Dog Bite

Dog Bite Lawyer, Orange County, CA

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4.7 million people suffer from dog bites each year. These victims not only endure severe physical and emotional injuries but experience the burden of medical treatment and hospital bills. If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog in Orange County, CA, contact a personal injury attorney at the Khalil Law Group today.

Orange County Dog Bite Statute

California Civil Code 3342(a) says a dog owner may be liable for damages if their canine bites another person or dog in a public place or when that person is lawfully at a private residence. The codes don’t make exceptions for well-behaved dogs, nor do they recognize the one-bite rule. The uncompromising liability makes California one of the strictest states in the United States for dog bites, as stringent as Canada.

Civil code 3342.5 says dog owners must actively avoid causing personal injury to other individuals. If their canine attacks multiple people or other dogs, the local law enforcement agency may evaluate the dog’s psychological condition. Some agencies may take the dog from the owner after several incidents.

Determining Liability

Orange County dog bite law holds owners to a strict liability standard. It imposes a legal duty on the dog owner for damages and injuries. That applies even if the person did not act with negligence or fault.

Animal bites to people who are lawfully on private property are the exception to the rule. For you not to be liable for a dog bite, the victim must have illegally come onto your property before the attack. Mail carriers and meter readers have exemptions because they need to access private residences to complete their jobs.

Strict liability only applies to the owner. If a dog attack happens while the animal is with a sitter or trainer, that person doesn’t bear complete responsibility for the attack. Some dog bite victims might prefer suing someone other than the owner to deter future dog bite cases.

Showing Negligence

Negligence occurs when someone does not exercise proper care toward another person. A law firm must establish what a reasonable person would do in the same situation and prove that the defendant did not demonstrate this behavior. Dog bite lawyers must show four elements to prove negligence in California.

Law firms must establish a duty of care, also known as a standard of care. This legal principle says that a person should use reasonable caution and judgment. For example, owners should use a leash to restrain their dog so that it doesn’t bite other people.

Once a lawyer proves that the defendant owned the dog and exercised a duty of care, an Orange County dog bite attorney seeks to show a breach of duty. It involves failing to act reasonably. If a dog with a history of biting doesn’t have a leash and then attacks someone, that would constitute a breach of duty.

Causation means that the negligent actions caused the dog bite injuries. Not all types of causation are equal. In California, a firm must show a direct link between the owner’s actions and the damages. This process is also known as proximate cause.

The final step requires law offices to demonstrate damages and is among the most challenging components to prove. A lawyer must connect the owner’s action with the injuries caused by the attack. We need to show that the victim suffered a financial loss through medical bills, lost wages, property damage, or rehabilitation.

Orange County, California, has several laws that aim to reduce the chances of dog bites. Code Section 4-1-45 requires owners to restrain their dog with a leash, chain, or fence. Law enforcement agencies may also detain an animal for being “vicious” or “dangerous” if it demonstrates aggressive behavior.

Common Dog Bite Injuries

Dogs have powerful jaws. Breeds like English Mastiffs and Dogues de Bordeaux (French Mastiffs) can deliver more than 550 psi per bite. By comparison, human bites only register 162 psi. Some of the most common injuries that dog bite victims suffer include:

  • Puncture wounds
  • Scars and lacerations
  • Broken bones
  • Nerve damage
  • Emotional suffering
  • Eye, mouth, and nose injuries
  • Disfigurement

A victim doesn’t have to sustain a dog bite injury to earn fair compensation. Someone may run away from the animal to avoid attack and hurt themselves in the process. If a firm can connect the victim’s injuries to the dog’s aggressiveness, the court may award damages.

Dog Breeds That Attack

While pit bulls have a tame and lovable side, they account for a disproportionate number of dog bite claims. According to the Canine Journal, pit bulls were responsible for 284 deaths from 2005 to 2017, which translates to 65.6% of all canine-related fatalities. Some of the other breeds that bite include

  • Rottweilers – 45 deaths (10.4% of cases)
  • German Shepherds – 20 deaths (4.6% of cases)
  • Mixed-breed -17 deaths (3.9% of cases)
  • American bulldogs – 15 deaths (3.5% of cases)
  • Mastiffs and Bullmastiffs – 14 deaths (3.2% of cases)
  • Huskies – 13 deaths (3% of cases)

What to Do After a Dog Attack

Get medical attention right away after a California dog bite attack. Even if you don’t think the injuries are severe, we highly recommend visiting your local hospital or healthcare clinic. Dog bites can pass along diseases, such as rabies, that can cause complications.

If you can, write down the owner’s contact information and your recollection of the attack. Take pictures and videos of the dog bites, too. You can use this evidence to build your case and receive compensation from insurance companies or the owner.

Why You Need the Khalil Law Group

If you have a California dog bite case, the Khalil Law Group can help. Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience you need to swiftly and amicably resolve the incident. We will work with you every step of the way and fight for your rights inside and outside the courtroom.

Dog bites are one of our foremost practice areas. Our team has assisted individuals across Orange County to get the representation they need. Make sure to start your intake process within two years of the attack to satisfy the statute of limitations for dog bite claims.

Get a Free Consultation Today

If you or a family member has been a victim of a dog, be sure to get the representation you need with a call to the Khalil Law Group today. Join other victims from Orange County, CA, that trust our dog bite attorneys when they need help most. You can reach us at (714) 617-5789 or by email at info@khalillegal.com to schedule your free consultation.

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