Oakland Animal & Dog Bite Lawyer
People love their pets, and with good reason. Dogs and other domesticated animals provide companionship, protection, and affection. But when a pet owner fails to take reasonable precautions and their pet injures someone else, they must be held responsible for the injuries that their pet, and their own negligence, have caused. Dog bites and other animal attacks result in severe lacerations, blood loss, strained and torn muscles, limb amputation, brain trauma, and any number of other serious injuries. A particularly vicious dog can seriously injure someone.
The Oakland animal & dog bite lawyers at Venardi Zurada can help you recover after a dog or other animal attacks you or a loved one. Our dog bite legal team understands the difficulties in pursuing a dog bite or animal attack claim, and we will work with you to build your strongest case and pursue maximum recovery.
Dog Bites Injure Millions Every Year
If you were attacked and injured by a dog, you are not alone: There are approximately 4.7 million dog bite injuries in the United States each year. In 2015, about 28,000 people across the country suffered from such a severe attack that they required reconstructive surgery. Every year, over 330,000 dog bite victims need emergency care. Recovery after a dog bite or other animal attack is no easy task: The average cost for a dog-bite-related hospital stay is around $18,000. When you are facing high medical costs, a loss of earnings and other expenses because of a dog bite or other animal attack, you have the right to be compensated by the dog’s owner.
California’s Dog Bite Law
In Oakland and throughout California, dog owners are responsible if their dog bites and injures someone. California applies a standard of strict liability in dog attack cases, meaning that the animal’s owner bears responsibility for an attack. Unlike many other states, in California, a dog bite victim does not need to establish that a dog was already known to be dangerous or prove that the owner was negligent. Instead, the owner of a dog will be held strictly liable for damages if:
- The dog bites a person, causing injury; and
- The injured victim was in a public place or was lawfully in a private place.
There are several exceptions. People injured by police dogs, for example, cannot bring a claim under the statute. Additionally, dog owners can escape liability if the injured plaintiff was trespassing at the time of the bite, such as if they were breaking into the dog owner’s home. A dog owner may also limit or escape liability if they can show that the victim provoked the dog into attacking, or if the dog was reasonably defending its owner from assault.
California’s strict liability dog bite law only applies to injuries caused by bites. If a dog or another animal, for example, tackles a person to the ground and causes head trauma, different rules apply. The plaintiff would then have to prove that the owner was negligent. Negligence could be established by showing, for example, that the dog was known to be dangerous, or that the owner failed to take reasonable steps to secure the dog, such as by keeping the pet on a leash.
Call for Help After an Oakland Dog Bite or Animal Attack
If you or someone you care about has been injured by a dog bite or other animal attack in Oakland, act now to preserve your right to recovery. Speak with a knowledgeable and passionate Oakland dog bite lawyer at Venardi Zurada, LLP. Call 925-937-3900 or contact us online today for a free consultation. We operate on contingency fees for dog bite claims, which means that you will only pay us when we recover compensation for you.