4 Things to Know About Dog Bite Accidents

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

Approximately 4.5 million cases of dog bites are reported in the United States each year, with the majority occurring in California. While it is common to find that these do not result in serious physical injuries, the emotional trauma resulting from the attack tends to be long lasting. When dealing with cases related to this type of attack, there are four factors to take into account:

Strict liability rules for dog owners

The state of California has a strict set of liability rules when it comes to dog ownership, especially in situations where a dog bites someone on public or private property.

A dog owner may not, under any circumstances, plead “lack of knowledge” as a defense against liability. This means that even if the owner had no prior knowledge of their dog’s aggressiveness, they are still legally responsible for the incident. Similarly, attempts to restrain an aggressive dog do not relieve the dog’s owner of responsibility.

Dog owners can face criminal charges for dog bite incidents

Dog owners who are aware of their pet’s tendencies to behave violently, especially those who have not taken adequate or reasonable steps to correct or prevent aggressive behavior, open themselves up to the possibility of criminal charges and penalties.

Statute of Limitations for Dog Bite Lawsuits

California’s statute of limitations for dog bite lawsuits is two years from the date of the incident, including any ongoing medical treatment and prior attempts to negotiate an insurance settlement. If a victim’s claim is not filed within the statute of limitations, the right to file the claim may lapse.

Compensation for Victims

Apart from physical injuries, Many victims experience post-traumatic stress as a result of a dog attack. Any lawyer skilled in these types of cases should understand that the emotional trauma and pain and suffering resulting from the incident deserve compensation that should be pursued on your behalf.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.