Scarring, Nerve Damage and Emotional Trauma from Dog Attack in Orange County CA
Dogs can be wonderful pets, but they can also cause some very serious injuries. Dog bites and/or dog attacks have resulted in some very serious injuries, and some significant jury verdicts. What can you learn from a dog bite lawyer with more than 40 years of experience?
Questions associated with dog bites
There can be a number of issues associated with a dog bite case. Who was the owner of the dog? What if anything prompted the attack? Was another dog involved, and can you recover damages for injuries to that dog? Is there insurance? Was the dog owner a renter, such that he did not have liability insurance that will cover the incident? If the owner was a renter, without insurance, is the landlord liable? There and other questions may arise in the dog bite case.
What Should You Do if you are Injured by a Dog Bite?
In California, there is a “dog bite” statute that creates “strict liability” for dog owners. Some people have the belief that a dog “gets one free bite”. This is a misconception. California, at Code of Civil Procedure section 3342 makes the dog owner strictly liable for his/her dog’s bites. What does this mean? This means that the injured party does not need to show nor prove that the dog owner was negligent in allowing the dog to bite the party. All one has to show is that the owner’s dog bit the person, and the statute makes the owner liable for the injuries, which will include all medical bills, scarring, future medical bills, and pain and suffering. However, the dog owner is able to show, if the facts demonstrate, that the injured party was negligent. This negligence could be in the form of taunting the dog, or some other similar conduct.
Scienter – Knowledge of an animal’s potential to cause harm
In addition, California has another rule of “scienter”, or knowledge of the animal’s dangerousness. Here a keeper of an animal who knows that the animal has some past dangerous behavior is also liable, without having to show or prove that the owner or keeper was negligent. In a case against an owner this “scienter” theory is not necessary. However, in a case against someone other then the owner, such as a landlord, when the dog owner is a renter and has no insurance, this theory of recovery could be very helpful.
It’s a matter of Negligence
Of course all persons are legally responsible for their own negligence. Negligence is the failure to act reasonably, and in the context of a dog bite, or other animal bite, or other animal caused injury, each case would have it’s own facts from which our experienced and seasoned dog bite lawyer would need to review to determine who are the negligent parties.
Free Consultation | Orange, Irvine Dog Bite Lawyer
The Law Firm of Rivers J. Morrell, III, has more than 40 years of experience at work for you. To schedule a free initial consultation, call one of our office locations: Orange County at (949)305-1400, or contact us online.
There are no fees unless there is a recovery. We work on a contingency fee basis. Phones are answered after business hours and on weekends. Evening and weekend appointments are available on an as-needed basis. If appropriate, we will come to you.