Sacramento Dog Bite Attorneys
Dog bites can have devastating and long lasting effects, both emotionally and physically. The dog bite attorneys at the law firm Carson & Kyung, A Law Corporation, have represented numerous individuals injured by dog bites. We are the dog bite law firm in Sacramento. Its a terrible experience for the victim, but our attorneys are here to help victims through the process. We can handle dog bites that resulted in facial injuries, groin injuries, and injuries to other areas of the body. You may be entitled to compensation if you were bitten by a dog. Our Sacramento dog bite attorneys will aggressively fight to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact our Sacramento personal injury law firm to schedule a free initial consultation to learn more about dog bites.
When is a dog owner liable for biting?
A dog owner is liable for damages suffered by anyone who is bitten by their dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place. California Civil Code Section 3342(a). Specifically, California Civil Code Section 3342(a) states:
The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness. A person is lawfully upon the private property of such owner within the meaning of this section when he is on such property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him by the laws of this state or by the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or when he is on such property upon the invitation, express or implied, of the owner.
California’s dog bite statute creates strict liability for dog owners’ when their dog bites a third-party. The prior viciousness of the dog or the dog owner’s knowledge of that viciousness is immaterial. Whether the dog is restrained or running loose when the bite occurs is also immaterial. Davis v. Gaschler (1992) 11 CA4th 1392. Dog owners may be liable for injuries incurred while attempting to help an injured dog in a public place.
Dog Owner Liability on Private Property
A dog owner will still be liable for their dog biting someone if that person is lawfully on the owner’s private property. An individual is lawfully on property when they have a duty to be there by law or the dog owner has provided them with either an express or implied invitation.
Do dog owners have defenses to liability?
Dog owner liability is not a guarantee. Depending on the circumstances, dog owners may have defenses. For example, an individual who agitates a dog by teasing and kicking it will likely not have a strong case against the dog owner. An individual also cannot be contribute to the negligence or assume a risk of being bit. A veterinarian or an employee at the animal shelter will likely not have a solid case against the dog owner. In essence, no lawsuit is a slam dunk. There will always be defenses and challenges to claim for damages. Our Sacramento dog bite attorneys are knowledgable on the applicable defenses and have the skills to fight back for our clients.
Assumption of Risk Doctrine
A potential defense in personal injury actions is the assumption of risk doctrine. This doctrine generally means that a party assumes the obvious risks involved with a particular activity. The potential for dog bites to individuals employed as veterinarians, kennel workers, or dog groomers are obvious. Hence, the “veterinarian rule.” Priebe v. Nelson (2006) 39 Cal.4th 1112. In Priebe, a worker in a veterinary kennel sued the owner of a dog that bit her. The court noted that the veterinarian’s rule was recognized in Neighbarger v. Irwin Industries, Inc. (1994) 8 Cal.4th 532 and Knight v. Jewett (1992) 3 Cal.4th 296 as “yet another application of the doctrine of primary assumption of risk.” The court in Priebe concluded that the plaintiff, “by virtue of the nature of her occupation as a kennel worker, assumed the risk of being bitten or otherwise injured by the dogs under her care and control….” Priebe, at p. 1132.
What is required to prove dog bite liability?
The elements required to prove dog owner liability for a dog bite are:
- The defendant owned a dog;
- The dog bit the plaintiff while he or she was (1) in a public place or (2) lawfully in a private place, including the dog owner’s property;
- The plaintiff was harmed; and
- The defendant’s dog was a substantial factor in causing that harm.
How do I report a dog bite?
Call (916) 368-PETS (7387) to report the bite. You should always seek medical attention after a dog bite. Even a small dog bite could cause infections or diseases. Medical professionals are required by law to report dog bites to the Department of Animal Care. Once reported, dog bits must be investigated.
Animal Care & Regulation
3839 Bradshaw Road
Sacramento, CA 95827
Call 311 or, outside of unincorporated Sacramento County areas, (916) 875-4311
Contact Sacramento’s Personal Injury Attorneys
You may be entitled to compensation if you were bitten by a dog. The personal injury legal team at Carson & Kyung are well-versed in dog bites. Our legal team can walk you through all of the different factors and steps for bringing a dog bite lawsuit. We are the dog bite law firm in Sacramento and our lawyers know the important questions to ask during the free initial meeting to determine the potential value of your dog bite lawsuit. Contact our Sacramento personal injury attorneys to schedule a free initial consultation.