San Diego is about as dog-friendly a city as you will find anywhere in the United States. We have multiple beaches where off-leash dogs are welcome. We have a plethora of dog parks that are there specifically to give our dogs exercise. Most hiking trails in the county allow dogs to enjoy them with their owners. Even restaurants around town have areas for people to sit and dine with their dogs. People in San Diego are used to seeing “Man’s Best Friend” almost anywhere they go. Unfortunately, a lot of people in the area have also endured the extremely difficult experience of being bitten and injured in a dog bite attack. Below you’ll find a brief overview of this issue. Those who have been harmed in this manner should contact the San Diego dog bite lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys as soon as possible.
According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, more than 4.7 million dog bite attacks occur across the country every year. Approximately 800,000 of these attacks lead to injuries that are severe enough that the survivor seeks out medical attention. Nearly half of these 800,000 people will need what is described as emergency medical treatment. Dozens of people in the United States are killed in dog bite attacks on an annual basis. The people most vulnerable to dog bite attacks are children.
These are troubling statistics to be sure. When people are injured in dog bite attacks, they need to understand their potential legal rights and options. California follows the doctrine of strict liability when it comes to dog bites. That means that if someone is bitten by a dog, he or she need only prove that the defendant owned the dog, that the dog bite took place either on public property or on private property where the victim was legally present, that the victim was bitten and that the victim was injured.
California has eliminated the “one-free bite” rule. This rule used to state basically that if a dog had never exhibited any violent behavior in the past, the owner of a dog in an attack would most likely not be found liable. That is no longer the case. A dog owner can be found liable for damages if he or she owns the dog and it bites the victim even if it has never bitten anyone in the past. Dog owners and those attacked by dogs need to be aware of that.
When someone is injured in a dog bite attack, that injured person has the right to file a California personal injury lawsuit against the owner of that dog as long as that injured person was not trespassing on the dog owner’s property. There are other exceptions, but the law places the onus on the dog owner to make sure that all dogs are properly restrained and prevented from attacking people. In general, an injured person can file a claim against both the dog owner and the dog owner’s insurance company provided that the dog owner has homeowner’s or some sort of liability insurance.
It’s not uncommon for people who own dogs to refuse to deal with those who have been injured in a reasonable manner. That’s because people love their dogs and do not want to admit that they can be violent. It may also mean that they do not want to face financial liability for damages inflicted by their dogs. If you face this difficult situation, you need the help of San Diego dog bite lawyers who have been standing up for the rights of those wrongfully harmed for more than a decade. Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys today to schedule a free initial consultation.
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