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Dog Bite Laws in Riverside

Riverside is located in the Inland Empire and the birthplace of the citrus industry in California. Our attorneys at Normandie Law Firm receive calls each month from concerned victims of dog bite attacks. These victims are often unsure of how to proceed in the aftermath of such an event; they know they want to pursue legal action, but do not know where to start. It is our goal to make sure that all victims of dog bite attacks are fairly represented in court and receive their fair restitution for their injuries. These injuries may be debilitating and can lead to long-term damage, and it is only fair that a victim is properly compensated. The laws in California are somewhat stricter than the laws present in other states in the country, and we make sure that our clients’ rights are protected by the codes and statutes. When our clients ask us questions about dog bite injuries and the legal process, we answer them with full disclosure and honesty so that they are given the best treatment possible. Examples of these questions include:

  • What are dog bite laws in Riverside?
  • What are the dog bite laws in Riverside County?
  • I was bitten by a dog. Can I sue the owner?
  • Is a dog owner responsible if his dog bit me?

Proving Liability
The dog bite laws of Riverside have strict liability laws against dog owners. These owners are responsible for the actions of their dogs regardless of intention, negligence, or fault. A dog owner and his dog do not have the grace of the “one bite rule” that is present in other states, either; this means that dogs are not given a free chance if they have not displayed any previous vicious behavior. In California, a dog owner may be faced with heavy fines and lawsuits even if it is the first time his dog has ever acted out.

In order for a dog owner to be sued for the actions of his dog, you must have sustained an injury from a dog bite. This means that a dog scratching you or merely acting in a threatening manner does not entitle you to compensation. You will have to file a personal injury claim against the owner, proving these four points of negligence:

  • The defendant owed you a care of duty – That is, as a dog owner, it is his responsibility to make sure his dog does not harm anyone; he is expected to protect those who come into contact with the dog by any means necessary.
  • The care of duty was breached – If a dog owner decided to let his dog roam without a leash (violating animal safety laws), he breached his care of duty. There are numerous other examples including improper leashing or fastening and making the dog attack someone.
  • The breach resulted in an accident – By allowing a dog to roam without a leash, there is the chance that it will attack someone; the owner would not be present to restrain the dog, and it may be too late by the time he arrives.
  • The accident led to actual physical harm – Remember that being injured is a key part of a personal injury claim. If you were only knocked down, you may not be able to sue, but if the dog bit you or mauled you, you have ample grounds for a lawsuit.

If all four points of negligence have been ticked off, you have the ability to file a claim. Before you file a claim, however, you should make sure to have ample evidence to present in your case. With no evidence, you will not receive any compensation for your injuries. Good evidence to have includes photographs of the injuries you sustained; pictures of the dog and the owner, as well as the owner’s contact information; eyewitness accounts; police statements and reports, if possible; hospital records and doctor’s notes, if possible; and any other relevant information that would show you were bitten by a dog at that specific location.

Keep in mind that, despite strict liability, there are exceptions to this rule. The most commonly seen exception is the rule that you cannot hold anyone but the dog owner himself responsible for the dog bite. That means dog walkers, dog sitters, siblings of the dog owner, handlers, veterinarians, and others who may be in temporary possession or care of the dog cannot be named as a defendant in a lawsuit. Additionally, you may not file a claim if you were trespassing or not lawfully in a public place at the time of the attack. And of course, as stated before, these laws only apply to dog bites – scratches and other damages are not applicable here.

Dog Bites Overview
Dog bites occur for numerous reasons. In many cases, the dog may have perceived the victim as a potential threat and acted out to protect its home or its owner. It is hard to determine what constitutes a threat, however, as victims may have been doing nothing out of the ordinary that prompted an attack. It has also been hypothesized that dogs that bite for no apparent reason may just be more naturally vicious than others.

In other cases, a dog may bite someone if that person is taunting it or provoking it in some way. While we as humans understand that threats, taunting, and provocation are able to be dealt with by using discussion and mediation, dogs do not think that way. They may feel threatened and immediately act on instinct, often deciding between the flight or fight responses and choosing fight.

If you are faced with an aggressive dog that is staring you down and growling, you should walk away backwards in a non-threatening manner so that the dog may calm down. However, if a dog does lunge for you, you may be able to feed it something else instead of a limb, like one of your shoes, a purse, or a sweater. It will likely latch onto the object, thinking it’s part of you. If all else fails and the dog has sunk its teeth into you, you can attempt to get behind its head and choke it, or push your hand or leg further into its mouth so that it will let go. The most important thing to do while fending off a dog is to not open yourself up to further injuries, such as bites on the neck, and to try to restrain the dog until the owner can get it away.

 

Possible Compensation
By filing a claim, you can possibly earn different types of compensation from a dog bite lawsuit. What you can receive includes:

  • Medical Coverage: Your medical bills will be paid, including coverage of surgery, hospitalization, medication, transportation, and more. Further, if you are in need of any medical treatments or physical therapy sessions in the future, those bills can be covered as well.
  • Lost Income: If you miss work due to an injury or the ensuing medical treatment, you can recover last wages from your job by way of the defendant’s insurance company. These wages can also be of both past and future forms.
  • Pain and Suffering: Non-economic damages can be recovered, although they do not have a dollar amount attached to them. It is hard to quantify emotional damage, fear, anxiety, PTSD, and mental scarring, but courts can assign amounts based on each day and award damages from there.
  • Punitive Damages: If a dog owner were grossly negligent in his actions and allowed his dog to bite people, or if he purposely commanded his dog to bite you, you may be eligible for punitive damages; these damages are additional compensation meant to punish the defendant for his actions and to dissuade him from committing similar acts in the future. Skilled attorneys can argue for punitive damages, but many courts see them as excessive and will stop short of awarding them.

Normandie Helps You
Normandie Law Firm is here to help all dog bite victims across California. We let you know proper Riverside County dog bite laws and what you can do to follow up an injury with a lawsuit against the responsible party. Our team is committed to protecting your health and lifestyle, and we will work hard to bring you the compensation you deserve if you have been injured.

FREE CONSULTATION AVAILABLE: Call us today for a free legal consultation. Any questions you have will be answered by one of our expert attorneys. We also offer a zero fee guarantee on all cases we take on – you pay no out of pocket expenses for our legal representation, and we only get paid if we win your case. If we lose, you owe us nothing. Our fees come from the settlement itself, ensuring that you suffer no monetary loss from seeking legal assistance.

Contact Normandie Law Firm for expert dog bite attorneys in the Los Angeles area.

 

 

 

 

 

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