Dogs are a very important part of life in California and can bring companionship and joy in a person’s life. However, some dogs can also be dangerous and aggressive at any moment. For example, some individuals often breed dogs to be aggressive so that they can be used to fight other dogs and/or protect property. Other dogs are beaten or neglected which can make them unpredictable and untrusting of humans. Therefore, individuals coming across these dogs in public and private places can suffer a dog bite attack.
California Civil Code section 3342 makes owners of dogs liable for all damages suffered by any individual who is bitten by a dog while in public or legally in a private place. Often, victims of dog bites run into complications when attempting to hold the dog’s owner responsible for damages. These complications include, but are not limited to, inability to identify the owner of the dog, inability to prove that the dog bite victim was in the location legally when he or she was bitten; inability to properly submit and negotiate a claim with a dog owner’s insurance company for damages; and allowing the two-year statute of limitations to pass before making a claim for damages.
If you are bitten by a dog, it is important that you obtain medical attention and preserve evidence for a possible lawsuit. Therefore, the following will be a non-exhaustive list of steps to take after suffering a dog bite:
- Obtain medical attention as soon as possible as a dog bite wound can lead to excessive bleeding, infection, scarring, rabies, loss of limb, and/or death;
- If possible, immediately take photographs of the location where the dog bite occurred;
- If possible, immediately take photographs of all injuries suffered as a result of the dog bite;
- Obtain the identification and contact information of the responsible dog owner;
- Obtain witness identification and contact information of potential witnesses; and
- Obtain written witness statements regarding the dog bite incident.
Most importantly, a dog bite victim should contact a personal injury attorney experienced with protecting dog bite victims. The dog bite lawyers at the Law Offices of Jual F. Reyes are experienced in making claims for damages and/or filing lawsuits on behalf of dog bite victims. If you or your family member has suffered injuries as a result of a dog bite, contact a dog bite lawyer at the Law Offices of Jual F. Reyes at 877-242-4410 for your free consultation.