There is a lot of confusion about liability associated with dog bites and attacks. What if the dog has never shown aggression? What if this is the first time the dog ever bit a person? While we like to think that man’s best friend would never turn on us, it’s a sad fact that dogs bite approximately 4.5 million Americans each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), young children between the ages of five and nine years old are the age group most likely to be bitten by dogs.
California is a Strict Liability State
California is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites and dog attacks. This means, there is no need to prove negligence. There is no “one-bite” rule, where a dog gets a free pass on the first attack. The dog doesn’t have to have a prior history of aggression. If you’ve been bit or attacked and injured by a dog, you’re entitled to compensation.
What About The Breed?
Obviously, all dogs can bite. That being said, we typically see more bites and attacks and more tissue damage associated with bite injuries with certain breeds of dogs. Take note that Allstate insurance excludes homeowner’s coverage for Pit Bulls, Dobermans, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Chows, Akitas, Huskies, Malamutes, Bull Mastiffs and Staffordshire Terriers in California. They will not provide any insurance coverage for liability arising from any dog that is even mixed with any of those dogs, any dogs known by breed or species to be vicious or for any animal with a previous bite history.
When to Call a Personal Injury Lawyer
After any type of dog bite or dog attack, your first priority needs to be your immediate safety. Depending upon the severity of the attack, you could be looking at an emergency room visit, plastic surgery, antibiotics and a variety of other medical treatments. Once you’re safe and your immediate medical needs have been addressed, you can begin the process of getting compensation to cover your medical expenses and damages. Contact a Personal Injury lawyer as soon as possible after your injury to get the ball rolling on your case.
Alexander Law Group, LLP is always ready to answer questions and share the results of our research and experience with the public. Our goal is to make a difference for our clients and our community.