California is a state with strict laws to deal with the dog bite injury cases. For some states there will be a “one bite” rule, where the owner will not be held liable for the dog bite injury unless his/her dog was known to have bitten before. But in California, the owner will be held responsible from the first bite itself, irrespective of his knowledge about the aggressive behavior of the dog. A dog attack lawyer will help you to file a lawsuit against the dog owner in dog bite cases.
Types of Damages
In California, the damages associated with a dog bite injury case can be classified in to two. The first is compensatory damages and the other is punitive damages. Compensatory damages deals with compensating the victim for the monetary losses and pain and suffering incurred. Punitive damage is for punishing the dog owner for his negligence, fraud or malice.
As mentioned above, compensatory damages are to compensate the victim for his losses. These damages are further divided into Special Damages and General Damages. The special damages which are also known as economic damages includes medical bills, lost wages, compensation for reduced earning capacity and other monetary expenses that may be incurred in the future because of the accident.
General damages, which is also known as non-economic damages includes the pain and suffering, mental trauma etc. that the victim went through, because of the accident.
If the reason for a dog attack is the owner’s negligence, fraud, oppression or malice, then it will come under the punitive damages. The owner will get punished for such actions, if the victim files a lawsuit for punitive damages. The punitive damages kicks in when the owner intentionally caused a dog bite. If the owner commanded the dog to bite, or if the owner was already aware of the aggressive behavior of the dog, but took no interest in preventing an attack, then the owner will get punished under the laws prevail in California.
But for the victim to recover punitive damages, he/she should have clear and convincing evidences to show the wrongful behavior of the owner.
If you become a victim of a dog attack, you can claim money from the dog owner for your losses caused by the accident. The damages incurred during a dog attack can be either compensatory damages or punitive damages. A dog attack attorney will help you to find out which damage is associated with your case.