Dog bites are one of the most terrific accidents that can lead to disastrous results. You will be amazed to know that more than 5 million dog bite cases are reported in the United States every year. Unfortunately, elderly people and young children are the victims in most cases. Needless to mention, dog bites often result in fatal aftermath such as permanent disfigurement, life-threatening infections, blindness, trauma, deep scarring, etc.
However, if a person is attacked by a dog, the victim can consult a credible dog bite attorney and file a claim against the dog owner. In California, the dog owners are held liable for such cases and the victim does not have to necessarily prove the defendant’s carelessness as well. Additionally, the one-bite rule doesn’t exist in California, unlike most other American states. In other words, the dog owners will be held strictly liable for the dog bite even if the dog does not have any history or bites or aggressive actions.
Things to Prove to Win a Dog Bite Claim
Even though each dog bite case is unique and requires a skilled dog bite lawyer to prove it, there is something common in almost every case. Proving those factors will let you obtain maximum compensation for your damages. Below are some of the important points that you must prove in court to win your dog bite claim on the ground of strict liability.
- The plaintiff was not trespassing
- The plaintiff was injured during the dog attack
- The defendant is the owner of the dog
To prove these factors, your dog bite attorney might collect the following evidence.
- Recordings from CCTV cameras near the accident area
- Eyewitness testimony
- Medical records
- Photographs of the injuries
- Dog’s veterinary reports
- The adoption papers of the dog
When are Dog Owners Not Liable for Dog Bite Accidents?
Even though California boasts a strict liability law, there are certain instances when a dog owner is not held responsible for dog bite incidents or the damages caused by their pets. Some of those instances when you cannot expect compensation from a pet owner despite the aggressive nature of their dog are listed below.
- You were trespassing the property of the owner at the time of the incident
- You provoked the dog that resulted in the attack
- You were participating in some kind of shows that involve dogs at your own risk
- The dog was defending its master
- The dog was defending government personnel or was investigating a crime
Regardless of these facts, there are some legal exceptions even for the above-mentioned exceptions. For instance, if a police dog bites you without any grounds or provocation during an investigation process. In this case, you can file a lawsuit on the grounds of strict liability. Hence, it is always recommended to consult a credible dog bite attorney before taking any step.