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Del Paso Heights Dog Bite Lawyer


You are walking along Harris Avenue in Del Paso Heights when you are suddenly attacked by a dog. They bite your arms, neck, and face, causing severe physical injuries. The owner of the dog runs over to restrain the animal. Your injuries are so severe that you require immediate medical attention and surgery.

Unfortunately, the scenario described above is quite common. Approximately 750,000 people bitten by dogs each year went to the emergency room. That means more than 1 in 5 people who suffer dog bite injuries require some form of medical treatment, according to the CDC. Insurance payouts related to dog bite injuries total roughly $300 million annually.

California Dog Bite Law Holds Owners Strictly Liable

Under California Civil Code § 3342, dog owners are “strictly liable” when they bite another individual. This statute says that a dog owner is liable for the harm sustained by someone bitten by their dog while in a public or private place. This includes the dog owner’s property, regardless of the dog’s former viciousness or the dog owner’s knowledge of their pet’s viciousness.

Strict liability (also known as absolute liability) means that a defendant is legally responsible for your harms and losses, even if they were not negligent. If a dog owner claims, “I did not know that my dog had the propensity to bite someone,” they remain liable for your injuries. This is important because, in other states, a dog owner could potentially avoid liability if they claim they had no knowledge of their dog’s violent tendencies and the dog had not bitten anyone previously.

However it is important to remember that strict liability only applies to the dog owner. This means that if a part-time dog walker is taking a dog out for a walk and the dog bites someone, the dog walker is not liable. The actual owner remains liable.

Specific Dog Breeds More Prone to Be Violent

Multiple studies have indicated that pit bulls and rottweilers are the dog breeds most often involved in severe dog attack injuries and deaths. Other breeds involved in dog bite injuries include German Shepherds, Huskies, and Chows. However, it is essential to understand that any dog, regardless of breed, could bite a person. As mentioned above, California law holds all dog owners strictly liable when their dog is responsible for harming another person.

Financial Restitution for Your Harms and Losses

If you or a loved one was the victim of a serious dog bite that caused significant harm, you can pursue financial restitution for your harms and losses. These are known as economic and non-economic damages. The types of damages you can recover include:

  • Incurred medical expenses (e.g., treatment at the ER)
  • Future medical expenses (e.g., surgery to address any scarring or nerve damage)
  • Lost wages for time missed from work
  • Pain and suffering

Typically, a dog bite injury claim is filed with the homeowner’s insurance policy of the dog owner.

Statute of Limitations

Do not delay in taking legal action. You only have two years from the date of your dog bite injury to file a lawsuit under the statute of limitations. If you delay and the two-year window closes, you cannot file a lawsuit and lose your ability to recover compensation for your injuries. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you contact a Del Paso Heights dog bite attorney shortly after the incident.

The video below explains why hiring an injury lawyer for your dog bite claim is essential.

Del Paso Heights Dog Bite Lawyer

If you or someone you care about has suffered a serious injury or death due to a Del Paso Heights dog attack, please call me promptly at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice. During our initial phone call, we will review the details of your or your loved one’s injury or death and decide the best way to recover compensation for your damages and losses. See our past verdicts and settlements.

Editor’s Note: updated [cha 9.5.23] Photo by Makarand Sawant from Pexels sb [cs 681]