Dogs bite people because – for whatever reason given the context – their instincts compel them to bite. It is likely not the fault of the dog, but their owners and caretakers are usually responsible. Dog owners have a duty to make sure their dogs are trained and safe to those who may be around the dog
According to the CDC, nearly 5 million people are bitten by dogs each year. Most are not severe.
However, approximately 1,000 people go to the emergency room every day from dog bite attack or bite injuries. Many of these people are actually dog owners or others who negligently handled the dog and/or otherwise those who may have assumed the risk of their injuries. Many dog bite victims are innocent victims, often children who would not know of the dog’s vicious propensities. Incredibly, dog bites are ranked 5th on the list of reasons children end up in the emergency room and, far too often, the bites on children are on the child’s face.
Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your case with our Fresno Dog Bite/Attack Lawyers. Call us at (559) 840-3240 or toll free (844) FRESNO1.
Under California law, a dog owner is responsible for injuries caused by the dog under two alternate theories of liability: negligence or strict liability. The latter meaning that if you are bit by a dog, the owner is responsible, period! The are very few defenses a dog owner may present to justify the conduct of the dog.
While some states are “ONE BITE” states, California is not. A ONE BITE state is where a dog must have previously bitten someone in order to bring a successful claim.
Under California dog bite law, there are some breeds of dogs that are known to be so aggressive that no prior propensity to bite is required for that particular breed of dog. Pit bulls are the most obvious example, also Rottweilers or German Shepards are thought of as “power” breed dogs. These dogs require additional training, care and supervision because of the damage they are able to cause to people.
Fresno, the Central Valley and throughout the State of California, Strict Liability is the law. This means that if the dog owner bites or attacks a person, the DOG OWNER is responsible for the harm caused to the victim.
There also may be a negligence claim against the dog’s owners if they knew or had reason to know of the animal’s vicious propensity or where the owner has acted negligently in controlling his animal (including, violation of leash laws).
It is more difficult to prevail against the landlord who rent property to the owner, usually a renter/tenant of a dog that bites a person.
Generally, homeowner’s insurance policies and some renter’s insurance policies cover strict liability and negligence in dog bite cases in California. This holds true even if the dog is not on the homeowner’s property. It becomes a little more complex when there is a landlord that may or may not have been aware that a renter allowed a dog to reside in the home.
Many Fresno insurance defense lawyers handling dog bite cases in Fresno and throughout the Central Valley are incorrectly convinced that a dog must have bitten someone before for dog owner to be responsible. This is a common defense.
Other defenses are that the victim provoked the dog (which sometimes happens and it is a good defense if true), or that the victim was otherwise negligent or assumed the risk that the dog might bite. These defenses are easily defeated when you have representation by one of our Fresno Dog Bite Lawyers that has utilized this playbook in the past and knows how to be win despite such a defense.
There are several factors that go into the valuation of a Fresno Dog Bite Injury Case. One of the most significant of that is scarring or long term nerve damage, which may also included muscle disruption.
The value of a dog bite case drastically increases if the dog causes the victim to be significantly scarred. Typically, the value of a dog bite increases if the victim is female and even more, if the victim is a female youth. Bite location, gender, disability, nerve damage and scarring are what insurance companies refer to as value drivers for these cases.
Fresno, Central Valley and California Dog Bite Cases are extremely important to have an experienced dog attack lawyer to assure that you are not leaving money on the table. Tryk Law is a Fresno based law firm that has handled more than 50 dog bite injury cases in the last 6 years where our clients’ injuries include superficial wounds to upper and lower extremities to those involving the near loss of extremity.
When it comes to Fresno Dog Bite Cases, we are aggressive, experienced and seasoned in the nuances that can make a difference between small and larger settlements of these matters. Call today if you are considering taking legal action in Fresno for your Dog Bite or Dog Attack injuries.