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Dog Bites: How San Diego Dog Bite Attorneys at Haffner & Morgan Can Help
Injured in a dog attack? The attorneys at Haffner & Morgan have years of experience in helping the victims of dog bites get compensated. We provide free initial consultations and all of our dog attack cases are taken on a contingency (no recovery, no fee) basis.
Common Causes of Dog Attacks and Injuries
Dogs may bite for a variety of reasons. Often, biting is a response in reaction to an environmental factor. Some common causes of dog bites include:
- Tethered and chained dogs
- Poorly trained or unsocialized dogs
- Negligence on part of the owner
- Injured dog
- Abused dog
What You Should Do if You’re Attacked By a Dog:
California has specific dog leash laws in place that are meant to prevent dog attacks from happening, but unfortunately, dog bites still occur.
Immediately following a dog bite, the first thing to do is to see a doctor for a medical evaluation. Not only is seeing a doctor critical for nurturing your health, but a medical evaluation can also be a crucial piece of evidence. When proof is needed that the dog bite caused damages, medical records can be presented and the witnessing physician can be called on to testify or deposed for a statement. Taking pictures of the injury and the course of the healing process can also be utilized as evidence.
Gathering the dog owner’s information is an important step to take as well. Even if after talking to an attorney that you would rather not sue, approaching the owner for a potential discussion of settlement requires getting the best way to contact the owner. If the dog bite occurred on commercial grounds, finding out the owner of the property can be helpful as well if testimony or video evidence is needed later on.
After a dog bite you may be entitled to compensation for medical costs, lost wages from missing work, pain and suffering, and emotional damage from the attack.
We also think it’s important to note that if you were bitten by a friend’s or neighbor’s dog, dog bite claims are typically filed against the dog owner’s renters or homeowners insurance company, not the individual dog owner. Dogs who don’t have a history of aggression will rarely face the chance of having to be put down.
California Laws on Dog Bites
California Civil Code 3342 outlines the liability that a dog owner could face from damages resulting from a dog bite. According to the law, the dog owner is responsible for the damages suffered by the victim if the victim was bitten in a public place or on the private property of the dog owner. Also, government agencies who use military or police service dogs cannot be found liable if the victim is not involved in the activity where the dog was used.
There are certain exceptions to this rule. If the victim was trespassing on the dog owner’s property at the time of the injury, the owner will not be held liable under the statute.
Does California Impose the One Bite Rule?
Some places in the United States have a “one-bite rule” system wherein victims cannot recover compensation from a dog owner if the dog has never bitten or tried to bite anyone before. In this case, that “one bite” or first-time bite sways more in favor of the dog owner than the victim.
However, this does not apply in California. California imposes a strict liability system when it comes to dog bites. Dog owners are still liable for damages even if their dogs show no records of aggression.
Why Choose Haffner & Morgan San Diego Dog Bite Lawyers?
Dog bites can cause severe injuries that can affect the longevity of a victim’s health and ability to work. At Haffner & Morgan, our San Diego dog bite attorneys will fight to make sure that you are entitled to the compensation that you deserve. Contact us today for your free consultation, or call us at (619) 541-8787.