A dog attack in Lincoln Heights that originally left a man with severe injuries has died. Reports state that two “pit-bull life” dogs mauled an elderly gentleman and his dog. Unfortunately the little dog died right away. While the victim, Valentin Herrera held on for as long as he could, he died after succumbing to his injuries after surgery. According to the reports, the family of the victim is not blaming the dogs for their behavior. They believe that the owners should take responsibility for their dogs actions. And as a dog attack attorney in the state of California, that is exactly what will be happening. The dogs do have a history of attacking. In fact they attacked and killed a neighbors therapy dog.
Below is some important information. Not only for dog owners, but for anyone who suffers from injuries due to a bite. If you suffer from injuries due to a ago bite, you have rights. Contacting a dog attack lawyer in our office will make all the difference.
Dog Attack Attorney | California Liability Dog Bite Statute
California is a strict liability state. We will go more in depth about what they means, but the short of it is: the owner of a dog is strictly liable for any injuries their animal causes. What this means for victims: they do not have to prove negligence.
California Civil Code Section 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.
(b) Nothing in this section shall authorize the bringing of an action pursuant to subdivision (a) against any governmental agency using a dog in military or police work if the bite or bites occurred while the dog was defending itself from an annoying, harassing, or provoking act, or assisting an employee of the agency in any of the following:
Dog Attack Lawyer | What this law means for the owner
As the law clearly states, the owner will be responsible for any and all damages the victim suffers. This can range from medical bills, loss of income, etc. This can also mean that if the dog’s attacks are extremely vicious, animal control will hold the animal for approximately 10 days.
In some cases, animal control will return the dog after mandatory quarentine. Liability based on ownership of the dog begins the moment the owner takes possession of the dog.
A dog owner may try to use the trespassing defense. But this statute requires an injured person to be in a public place or a “lawfully” private place when bitten. As the injured party, you may not be able to recover damages if the owner can prove that you were unlawfully trespassing when the bite occurred.
Dog Bite Lawyer | What this law means for the victims
The dog bite statute actually protects victims. The law plainly states that the owner of the dog is likely to be responsible for another person’s damages in a civil claim:
- the dog bite was the cause of the injuries the victim suffers from;
- the injured person was in a public place or in a private place when the bite occurred.
The only time(s) the law does not hold up is if the animal is performing police or military work. Another situation in which the law does not hold up is if the victim is trespassing on the property.
Dog Bite Injury Attorney | Things to be aware of
Section 3342 specifies that it only applies to injury you sustain from a bite/attack alone. It does not support any injury claim that is due to behaviors such as jumping or scratching. If someone sustains an injury due to an animal playing too rough, the victim can file a negligence lawsuit.
Dog Attack Attorney | Examples of Criminal Liability
In some cases a dog’s owner may also face criminal charges as well as their civil liability for their dogs attack. California laws in regards to dog bites apply those that are classified as “dangerous” or “vicious.” Examples of the two are are follows.
- Any breed that acts aggressively in a way that forces another person to defend him/herself in two or more incidents in the previous 36 months, while away from the owner’s property.
- A dog that has bitten another person, unprovoked, causing a non-severe injury.
- Any dog that has killed, bitten, injured a domestic animal two or more times in the past 36 months. While away from the owner’s property.
- A dog that is usually owned by a person who has been convicted of an offense that relates to illegal dog-fighting.
- A dog that has aggressively inflicted severe injuries to or killed a human being.
- Any dog that is on the “dangerous dog breed” list but whose owner failed to follow precautions when it comes to keeping dangerous dogs.
As a South Orange County dog bite injury attorney, we know that an owner of a dangerous or vicious dog who lets the animal roam free, the owner may be charged with a misdemeanor. There is also the potential for the owner to face felony charges.
If you are suffering from injuries due to a dog bite, contact us today. Consultations are free.