Our experienced Los Angeles dog bite lawyers can help if you have suffered a dog bite in the greater Los Angeles area. Each day, nearly 1,000 persons are treated in hospital emergency departments for nonfatal dog bite-related injuries. If you or a loved one are the victims of a dog bite incident, you deserve fair compensation for your damages.
It is probably no surprise to read that dog bites can result in serious injuries. These include:
- broken bones,
- puncture wounds and lacerations, and
- psychological and emotional trauma.
No matter the type and extent of your injury, though, our skilled personal injury attorneys can file a dog bite lawsuit on your behalf to help you receive compensation for your losses. We typically file these suits against the owner of the dog that bit you.
Note that California dog bite law imposes strict liability on pet owners. This means the owner of a dog that bites someone faces liability in a civil lawsuit for the victim’s injuries, even if:
- the animal has never bitten before, and
- the owner had no reason to believe the animal was dangerous.
This contrasts with the “one bite rule,” in effect in other states, by which the owner is only held liable if the dog has bitten someone before or has displayed violent tendencies.
In addition to filing a lawsuit, our dog bite attorneys can help by:
- managing your ongoing medical care,
- filing a personal injury claim under the pet owner’s insurance policy, and
- maximizing your final payout for the animal attack.
The Shouse Law Group is a California-based personal injury law firm, with offices in Los Angeles, that represents people injured in dog bite and dog attack cases. We work tirelessly for all our clients and seek to get you the biggest settlement possible.
What are common injuries in dog bite cases?
Unfortunately, dog bite attacks are a common occurrence in the Los Angeles area, as well as, across the U.S. A recent study found that nearly 1,000 people are treated in hospital emergency rooms every year for nonfatal dog bite-related injuries.1 Consider also that homeowners insurance paid out $882 million in liability claims related to dog bites and other dog-related injuries in 2021.2
Dog bites can result in serious injuries. For example, the victim of a dog bite may suffer:
- broken bones,
- puncture wounds,
- soft tissue injuries, and
- psychological and emotional trauma (for example, PTSD).
Note that the dogs most linked to dog attack cases include Pit Bulls and Rottweilers.
If you have experienced a dog bite injury in the State of California, you should take the following acts:
- seek out immediate medical attention/medical treatment,
- photograph your injuries and location as soon as possible since the photos serve as compelling evidence,
- get the name, home address, phone number, and other contact information of the dog owner/handler and any eyewitnesses, and
- write down or record everything that happened since memories tend to fade with time.
If you cannot get pet owner information, you can contact your local Animal Control with a description of the dog.
Who are common defendants in dog bite cases?
If you were the victim of a dog attack, a personal injury lawyer can file a lawsuit on your behalf. The most common defendants in these cases are the owner of the dog that bit you.
Civil Code section 3342 is the main California law on dog bites. The statute makes canine owners liable for injuries to others as long as:
- the person did not provoke the canine, and
- the person was bitten in a public place or while lawfully on private property (for example, not trespassing).3
If you successfully bring a case under this law, you can likely receive compensation for:
- medical bills and medical expenses,
- lost wages,
- lost earning capacity,
- property damage,
- pain and suffering, and
When fatal injuries occur in dog attack cases, a victim’s family members can likely file a wrongful death lawsuit against the dog owner. Damages can include (but are not limited to):
- burial and funeral expenses,
- amounts the deceased would have earned as income, and
- compensation for the loss of the deceased’s companionship and support.4
What is the role of a dog bite lawyer in these cases?
Personal injury lawyers play a very important role in dog bite cases. They can assist by:
- helping you receive important medical treatment and managing your ongoing medical care,
- advising you on your legal rights and explaining your legal options,
- working with your medical providers to collect all relevant medical records,
- gathering evidence to help increase the strength of your case,
- appointing experts to help interpret evidence and explain it to a judge or jury,
- filing a dog bite claim with the appropriate insurance company (claims are most often filed under a homeowners insurance policy),
- negotiating this claim on your behalf with the insurance adjuster, and
- filing a lawsuit on your behalf and representing you in court.
What is the benefit of a Los Angeles dog bite attorney?
Lawyers in a Los Angeles dog bite case help you maximize the compensation that you can receive for your injuries.
Lawyers know the true value of a personal injury case. This means they can hold defendants and insurance companies to pay a fair amount for your losses.
Injury attorneys can also find hidden value in a case to help increase your final payout.
Please also know that a dog bite lawyer will manage your case so that you can focus on:
- your health, and
- healing from your injuries.
Most personal injury attorneys provide free consultations. A free case evaluation means you can get legal advice for no fee.
Further, most injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. A contingency basis means that:
- you rarely have to pay any money upfront, and
- your attorney only gets paid if you receive a fair settlement or verdict.
For additional help…
If you or a loved one was injured by means of a dog bite, we invite you to contact our legal team at the Shouse Law Group. Our California dog bite attorneys provide both free consultations and skilled legal representation.
We work tirelessly to get you the maximum compensation available for your case.
- “The Changing Epidemiology of Dog Bite Injuries in the United States,” 2005–2018, by Tuckel PS and Milczarski W, Injury Epidemiology, November 1, 2020.
- Dog Bite Liability – Insurance Information Institute, 2022.
- California Civil Code 3342a CC.
- See, for example, California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) 3921.