Sherman Oaks Dog Bite Attorney
Nobody in Sherman Oaks should ever have to worry about suffering a serious injury from a dog bite while they are out on a walk, or while visiting friends or family members. Yet dog bite accidents in Sherman Oaks, occur with frequency with both children and adults alike and can sustain debilitating and deadly injuries. California is one of the most dangerous states for dog attack injuries, and it often has the highest rate of dog bite injury claims in the country, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).
Those dog bites occur in many different situations, from leisurely outings to animal attacks affecting postal workers and delivery drivers. If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries in a dog bite incident, you should contact our Sherman Oaks dog bite injury lawyers to find out about filing a compensation claim.
Sherman Oaks and Dog Bite Injury Statistics
Many households in California and throughout the U.S. have dogs as family pets. Indeed, according to the AVMA, nearly 39 percent of American households own dogs, which totals more than 48 million households. Many of those households own more than one dog, with an average of 1.6 dogs per household.
In total, nearly 77 million dogs live with U.S. owners. What do you need to know about dog bite numbers in California and across the country involving these animals? Consider the following statistics from Dogsbite.org:
- Every day on average, 1,000 people require treatment in emergency departments for dog bite injuries;
- Around 4.5 million dog bites happen annually in the United States, and about 20 percent of those dog bites get infected;
- About 27,000 people need to undergo reconstructive surgery in a given year due to dog bite injury disfigurement;
- Households that have two or more dogs are five times as likely to be bitten by a dog than a person who lives in a household without any dogs;
- Dog bite victims collectively suffer monetary damages of anywhere from $1 billion to $2 billion each year;
- Pit bull dogs are “more than 2.5 times as likely as other breeds to bite in multiple anatomical locations”; and
- Pit bulls are responsible for about 60 percent of all reported dog bite injuries.
Strict Liability in a Sherman Oaks Dog Bite Claim
California is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bite claims. What this means is that you will not need to prove that the owner of the dog that bit you was negligent, and you will not need to prove that the dog was known to be dangerous or vicious to be eligible for compensation. Instead, merely owning the dog makes the owner strictly liable for injuries the dog causes.
Here is what California law says:
“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.”
Accordingly, to win a dog bite injury claim, you will only need to prove two elements:
- 1) You were bitten by the dog; and
- 2) You were either in a public place or lawfully in a private place at the time of the dog bite.
California law clarifies that there are some exceptions and defenses for dog owners. An exception is if you were bitten by law enforcement or a military dog that bit you in the process of doing law enforcement work or by defending a person. Yet if you were not being pursued by law enforcement and a law enforcement dog bit you, it may be possible to file a government claim.
Veterinarians and veterinary technicians who are bitten in the course of doing their jobs also present an exception and cannot usually file a strict liability dog bite claim. In terms of defenses, if you can prove those two required elements (and no exception applies), the only way the dog owner can escape or limit liability is by proving a defense, such as:
- You were trespassing at the time of the dog bite; or
- You provoked the dog.
Contact a Sherman Oaks Dog Bite Injury Attorney Today for Help
If you or your child recently sustained injuries in a dog attack incident, it is important to seek help with your case from one of our Sherman Oaks dog bite injury attorneys. Our firm knows how devastating dog bite accident cases can be, and we are here to help you seek the compensation you need. Contact El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers or call (213) 985-1120 for more information about how we can assist you with your dog bite case.
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