FAQs For Dog Attacks
It may seem that California law allows all victims of dog attacks – without exception – to recover damages from the dog owner, but this is not true. Yes, under California law, you have a right to pursue compensation from the owner of the dog that bit you even if that dog has no previous record of bites or aggressive tendencies. But, at the same time, you are required to prove that you did not provoke or harass the dog.
You may be able to sue a dog owner for allowing the dog to roam freely without a leash, but, at the same time, you must prove that you were not trespassing at the time of the attack nor did you assume the risk of a dog attack. California’s dog bite laws can be complicated, which is why it is advisable to consult with a dog attack attorney from The Hayes Law Firm.
Is The ‘One Free Bite’ Rule A Myth?
In California, it is a myth, though in many other states a dog owner can escape liability if his or her dog has never shown signs of aggressive behavior or bitten anyone before the first bite, or the so-called “one free bite.”
California law entitles you to pursue compensation regardless of whether the dog had shown any aggressive behavior previously. People also believe that you cannot get compensated if no actual bite took place, and your injury was caused when you tried to avoid an attack.
With a skilled lawyer by your side, you will most likely be able to seek compensation if your injury was caused by being knocked down or you fell and injured yourself when trying to run away from the dog.
What Type Of Insurance Covers Dog Attacks In California?
People who have been bitten by dogs are often confused as to what kind of insurance will cover their damages and losses. Typically, the dog owner’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy will cover the victim’s medical bills and other losses.
If a dog owner does not have such coverage, he or she must pay out of pocket. Also, keep in mind that many insurance companies in California exclude certain dog breeds, including pit bulls, from coverage.
In that case, the only way to pursue compensation could be to file a personal injury lawsuit against the dog owner, though this is usually a more expensive, tiresome and long process. At The Hayes Law Firm, we will review your case and do our best to negotiate a settlement out of court.
Are There Any Special Laws That Apply To Dog Attacks Involving Children?
When children suffer injuries in dog attacks, California law has a special statute of limitations. An adult who has been bitten by a dog in California has two years to file a claim. Children, meanwhile, have two years after their 18th birthday to pursue damages.
This means that if a child suffered an injury at the age of 14, he or she would have six years to bring a claim and recover damages. Another special law for children that many people are not aware of is that children below the age of five cannot be blamed for a dog attack regardless of how it occurred.
How Can We Help? Call Today
Although it is advised to hire a dog bite lawyer under any circumstances, these are some of the top reasons why you should be represented by an attorney to pursue compensation:
- The dog’s owner cannot be identified or found
- You suffered serious injuries and/or require long-term or lifelong medical treatment
- The owner or possessor of the dog is not willing to negotiate
- The insurance company is refusing to pay your medical bills
- The owner or possessor of the dog is trying to shift the blame onto you
- The dog has a history of bites and aggressive behavior
If you have found yourself in one of the situations that we have mentioned above, do not hesitate to schedule a free consultation. Call the lawyers from The Hayes Law Firm at 323-693-1052 or fill out our contact form.