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 an experienced dog bite lawyer at the Khalil Law Group today by calling (714) 617-7870 for your free case consultation.
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.
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.
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 dog bite 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 dog bite 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.
It’s essential to remember that dogs are animals with instincts and powerful physical attributes. This is especially true when it comes to their jaws. Certain breeds are particularly renowned for their biting strength. These breeds can exert an astounding force of more than 550 psi per bite. This is considerably stronger than a human’s bite, which clocks in at a relatively meager 162 psi.
The disparity in bite strength is significant and can lead to severe injuries if a dog were to bite a person. Some of the most commonly reported injuries from dog bites include:
It’s worth noting that not all injuries stem directly from a dog’s bite. In some situations, individuals might try to flee from a threatening dog, and in their haste, trip or fall, leading to additional injuries. This kind of scenario still ties the dog’s aggressiveness to the person’s injuries, making a viable claim for seeking compensation.
In such circumstances, victims must seek the guidance and expertise of professionals familiar with these cases. An Orange County dog bite lawyer, for instance, would be adept at connecting a victim’s injuries to the actions of the dog and ensuring that they receive fair compensation. A legal professional in this field can guide victims through the intricacies of the law and help them navigate the often complex pathway to justice. The importance of seeking expert legal advice cannot be overstated, whether the injuries come directly from the bite or indirectly from the dog’s aggressive behavior.
Dogs, irrespective of their breed, have the potential to be gentle, loyal companions. However, due to their physical strength and sometimes aggressive tendencies, certain breeds have unfortunately been involved in more serious incidents, leading to fatalities.
One breed that frequently tops the list when it comes to dog bite-related fatalities is the pit bull. While many pit bulls are affectionate and display a docile nature, it is undeniable that they contribute to many severe dog bite incidents. As stated by the Canine Journal, from 2005 to 2017, pit bulls were implicated in a staggering 284 deaths. This alarming number makes up 65.6% of all canine-related fatalities during this period. This statistic is not meant to demonize the breed but to shed light on the importance of responsible dog ownership and awareness.
Other breeds, while responsible for fewer incidents, have also been involved in fatal attacks. Here’s a breakdown of some of the notable breeds and their associated fatalities:
It’s vital to remember that breed alone doesn’t dictate a dog’s behavior. Training, socialization, environment, and an owner’s responsibility play pivotal roles in shaping a dog’s demeanor. If, however, an unfortunate incident does occur, it’s essential for victims and their families to seek guidance on their legal rights and the next steps.
An experienced Orange County dog bite lawyer from the Khalil Law Group can provide invaluable assistance in such cases, helping to navigate the complexities of liability, dog owner responsibilities, and potential compensations. They will offer a deeper understanding of the local laws and regulations surrounding dog attacks, ensuring that victims have the support and expertise they need during these challenging times.
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.
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.
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) 617-7870 or by email at email@example.com to schedule your free consultation.