San Clemente Dog Bite Lawyer

If you were attacked by a dog, a San Clemente dog bite lawyer might be able to help you pursue a claim for damages against the negligent pet owner. An owner could be strictly liable in many different scenarios if their animal bites or attacks an individual, regardless of whether the animal had previously bitten anyone or if the individual was previously aware of their pet’s aggression.

An experienced personal injury lawyer could help you determine whether you have a viable claim against a reckless or careless pet owner. If so, a legal professional could then rigorously defend your rights at each stage of a civil case.

Strict Liability for Animal Owners

The state of California adheres to the strict liability doctrine when assessing fault for dog bite cases. As such, a pet owner cannot avoid liability for a bite by claiming they were unaware that their animal would show aggression. Dog owners in San Clemente are liable for all damages caused by their pet, even when the animal does not have a previous history of aggression.

Therefore, when someone is bitten, they only need to prove that the bite happened when they were in a public area or lawfully in a private location. Victims are not required to prove that the owner knew their pet would bite or did not exert reasonable care to prevent the bite incident.

Dog Bite Laws

Although a pet owner is liable for any damages the animal causes, California’s dog bite law does establish an exception when people are injured in animal attacks where the pet is engaged in military or police work. Furthermore, the injury must be directly caused by a bite, rather than another kind of behavior exhibited by the animal.

Statutory Deadline

Injured individuals have two years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit with the courts. Any failure to file within this timeline could result in the case being thrown out. A dedicated dog bite attorney in San Clemente could make sure the individual asserts their claim within the designated timeline.

Pursuing Damages for an Injury

A San Clemente lawyer could help individuals pursue compensation for a variety of damages in a dog attack case, such as:

  • Past and future medical costs
  • Past and future lost wages
  • Lost future earning potential
  • Permanent disability or disfigurement
  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Reduced quality of life

In certain cases where the pet’s owner’s actions were particularly despicable or malicious, such as when the defendant was likely aware of the animal’s aggressiveness and took little or no action to prevent the accident, the court could award punitive damages.

To obtain punitive damages, the plaintiff must prove that the animal was dangerous or vicious based on prior accidents or behavior, the accident that caused the injury was foreseeable, and the defendant’s standard of care for their dog was less than what a reasonable owner would show.

Call a San Clemente Dog Bite Attorney Now

If you were attacked by a dog due to a pet owner’s careless or reckless behavior, a San Clemente dog bite lawyer could handle each and every aspect of your case. From obtaining any incident reports from animal control agencies to interviewing witnesses or investigating the circumstances of an attack, a skilled attorney could prove to be a valuable ally during the ensuing legal process. Call today to arrange your initial case consultation.