There were about 89.7 million dogs in the United States in 2017, compared to a human population of 325.1 million. This means that in Tracy, CA, a city with a population of 90,579 in 2017, there were probably about 25,000 dogs in Tracy in 2017.
Dog bites are bound to happen in a city with 25,000 dogs, and if you’ve been bitten by a dog you probably need help with medical bills associated with the dog bite. You may even be unable to work after the dog bite and need help supporting your family.
Luckily, experienced personal injury lawyers like the lawyers at Nadrich & Cohen, LLP can help you with these things since people who are bitten by dogs can file lawsuits in California.
California Dog Bite Laws
California has “strict liability” laws which means pet owners are responsible for most injuries caused by dog bites. Dog owners don’t need to know their dogs have been vicious before in order to be held liable for a dog bite. If they argue that they didn’t know their dog could be dangerous, or that they tried their best to prevent their dog from hurting someone, these arguments are invalid.
Dog owners in California are strictly liable for dog bites if the injured person was bitten in a public place or “lawfully in a private place.”
Those carrying out legal duties, like mail delivery, are lawfully on private property. Those bitten by police or military dogs defending themselves or doing law enforcement work cannot sue in California for a dog bite. People bitten while trespassing on private property cannot sue for a dog bite. People who were bitten by a dog after provoking it cannot sue for a dog bite. People bitten by dogs who were protecting its owner or someone else in accordance with California self-defense laws cannot sue for a dog bite.
If a dog bite doesn’t break skin but causes an injury anyways, this can count as a lawsuit-worthy bite. For example, if a dog grabs someone’s pants in its mouth and pulls the person off a ladder, injuring the person, the animal’s owner can be held liable for injuries caused by this action.
California’s personal injury statute of limitations is two years. This means that victims of dog bites have two years from the date of the dog bite to file a lawsuit. Cases filed after this time limit will be thrown out of court.
Dogs who bite someone in California must be quarantined, typically for 10 days after the bite. Counties will ensure the dog doesn’t have rabies during this time. The dog will often be allowed to remain living with its owner during this time but will sometimes be held at a county animal care center.
Dogs who have bitten someone on at least two separate occasions or have been trained to attack, kill or fight someone may be taken from their owners and euthanized after a dog bite under California law.
Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bite injuries are the most common injuries related to dogs. Dog bites can create skin lacerations, infections or bleeding. Rabies can result from dog bites. Dog bites can sometimes even cause limb loss or death.
Dog Bite Compensation
Dog bite injuries can lead to medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, vocational or physical therapy, lost earning capacity, psychological counseling, limb loss, scarring and more. All of these damages can be compensated for in a dog bite lawsuit. Families in California who lose loved ones to dog bites can recover damages for wrongful death and/or loss of consortium.
Can’t Afford A Doctor For Your Dog Bite?
Nadrich & Cohen, LLP has a trusted network of highly skilled, experienced doctors it works with. These doctors work on medical liens. A medical in lien in California allows for the payment of medical bills directly to healthcare providers from personal injury settlements or judgments. This means that dog bite victims with no insurance and no money to pay for their injuries can have their injuries treated by doctors. Their doctors will then be paid with settlement or judgment money once the lawsuit is over.
Punitive damages can apply to dog bite lawsuits in California when appropriate. The purpose of these damages is to punish defendants who behave badly.
Defendants whose actions amount to “oppression, fraud or malice” can be punished with punitive damages in a dog bite lawsuit. Malice, in this case, means a defendant acted “with a willful and conscious disregard of the rights or safety of others.”
Must I File A Police Report Before I Sue?
You don’t need to file a police report to sue for a dog bite. However, if you do file a police report and it leads to an animal control investigation, that investigation may determine the dog is dangerous. This could make it easier for you to obtain punitive damages in a lawsuit.
California law does require both dog bite victims and dog owners to report dog bites to local county health officers, and doctors in California are obligated to report dog bites that they treat.
Can I Sue If My Pet Is Bitten By A Dog?
Yes, but this would be a property damage lawsuit and not subject to the laws discussed above. A property damage lawsuit like this would typically seek to recover vet bills incurred as a result of the bite.
The Tracy Dog Bite Experts
The lawyers at Nadrich & Cohen, LLP have been handling dog bite cases since 1990. We have extensive knowledge regarding dog bite cases as we’ve seen every kind of dog bite case under the sun over the years. We recently recovered $300,000 for the victim of a pitbull bite.
Call us today at (209) 937-0888 for a free consultation if you or a loved one was injured by a dog bite. We are contingency fee lawyers so you will never owe us anything out of pocket. You can also complete the case evaluation form, email us at email@example.com or chat with one of our live chat specialists.