So Your Neighbor’s Dog Bit You…Now What?
That terrier next door always seemed a little testy to you. Or maybe it was a friendly lab that caught you completely by surprise. Either way, dog bites happen in a flash and can leave you seriously injured. Having a plan after such a traumatic event can make things a lot easier, but where do you even begin? Below is the information you need to take the right steps after a dog bite incident.
1. Medical Treatment
Your top priority is safety. Even small dogs can carry rabies and other diseases, and it doesn’t take a deep gash to get infected. When it comes to animal attacks of any kind, you should always seek medical help immediately. Remember to document the injury before and after your visit to the hospital.
2. Know the Laws
The laws in California are set up to protect dog bite victims. In almost every case, the state holds the dog’s owner or caretaker responsible for any bite, even if the dog has never shown signs of aggression in the past. This dog bite law is known as strict liability.
Here’s the actual code defining this:
3342. (a) 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. A person is lawfully upon the private property of such owner within the meaning of this section when he is on such property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him by the laws of this state or by the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or when he is on such property upon the invitation, express or implied, of the owner.
Dog owners may also be held responsible for a bite under the principle of negligence. This is the common sense law. If the owner’s actions (or lack thereof) were unreasonable, he or she could fall into the negligent category. For example, allowing a dog to roam free in the middle of a child’s birthday party could be defined as negligence.
Even with strict liability, dog bites are more complicated than they appear. For example, trespassing and the victim’s own fault can cut down or even eradicate a victim’s recovery.
3. Call Us
You’ve already been through a stressful event; how can you be expected to know how the rules apply to your specific case? That’s why you need an expert.
A personal injury attorney has the legal expertise to know and apply the laws pertaining to dog bites in California. It is part of their legal field. Any other attorney wouldn’t have the experience you are looking for.
If a dog bites you, you might be a victim, but if you follow the above steps you aren’t helpless. Call Cohen & Marzban, Law Corporation at (323) 872-3100 today.