Newport Beach Dog Bite Lawyer
If a dog in Newport Beach bit you, you may have valid grounds for a personal injury claim for compensation against the dog’s owner. Dog bites and animal attacks are taken very seriously in California. As a result, victims can suffer physical pain and lasting scars along with emotional trauma that may last for years, if not a lifetime.
At Younglove Law Group, our experienced legal professionals have recovered millions of dollars for thousands of injured victims in Newport Beach and its surrounding areas. In whatever circumstances surround your dog bite injury, consulting a knowledgeable Newport Beach dog bite injury lawyer is the quickest and most reliable way to learn your legal options for pursuing damages. Our experienced attorneys can provide insight regarding legal responsibility, the value of your claim, and how to best move forward. If you’ve been injured, we are here to help.
Dog Bite Cases and Strict Liability in Newport Beach
California’s dog bite statute, Civil Code Section 3342, imposes “strict liability” on the owner of a dog for damages caused by its bite to someone who is not trespassing. Specifically, the law states:
The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.
That means the owner of a dog who bites someone is legally liable for the injuries caused by their dog’s bite. In other words, a dog owner cannot escape liability by claiming they were unaware their dog was aggressive or had a history of biting people.
While many states apply a “one bite rule” that releases dog owners from legal responsibility if their dog has never bitten anyone or exhibited previous aggressive behavior before, California laws differ. As a result, any person in Newport Beach or throughout the State of California is equipped with a legal recourse to seek compensation, no matter whether a dog is deemed aggressive or dangerous.
There are benefits to California’s approach. For example, suppose you sustained injuries from a dog bite and the dog’s owner is a family member or a friend. In that case, it is helpful to know strict liability makes liability automatic, reducing the conflict that might have otherwise occurred between you and the dog’s owner.
Compensation for Dog Bite Victims in Newport Beach
Following a dog attack, you may be able to file an injury claim or lawsuit to recover damages for your losses associated with your dog bite injury. Dog bite victims frequently suffer not only bodily injuries but psychological trauma as well. In cases where victims recover from the dog bite injury, underlying emotional or psychological trauma may impact the rest of their lives. It’s not uncommon for dog bite victims to have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or anxiety whenever approached by any breed of dog.
The value of your dog bite injury case may compensate you for the following dog bite damages:
- Medical expenses
- Medication costs
- Physical therapy sessions
- Psychological therapy
- Emotional distress
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Physical impairment or disfigurement
Younglove Law Group’s dog bite injury attorneys realize how vital it is for injured victims to receive the full and just value of their injury claim. You should not have to pay for the current or future medical bills caused by the dog bite injury. Additionally, if you require future, long-term medical care or rehabilitation to recover from your injury, those costs should be covered by the responsible party as well.
Defenses a Dog Owner Can Raise
Dog owners in Newport Beach may raise several defenses when confronted with a dog bite injury lawsuit. The following are defense strategies insurance companies often utilize when helping dog owners avoid legal responsibility in a civil lawsuit linked to a dog bite injury:
California’s dog bite statute explains:
A person is lawfully upon the private property of such owner within the meaning of this section when he is on such property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him by the laws of this state or by the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or when he is on such property upon the invitation, express or implied, of the owner.
When a dog owner can show a person who suffered a dog bite on their property was trespassing at the time of the bite, it can be a complete defense to the claim of a dog bite.
Despite the wording of California’s dog bite statute that clearly limits this defense to military and police, California courts have consistently allowed dog owners to raise a provocation defense where the person who suffered a bite either provoked the dog, caused the attack via their own negligence or assumed the risk of the attack. Defenses encompassed under the provocation umbrella of defenses are determined by the trier of fact, the jury, and can reduce a dog owner’s liability or eliminate it entirely.
There are many other defenses to dog bites that might be raised, including lack of ownership of the dog. Dog bites are particularly fact-specific claims that require careful attention to detail and knowledge of applicable law to get the best possible outcome. If you sustained injuries from a dog bite, call our team of experienced legal professionals now to see if you have a claim.