Don't underestimate the seriousness of your injuries. Dog bites are among the most severe personal injury cases we handle at our law firm. That's why it's important to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible after your dog attack. We handle cases in Contra Costa County, Alameda County and throughout California's East Bay.
California's dog bite statute
California's Civil Code clearly states the rules and regulations regarding dog bites. Under these rules, which fall under premises liability law, a dog's owner is liable for damages sustained by any victim who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place. This includes situations in which the victim was lawfully on the property of the dog's owner and applies regardless of the dog's former viciousness or the owner's knowledge of the dog's former viciousness.
If you believe you may have grounds to seek compensation under California's Dog Bite Statute, don't hesitate to contact a skilled Walnut Creek dog bite attorney from our legal team at Clancy & Diaz, LLP.
Children and dog bites - understanding the law
Children are naturally curious and most are drawn to dogs, both familiar and unfamiliar. Children's curiosity and naiveté can put them at risk of serious bodily harm if a dog is agitated or aggressive, and they are too young to understand that they are putting themselves in danger.
Dog owners are liable if they fail to prevent harm to the public and properly control and secure their animals. Owners owe an even greater duty of care to young children, however, because children do not have the experience and understanding needed to protect themselves from harm.
In the eyes of the law, children 5 years old or younger are incapable of negligence. This means that the child is not liable if they provoked the dog and the animal attacked, because they did not realize they were creating a dangerous situation. In light of the law, the owner can be held liable for their negligence that led to the attack even if the child approached the animal first.
Tips to keep kids safe around dogs
Our experienced legal team can represent your family's rights and advocate for you before the court if your child suffered from serious dog bites caused by owner negligence. Additionally, you can help prevent future attacks by teaching your children the following dog safety tips:
- Never approach a dog you do not know.
- If you are approached by an unfamiliar dog, remain motionless like a tree.
- Do not run away from the dog or scream.
- If a dog knocks you over, roll into a ball and stay still.
- Do not play with a dog unless an adult is supervising you.
- If you see a stray dog or a dog that is acting strange, tell an adult right away.
- Don't look directly at a dog's eyes.
- Do not touch or disturb a dog that is eating, sleeping or caring for its puppies.
- Always let a dog see and sniff you before petting it.
- If you are bitten by a dog, tell an adult right away.
Pursuing compensation for dog attacks
Dog owners are strictly liable for any injuries their dogs cause to victims. Regardless of the victim's age or whether or not the dog had a history of aggressive or violent behavior, the owner is liable for any resulting harm. The only exception to strict liability is if a victim (who is not a young child) provoked the animal or was trespassing at the time of the attack.
Our experienced personal injury attorneys at Clancy & Diaz, LLP are dedicated to helping victims obtain the full compensation they deserve. As part of that process, we can help you seek justice by filing a premises liability claim. We have obtained very generous settlements on behalf of our Bay Area clients, and attorney Pete Clancy is a lifetime member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum®.
Our firm has the knowledge and skill to effectively advocate on behalf of you and your family. To learn more about your options to take legal action against a negligent owner for your dog bites, contact our law firm today. Call (925) 835-7500 or take a few moments to fill out our free case evaluation form. We're here for you when you need us most.