Dogs are considered to be a part of many people’s families. While dog owners often have special relationships with their pets, they should recognize that their dogs might bite others and keep them away from people. Serious injuries or fatalities can occur when dogs attack. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that an estimated 4.7 million dog bites occur in the U.S. every year. Out of the people who are bitten, 800,000 seek treatment in the emergency departments of their local hospitals. If you have suffered a serious injury in a dog attack, a dog bite lawyer San Mateo at the San Jose Personal Injury Attorneys might help you to recover damages to pay for your losses.
Common Dog Bite Injuries
Dogs can cause severe injuries when they attack. Some of the common types of injuries that can occur in dog bite cases include the following:
- Puncture wounds
- Serious infections stemming from the wound site
- Face, head, and neck injuries
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
- Serious lacerations
- Blood loss
People should understand that any dog could potentially attack. This means that they should stay away from strange dogs and avoid making direct eye contact with dogs that they encounter in public. People should also avoid disturbing dogs when they are taking care of puppies, eating, or sleeping.
Liability issues in dog bite cases
Most states either follow a strict liability or one-bite rule for dog bites. In states that follow the one-bite rule, dog owners will only be liable if they knew that their dogs had a propensity to bite other people. In general, this means that a dog would have to have bitten someone in the past to give the owner notice that it might attack someone in the future.
California has a strict liability rule for dog bite cases. In California, a dog’s owner will be strictly liable if his or her dog bites and injures another person regardless of whether the dog has attacked anyone in the past. Under Cal. Civ. Code § 3342, a dog’s owner is liable for injuries caused by his or her dog when the dog is in public or when it is on private property. When a dog attack happens on private property, the dog owner will be liable when the dog attacks someone who is lawfully present on the property. This means that the owner of a dog that attacks someone at his or her house will be liable if the person who is attacked is an invited guest or is there for permissible business purposes such as to deliver mail or to read meters.
Police and military officers who have dogs in their professional capacities will not be liable when their dogs attack while the officers are executing search warrants, conducting investigations, or attempting to apprehend suspects. They also will not be liable when the dogs bite people to defend the officers. However, this exception does not apply when the person who is bitten is not the suspect or is not involved in the police investigation and is simply an innocent bystander.
Why you should hire a dog bite lawyer San Mateo to handle your case
Retaining an experienced dog bite attorney in San Mateo is important when you have been bitten by a dog and have suffered injuries. An attorney might help you to secure damages in an amount that fairly compensates you for your losses. Contact the San Jose Personal Injury Attorneys to schedule a free consultation by calling us at (408) 217-1778.