Millions of dogs in the United States go about their days making people happy; they’re gentle, docile and looking for little more than a good meal and a pat on the head. However, not all dogs are sweet and loving. Some are aggressive and downright dangerous, and many turn that way without warning or provocation, attacking innocent people and leaving them with injuries that can be quite critical, or even fatal. Being bit by a dog is a traumatic and life-changing event, especially when the injuries sustained require intensive medical treatment, therapy and surgical reconstruction to recover. If you or someone you care about has been the victim of a vicious dog attack, then you have the right to hold the dog’s owner accountable and collect damages as a result.
In California, dog bite injuries are considered personal injuries, and as such, they fall under the two-year statute of limitations. You must file your claim for injuries within two years of the event or lose your rights to collect damages due to the attack. Hiden, Rott & Oertle LLP and its Chula Vista dog bite attorney has a history of helping victims of dog bite attacks collect the compensation to which they are entitled.
Dog Bite Statistics
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there are nearly 75 million dogs kept as pets in the United States. Most of them cause no problems other than occasionally chewing up a shoe or giving the cat a run for its money. However, dogs are animals with instincts ingrained in them throughout time eternal, making them unpredictable and capable of attacking when they feel threatened or scared, or even for no reason at all. Because of this, the CDC reports that roughly 2 percent of the U.S. population, or around 4.7 million people, experience the bite of an aggressive dog annually. Seven out of ten of these victims are children, and their injuries, due to their small size, tend to be worse than those of adult attack victims.
Strict Liability in Chula Vista Dog Attack Cases
In California, there is a concept of law known as strict liability that applies to dog bite attack claims. If a dog bites a person in California, unlike so-called “one bite” states, even if the dog has never shown aggression or bitten anyone in the past, the owner of the dog is held strictly liable for the victim’s injuries. Provided that you were attacked while you were authorized to be on private property or were on public property, liability in your case falls squarely on the shoulders of the dog’s owner or someone who had control of the dog.
In some instances, a landlord who knows about a dangerous dog being on a property can also be held liable for injuries caused by the dog. Likewise, if a condition exists on a property where the dangerous dog lives and the landlord fails to correct it, liability for the injuries sustained by the victim may also be at least partially routed to the landlord. For instance, if a fence in need of repair allows a dangerous dog to escape and he attacks a neighborhood child, then the landlord (if he knew of the fence needing repair and failed to repair it) may shoulder part of the blame for the dog’s actions.
Consultation With a Chula Vista Dog Bite Attorney
The injuries incurred during a dog bite attack can be quite severe, often leaving victims with problems that they must deal with for the rest of their lives. Compensation for your injuries may involve the cost of medical treatment, both now and in the future, the cost of any reconstructive or plastic surgeries, lost wages and future lost income, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and more. Hiden, Rott & Oertle LLP fights hard for clients recuperating from this traumatic type of injury. Reach out to our Chula Vista dog bite attorney now to discuss your case.