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Dog bites can cause significant injuries and trauma. They can even be fatal in extreme cases.

California has laws to ensure dog bite victims receive compensation for their injuries.

However, not all dog bite incidents are equal. There are laws that protect dog owners as well.

This is a short guide to filing a dog bite personal injury claim in California.

California Dog Bite Accident Laws

California has strict liability laws about dog bites.

The dog’s owner is responsible for their dog even if it never bit anyone before or showed aggression towards people or other animals. However, the bite victim must not have provoked the dog.

The bite must have happened in a place the victim had a legal right to be—such as in a public place or on private property with permission.

If the victim provoked the dog or was trespassing when the bite occurred, they do not have a cause of action against the dog owner.

Dog bite victims have two years from the date of the incident to begin their legal claim.

Handlers are not likely responsible for bites from their working dogs. Working dogs that bite people while they are defending themselves or in the course of their duty are not in violation of the law. 

What Is the Average Cost of a Dog Bite Claim?

Dog bite claims are personal injury claims. The victim can recover the same types of damages as in other personal injury lawsuits.

California dog bite injury compensation amounts will vary according to the facts of the situation. Possible damages a dog bite victim can recover include:

Medical Expenses

If a bite is severe enough to land someone in the emergency room, they should not have to pay for the medical expenses the owner’s dog caused.

Dog bites can be drastic, causing broken bones, torn ligaments and tendons, and damaged muscles.

If the victim suffered permanent scarring or severe emotional trauma, the case would likely have a higher value because of the extent of the injuries.

In addition to the immediate injuries, the victim might need physical therapy, prescriptions, and other continuing treatments.

A dog bite injury settlement will account for future medical expenses as well.

Lost Wages

Other financial damages include time lost at work because someone is injured or temporarily disabled after an accident.

In more severe situations, the person might be out of work for an extended period of time. The claim may also include future lost wages.

Pain and Suffering

Dog bite victims can experience strong trauma after the incident. People can suffer anxiety, depression, or difficulty sleeping.

Pain and suffering and other non-economic expenses are usually part of personal injury damages. 

We Are Experienced Personal Injury Trial Attorneys

The Farzam Law Firm is a personal injury firm based in Los Angeles. We understand how drastic and life-changing dog bite incidents and other injuries can be.

We know that a dog bite claim calculator does not work—you need a seasoned attorney to help you arrive at an amount of compensation that is commensurate with your injuries.

We have extensive experience handling these cases, and we never take on a case that we are not willing to bring to trial. We fight aggressively for our clients.

We are here to help and offer free consultations for any person suffering from a dog bite injury call 310-226-6890 to get in touch with one of our attorneys.

If you or your loved one were bitten by a dog in California, contact the Farzam Law Firm to discuss your claim.

Author Photo

Joseph Farzam

Mr. Farzam attended Santa Monica high school and worked at McDonald’s and local coffee shops to support himself. Although he worked 2 or 3 jobs, he valued education greatly and earned a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Northridge in biology, and attended the prestigious Pepperdine University School of Law. He graduated with high marks and passed the California bar exam on the first try. Mr. Farzam has received the coveted titles of Super Lawyer, Los Angeles Magazine’s Top Lawyers, and has received The Litigator Awards.  He is a proud member of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA) and California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA).

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