What Allows Me to Seek Compensation for a Dog Bite?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), someone getting bitten by a dog might not make local headlines every day, but it is common enough that 4.5 million individuals are impacted by this injury each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The CDC notes that one out of every five dog bite injuries requires the victim to seek medical attention.
Even though your dog bite injury may not require immediate medical attention, you could still be interested in seeking compensation for your pain and suffering. So how do you know if your trauma is severe enough to qualify?
Liability of the Defendant
One factor that needs to be considered is whether or not someone is liable for the incident. California has strict liability for dog bites meaning that owners are more likely to be held accountable for their pet’s actions.
Specifically, California Civil Code section 3342 states that a dog owner can be found liable for damages if the injuries were specifically caused by the dog bite and the victim was either in a public place or lawfully allowed private place (such as the dog owner’s home) when the bit happened. This statute usually does not apply to law enforcement K9s or military dogs.
The statute would not necessarily apply if some other behavior of the dog caused the injury. For example, if a dog jumps on someone and accidentally injures that person by scratching, the statute would not apply. However, the victim could potentially file negligence charges against the dog’s owner.
Another consideration to keep in mind is whether the liable person has insurance that will cover the damages. In the incident inside a rented dwelling, the renter may not have renter’s insurance that would cover this type of injury if the bite happened inside the dog owner’s home. However, most homeowners will have homeowner’s insurance to cover this type of injury if the accident happens inside their home.
Type of Injury
A third factor to consider if you’re thinking about filing for damages is the type and severity of the injury. If the dog bite did not puncture the skin, you might feel it’s not necessary to file for damages. However, if you have to seek medical attention or have severe physical complications due to the dog bite, you may seek out damages to pay for your medical care.
It’s not just the physical injuries that someone could suffer — post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other mental complications from the attack could impact their quality of life.
Every dog bite situation is different, so there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to whether or not you should seek damages for what you experienced. One decision you can’t go wrong with, though, is contacting the dog bite attorneys at Kershaw Talley Barlow. When you reach out to our team, we will evaluate your case and give you a straightforward analysis of your potential claim. Reach out to us today through our online form or by calling (916) 520-6639.