Dog attacks are scary for the victim and can be traumatic for everyone involved. We all want to believe that our pets or neighborhood furry friends are not capable of attacking. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Every year, millions of dog bites occur, and many of them are among animals the victim is familiar with. When a dog bite occurs, the victim will require medical treatment to ensure that there is no infection, bacteria or disease, such as rabies. Some dog bites are significant and may cause damage to underlying tissues, which require more extensive medical care.
How Long do you Have to Report a Dog Bite?
In California, Civil Code 3342 outlines dog bite laws, including how and when victims can pursue compensation for a dog bite injury. According to California law, a dog bite victim can pursue compensation for injuries within two years of the date the injury occurred. This is called the statute of limitations for dog bites. Most personal injury claims in California follow the two year statute of limitations.
California Dog Bite Laws Protect Victims
Because California is a strict liability state, you do not have a tremendous burden of proving your claim. The law holds dog owners accountable for dog attacks – no matter how serious or minor they may be. Dog owners are also responsible for dog bite injuries even if their dog had no previous history of aggression or bites.
There are exceptions to California’s strict liability laws. If you fall under one of the exceptions, you may not be able to pursue compensation, or your claim may be diminished. The exceptions are:
· You were unlawfully on private property (trespassing)
· The dog that bit you is a law enforcement dog
· You are attempting to sue someone other than the dog’s owner
· You were at least partially at fault for the attack (you provoked the dog, entered a posted area, etc.)
The best way to be sure of your rights and your options to pursue compensation for a dog bite injury is to speak with a dog bite injury lawyer.