Dogs often playfully bite. However, dog bites that result in serious injuries occur from aggression. Regardless of why the dog acted that way, its owner is liable for your injuries. As a dog bite victim, there are laws that protect your rights.
Dog bites can result in serious injuries that may even require surgical treatments. On top of that, victims may even face financial implications in the long term. You should retain injury attorneys Huntington Beach to advocate on your behalf while you focus on your healing.
Who pays for my dog bite injuries?
If a pet dog has bitten you, the law is on your side. All dog owners are legally responsible for the injuries caused by their dogs. The dog owner should know how to handle, keep and secure the animal, especially when it is out in public among strangers. The theories of liability that you may pursue are:
- Statutory Strict Liability: If a dog has bitten you, you do not need to prove that the owner was unaware of its aggressive behavior. Regardless of whether the owner knew or not, they are liable.
- One-bite rule: This law allows one bite before the owner can be held liable for the injuries it causes.
- Negligence: The owner is held liable for failing to prevent the animal from attacking or biting you.
- Negligence per se: The owner has violated a law pertaining to dogs and should be held liable.
When are dog owners not responsible?
If you did something to cause the dog to act aggressively, you would be held liable for your injuries. There are three situations when the owner might not be liable.
- You provoked the dog into biting you.
- You were trespassing into private property.
- You are trying to harm its owner, and the dog bit you in defense.
If you have not done anything of the above or anything of the sort that may point the fingers at you, you are eligible to file the claim. However, some states have the one-bite rule. Therefore, check with your state laws first and then consult your attorney about your options.
Compensation for dog bites
Dog bites can cause severe damages. If you were injured in a dog bite, you could recover the following compensation.
- Medical costs include treatment, surgery (if required), medications, trips to the hospital, additional equipment for home, hospital parking costs.
- Psychiatric care for emotional distress and trauma.
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings if the dog bite has caused long-term damage
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Reduced quality of life, such as not being able to do your favorite activity, workouts, etc.
- Losses based on how the injuries affect your personal relationships.