Imagine this scenario. You’re taking a nice stroll down your street. You walk past a house were a dog is barking at you viciously. You think nothing of it until you realize the dog is not on a leash and lunges at you and attacks you. Now you have been injured. Dogs are usually considered man’s best friend. It’s unfortunate when dogs act out and attack/bite you either purposely or unpurposely. This can happen anywhere and any type of dog can act out and attack. No matter how big or small or the breed of the dog. This is an incredibly scary situation to be in. This can happen to anyone and it happens unexpectedly. It’s essential to know what the statute of limitations is for bringing a dog attack claim as well as how liability is handled. It’s also essential to know when you can claim punitive damages.
Statute of Limitations & Liability
The statute of limitations is the timeline in which you must bring a lawsuit. In the state of California you will have two years to file a claim for a personal injury case. If the dog owner is found liable, then they will have to pay the victim damages. This is if the dog attacked in either a public place, such as a park, or a lawfully private place. An example of someone being in a lawfully private place would be a mailman attempting to deliver mail to the residence. The exception to this statue is if the dog was carrying out either police or military work. If a dog attacks someone, then the owner is held liable for injuries that the victim may have gotten. This includes things such as medical expenses, lost wages, loss of consortium and pain and suffering. California operates under “strict liability. In almost all cases, the owner is held liable for their dog attacking you. The only times in which the owner would not be held responsible is if the victim was trespassing on the owner’s property, or the victim purposely provoked the dog into attacking them.
Claiming Punitive Damages
Sometimes in these dog attack cases, you may be awarded punitive damages. These are damages used to punish the defendant for highly negligent or malicious behavior. If you, as the victim, can prove malice, then you may be able to recover punitive damages. Malice means that the defendant intended to cause your injury. For example, you may be awarded punitive damages if the owner instructed their dog to attack you. You may also be awarded damages if the dog has had a history of attacking people and the owner knew about it and did nothing to alleviate it.
Getting attacked by a dog is an incredibly scary experience. Now you’ve been injured because of the owner’s dog. Now you have to suffer and pay medical expenses because of their dog. They need to be held liable and accountable for the attack. You need an expert Los Angeles dog attack attorney on your side. The legal team at Compass Law Group, LLP will provide you with aggressive representation and personal attention to your needs.