If a dog bites you in Stockton, CA, hold the pet’s owner accountable. To do so, hire a lawyer. When you partner with an experienced Stockton personal injury lawyer, you can boost your chances of getting compensation to cover the costs of your pet bite injury.
Do not let a negligent dog owner off the hook after their animal attacks you. Connect with the team at Triumph Law, P.C. Contact us today to discuss your case with our Stockton personal injury lawyer.
How California’s Dog Bite Law Works
Every state treats pet bite accidents differently. In Stockton, California Law §3342 details what can happen if a pet owner lets their animal bite someone. Based on this law, you can sue for damages if a canine bites you in a public space or private setting.
California’s dog bite law applies across the state regardless of an animal’s tendencies. For example, a dog may have a history of remaining calm and having a good temperament. If this animal bites you, their owner can still be held responsible.
The dog bite law of California relates strictly to liability. As such, a court views a pet owner as liable for their animal’s actions. Even if the owner claims they had no prior knowledge that their dog was vicious, this individual may be required to pay compensation to anyone that their pet harms.
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Exceptions to California’s Dog Bite Law
California’s dog bite law does not cover anyone who trespasses on someone else’s property. For instance, someone can break into a person’s house, and the homeowner’s dog can bite the trespasser. In this instance, the person who trespassed is not covered under the law.
The handlers of law enforcement animals may not be subject to lawsuits in certain scenarios. As an example, a law enforcement dog can bite and injure a criminal during the execution of a warrant. If this occurs, the dog’s handler is unlikely to be held accountable for the criminal’s injury.
There are times when it is reasonable to believe that someone who gets bitten by a dog assumes risk. A kennel employee, for example, is likely to be expected to come into contact with many dogs over the course of a work shift. This employee is probably very much aware of the risk that comes with their job and may not be able to get compensation in a lawsuit if they suffers an animal bite injury at work.
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What Can Happen If a Support Dog Bites You in Stockton
Emotional support animals provide health benefits to their owners, research suggests. Service animals are also commonly used to assist people dealing with vision problems or other physical disabilities. While service animals are professionally trained, emotional support ones are not.
Both service animals and emotional support dogs can bite people. If this happens to you, consult with a Stockton dog bite attorney. This allows you to discuss your legal options and figure out the best course of action based on the circumstances surrounding your pet bite accident.
If a service or emotional support animal attacks and injures you, it is in your best interests to hold the pet’s owner accountable. At Triumph Law, P.C., we understand the challenges associated with dog bite claims, and our dog bite attorney in Stockton is ready to address them. To learn more, get in touch with us.
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What to Do If a Dog Bites and Injures You
The best thing you can do after an animal bite attack is call 911. At this point, emergency responders will come to the scene. Medical personnel can treat your injury, and police officers can collect information from you and anyone else involved in the incident.
Go to a doctor, no matter how minor your injury may appear to be. Follow your doctor’s orders to treat your injury. Keep track of all of your medical records — you may need them if you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit.
In the days after your accident, consult with a dog bite lawyer in Stockton. You can discuss your case with a personal injury attorney who knows how to handle canine bite claims. If you hire this attorney, they can file your claim against the pet’s owner.
How Much Time You Have to File a Dog Bite Accident Claim
California has a statute of limitations of two years for personal injuries. If you do not detect an injury right away, you have one year from the date of discovery. Based on this statute, you have a maximum of two years to sue a negligent dog owner for damages after their animal bites you.
A lawyer can help you calculate the losses you suffered in your pet bite accident. They can help you request economic and non-economic damages. You may be able to get compensation for many reasons, such as:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Emotional trauma
- Pain and suffering
Along with economic and non-economic compensation, a court may award exemplary damages. It will do so if it wants to deter an at-fault party from future acts of negligence. If a court awards exemplary compensation, it will do so in combination with economic and non-economic damages.
How to Prove Negligence in a Dog Bite Accident Case
It is generally understood that a pet owner has a duty of care toward others. This duty refers to the owner’s ability to practice a reasonable amount of care. If the owner lets their pet roam around on its own or is reckless in any other way, the animal can bite someone, and this individual can be held responsible.
A violation of a duty of care is one of the elements of negligence that you must prove were present at the time of your pet bite accident. Also, you must show that because the animal owner had a duty of care that they breached, you suffered an injury. You must prove that you incurred damages as a result of the pet owner’s actions — or lack thereof.
You are responsible for the burden of proof in your lawsuit. When you work with a lawyer, you can receive plenty of help as you look for evidence and collect witness statements to support your claim. Your attorney can answer frequently asked questions and many others about dog bite accident lawsuits and help you build a compelling case against the negligent pet owner.
Hire a Stockton Dog Bite Lawyer
If you want to explore your legal options after an animal bite and injury, the team at Triumph Law, P.C. can help. Our Stockton dog bite attorney is available to review your case. To get started, contact us today.