attorney
Contact Santa Monica dog bite attorney David Olan at Olan Law for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Questions & Answers
Q: Who is responsible for a dog bite in California?
A: California has “strict liability” dog bite laws under Civil Code 3342. If a dog bites, its owner cannot argue that they didn’t know the dog was dangerous or that they took steps to prevent their dog from hurting someone. There is no “one free bite.” As long as you’re bitten in a public place or in a private location where you were lawfully entitled to be, the dog owners will be held strictly liable for your injuries.
Q: Who can I hold responsible for my child’s medical care for a dog bite?
A: If your child suffered serious personal injuries because of a dog bite, you are probably can seek compensation for the child’s medical bills, as well possibly for other things. If your child was in a public place or a private location where they were legally allowed to be, California’s dog bite law imposes strict liability on the dog owner for injuries. Others, such as the property owner or a property management company, also may be held responsible for the attack. Contact a Los Angeles dog bite attorney for a free consultation.
Q: Can I still bring a lawsuit if I can’t find the owner of the dog that bit me?
A: The only way a Los Angeles dog bite attorney can bring a claim against someone is if you know who the dog owner is. If a stray dog bites you, take a photo of it and report the bite to the police. If that dog is eventually picked up, you may be able to trace its owner. Seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Q: What happens if my dog bites or attacks another dog in California?
A: Under California law, the other dog owner may be able to seek compensation from you for their dog’s injuries and medical care. If you had foreknowledge of your dog’s dangerous, vicious, or aggressive tendencies — or you were “negligent per se” by violating a state or local animal law, such as a leash law, you could be held responsible.
Q: In California, is a dog automatically euthanized (“put to sleep”) if it bites someone?
A: In most situations, no. When there’s an incident involving a dog bite, local California police will file a report with the court and a hearing will determine the dog’s status. In most situations before a dog is ordered to be euthanized, the court attempts to mandate various other remedies, such as ordering that the dog cannot be in public without a muzzle.
If the dog has bitten a person or other animal twice within a 3-year period, or if the dog has bitten once and caused minor injuries, the dog is considered “potentially dangerous.”
If the dog has severely injured or killed someone; attacked another person or animal more than twice within a 3-year period; or bitten someone and caused minor injuries twice, it is termed a “vicious” dog under California law. If the dog is classified as “vicious,” the court may order the local animal control department to destroy it.
Contact David Olan for a free, no-obligation, confidential consultation.