Dog Bite Injury Cases
There are about 60 million dogs in the United States, most of which are lovable pets. Unfortunately dogs sometimes bite and according the Centers for Disease Control the number of dog bites requiring medical attention has been steadily rising.
Dogs bite nearly 5 million Americans every year and approximately 800,000 of these bites require medical care. A large majority of the victims are children, who are often bitten on the face.
Recovery for a Dog Bite consists of finding who is responsible for the dog and finding available insurance coverage- which is often provided by a homeowners insurance policy.
There are special laws regulating dog owners that may include the legal doctrine of Strict Liability.
Many states, including Massachusetts, California, have adopted special laws which have modified at fault liability rules relating to dog attacks. The California Legislature has enacted a law, which makes a dog owner subject to strict liability for any dog bite attack. The elements of this action are set out in the jury instruction which is read to juries who decide dog attack lawsuits in California:
The essential elements of such a claim are: Defendant owned a dog, The dog bit the plaintiff, The plaintiff, at the time of the bite, was in a public place or lawfully in or on a private place; and The dog bite caused plaintiff to suffer injury, damage, loss or harm.
In other words the dog owner is responsible for a dog bite. Defenses such as whether the dog previously attacked, whether the owner knew of such viciousness, or whether the owner was negligent in controlling the dog are irrelevant.
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