December 12

How to Prove Liability in a Dog Bite Case: A Personal Injury Attorney’s Perspective

Dog bites are a common occurrence in Pasadena, CA, and can lead to severe physical and emotional consequences for victims. If you or someone you know has suffered a dog bite injury, it’s crucial to understand the legal aspects of pursuing a personal injury claim. Proving liability in a dog bite case is essential, and in this blog post, we’ll provide valuable insights from experienced personal injury attorneys.

Understanding Dog Bite Laws in California

Dog owners in California face strict liability for injuries caused by their pets. This means that if a dog bites someone, regardless of whether the dog has a history of violence, the owner is generally liable for the resulting damages. Strict liability applies to both public and private property, giving victims a legal foundation to seek recompense for their damage.

Strict liability in dog bite cases means that the victim does not need to prove that the dog owner was negligent or knew about the dog’s dangerous tendencies. The mere fact that the bite occurred while the victim was lawfully on public or private property is usually sufficient to establish liability.

However, there are exceptions to strict liability. In some cases, dog owners may not be held strictly liable if the victim was trespassing, provoking the dog, or engaged in unlawful activities at the time of the bite. In such situations, other legal considerations like negligence may come into play.

Gathering Evidence After a Dog Bite

Gathering evidence is crucial to proving liability in a dog bite case, and taking prompt action is essential. Here are the steps you should take:

  1. Identify and document the dog owner’s information: Obtain the dog owner’s name, contact information, and insurance details. This information will be crucial when pursuing a claim.
  2. Collect witness statements and contact information: If there were witnesses to the incident, obtain their statements and contact information. Witness testimonies can strengthen your case.
  3. Seek medical attention and preserve medical records: Your health should be your top priority. Seek immediate medical attention for your injuries and ensure that all medical records related to the dog bite are properly preserved. These records serve as essential evidence of your injuries.

Establishing Negligence in Dog Bite Cases

While California law generally favors strict liability in dog bite cases, there are instances where this may not apply. To establish negligence on the part of the dog owner, you will need to prove the following:

  1. The dog owner’s negligence in controlling the animal: If the dog owner failed to exercise reasonable care in restraining or controlling their dog, and this negligence led to the bite, you may have a negligence case.
  2. Demonstrating the owner’s awareness of the dog’s aggressive tendencies: If the dog owner was aware of their dog’s propensity to be aggressive and failed to take appropriate precautions, such as using a leash or muzzling the dog, this can strengthen your case for negligence.

Tips for Dog Bite Victims

If you’ve been bitten by a dog, it’s essential to take immediate action:

  1. Seek medical attention: Your health should always be your top priority. Even minor dog bites can lead to infections or complications if not properly treated.
  2. Seek professional legal advice: Consult with a Pasadena lawyer who specializes in dog bite cases, such as a Pasadena personal injury attorney. They can provide you with a comprehensive understanding of your rights and the legal process.
  3. Understand the timeline and process: Familiarize yourself with the timeline and steps involved in filing a dog bite claim. A personal injury attorney, including a dog bite lawyer, can guide you through this process.

Consultation with a Personal Injury Attorney

Seeking legal representation is a crucial step in pursuing a dog bite claim. Here’s why it’s beneficial:

  1. Gathering and presenting evidence: A personal injury attorney or dog bite lawyer can help you collect and present the necessary evidence to build a strong liability case. They have experience in handling dog bite claims and understand the intricacies of California’s dog bite laws.
  2. Legal strategies: Attorneys have the legal expertise to develop effective strategies tailored to your specific case. They can negotiate with insurance companies and, if necessary, litigate on your behalf.

Proving liability in a dog bite case is vital to secure compensation for your injuries. Understanding California’s strict liability laws, gathering evidence, and seeking professional legal assistance are key steps in this process. At Law GBG, we encourage dog bite victims in Pasadena, CA, to visit our website and schedule a consultation with our experienced Pasadena personal injury attorneys, who specialize in dog bite cases. 

Remember, you don’t have to navigate the legal complexities alone—our team is here to assist you every step of the way.

Click here for our complete guide to hiring a personal injury lawyer.


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Grigoryan Blum & Grigoryan
30 North Raymond Avenue, Suite #514
Pasadena, CA 91103
United States