While we all love dogs, these animals can act unexpectedly at times. Some breeds, such as German Shepherds and Rottweilers, have the reputation of being more aggressive than others. A considerable number of such cases are reported in LA every year. If you end up with injuries after a dog bite, knowing the California laws and other key aspects will come in handy. Here’s a quick overview, along with reasons to hire a Los Angeles dog bite attorney.
Understanding the state laws
Like many other states, California also has strict liability laws with regard to dog bites. This means that the dog owner cannot claim that they didn’t know if the animal’s aggressiveness or past history to evade liability. In other owners, pet owners are responsible for dog bites in most cases. If a victim sues for compensation, the dog owner must pay the same, no matter whether the dog has ever bitten someone in the past. So, can you sue any pet owner for their dog’s behavior? Yes, but there are exceptions. For instance, a person who has been bitten by a police dog on duty due to suspicion cannot seek compensation. To take legal action, the bite doesn’t have to necessarily penetrate the skin.
Typical defenses in dog bite lawsuits
You could sue a pet owner for their pet’s behavior even if the incident happened on private property. However, there are some typical defenses in such cases. For instance, the dog owner may claim that you were trespassing the property when the incident happened or are partly at fault. For instance, if the dog showed signs of distress and you still went ahead to pet it, the pet owner may use that in their defense.
Finding a good dog bite lawyer
Many people wrongly believe that dog bite lawsuits are relatively easy when compared to personal injury cases. Although most cases don’t go to trial, it is important to have an attorney to prove your case. Your lawyer can evaluate the worth of the dog bite claim and ensure that there is enough evidence to prove the facts. If needed, your lawyer can even use private investigators to find details related to the pet owner’s history of negligence and past incidents involving the dog.
Most dog bite lawyers in LA take a contingency fee, and you can expect them to fight tooth and nail to get a fair settlement. You have one year to take action, and therefore, talk to a lawyer now.