Dog Bites

Glendale Dog Bite Injury Lawyer

Every year, millions of people are attacked by dogs in parks, on the streets, and in the homes of acquaintances.  Animal attacks are no laughing matter:  Vicious dogs can break or shred an arm or leg, destroy the function of an eye, or even tear out someone’s throat.  Pet owners must be held liable after their animals attack to encourage owners to take care to keep everyone else safe.  Moreover, victims of dog attacks deserve to be compensated for medical bills, lost wages, and other related expenses and losses resulting from a dog bite.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a dog bite in Glendale, Los Angeles, or anywhere in Southern California, reach out to the seasoned and effective personal injury attorney attorneys at McReynolds Vardanyan for help with your claim.  We have years of experience securing recovery for Californians who have been the victims of animal attacks.  We know how to build the strongest case and work to maximize your recovery.

California’s Strict Liability for Dog Bites

Liability for pet owners after an animal attack varies widely by state.  Some states require that an owner acted negligently to be held liable, while others will only hold owners liable if their dog was already known to be “dangerous.”  California has no such requirements.

California follows a “strict liability” rule:  If a dog bites you, you can recover from the dog’s owner for any injuries you suffer as a result.  You do not need to prove that the dog previously attacked someone else or prove that the owner left a dog unattended or otherwise acted negligently.  Instead, so long as you were in a place you had the legal right to be, you can bring a claim against a dog owner after a bite.  California’s dog bite law applies both to attacks that happen in a public location, such as a park or city street, as well as to attacks that happen on someone’s private property, whether it is your own or another person’s.

Comparative Negligence

Some circumstances may limit a dog bite victim’s ability to recover.  If the alleged victim provoked the animal into biting, such as by hurting the dog, then the dog owner may not be liable.  Additionally, California limits owner liability if the victim assumes the risk of attack–for example if there are signs clearly stating “Beware of Dog” and the victim chooses to enter the premises regardless.  A victim may also lose out on recovery if they were trespassing at the time of the dog bite.

Who is Liable for a Dog Bite?

As explained above, dog owners are strictly liable for any attacks committed by their pets.  Other parties may also be liable after an animal attack.  If an apartment building has a “no dog” policy and the building owner failed to enforce the policy, for example, then the building owner may be partially liable for your attack.  Others who have been entrusted with custody over an animal may also be liable if they contributed to an animal attack, such as kennels, pounds, veterinarians, or animal shelters.

Civil and Criminal Liability

Depending on the severity of the attack and the culpability of the dog owner, the owner may be held accountable at both the civil and criminal levels.  If a person trained a dog to be vicious and deliberately ordered it to attack you, or recklessly allowed a known vicious animal to be free in a situation likely to lead to an attack, these actions may trigger criminal liability.

Common Dog Bite Injuries

Dog bites can cause painful, long-lasting, and even permanent injuries.  Victims of dog bites often suffer the following:

  • Punctures
  • Broken bones and dislocated bones
  • Disfigurement
  • Lacerations, contusions, and abrasions
  • Loss of limb (amputation)
  • Infection
  • Emotional distress
  • Death

Damages for Dog Bites

If a dog has attacked you, you may be able to recover significant damages.  The amount of damages depends on a variety of factors including the severity of your injuries and whether you contributed to the incident.  The types of damages available include economic damages such as medical costs, lost wages, and property damage, as well as noneconomic or mental damages such as pain and suffering.  If the pet owner was particularly reckless or intentionally malicious, you might be able to recover punitive damages on top of the damages compensating you for your injury.

Speak with a Dedicated Dog Bite Injury Attorney

If you or your loved one has been injured by a dog or other animal in Los Angeles or across Southern California, our passionate and effective dog bite injury lawyers are ready to hear from you.  Call the animal attack lawyers at McReynolds Vardanyan for a free consultation to evaluate your case and help you maximize your recovery.  Our dedicated, compassionate, and talented dog bite lawyers will build your case and work to get the damages you deserve after your animal attack.

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