Los Angeles Child Dog Bite Attorney
According to the U.S Humane Society, approximately 51% of dog victims are children between 5 to 9 years old. In Los Angeles and across the United States, dog bites are among the leading causes of unintentional, severe injuries to children. Since children do not yet comprehend the dangers of getting close or playing with an aggressive dog, they are susceptible to dog bites.
Dog bites are often horrifying, especially since they are unexpected and give a victim little to no time to react. When the victim is a child, a dog bite can be traumatizing. Additionally, dog bites often leave victims with severe injuries and, in extreme cases, even death. Unfortunately, most children who sustain dog bites are bitten by their family dog and at home.
In California, similar to adult dog bites, parents and legal guardians can sue for compensation if their child sustains injuries in a dog bite. In most cases, the dog owner is often liable to pay damages for dog bites. However, child dog bite cases are more complex, including determining if a child is at fault for provoking the dog.
If you are in Los Angeles, CA, and your child is a dog bite victim, our Las Vegas dog bite attorneys at Heidari Law Group will guide you through the complex process. We are committed to helping you seek justice for your child by pursuing the dog owner or defendant for compensation.
Common Child Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bites can lead to a variety of injuries for children, including:
- Severe facial injuries
- Skin punctures
- Lacerations and abrasions
- Bruises and Contusions
- Fractures and broken bones
Additionally, a dog bite may leave a child with long-term emotional trauma, including anxiety.
Common Causes of Child Dog Bites
One of the most common causes of child dog bites is teasing or unintentional provocation. Unlike adults, children do not understand a dog’s boundaries, including what they can do to a dog. Consequently, they innocently play with dogs, including getting too close to their face and mouth.
Accordingly, the dog may feel attacked or as if the child is invading its privacy. It is likely to retaliate by attacking the child. A dog can show aggressive behavior in different ways, including kicking or biting the child. Dogs are generally territorial, and dog owners should train them on living with little children. Failure to correct the dog’s aggression towards children can lead to serious child dog bite injuries.
California’s Strict Liability Rule
California has a strict liability rule on dog bites and holds a dog owner liable for damages in most dog bite scenarios. Generally, the dog owner is legally responsible for damages in a dog bite accident even if the dog has never bitten another person, and the owner had no reason to believe that the dog was dangerous.
California’s rule on dig bites is contrary to the ‘one-bite rule’ in some states that only allow dog bite victims to recover damages if the dog has bitten somebody before. However, if the owner had any reasons to believe that the dog was dangerous, they may be liable to pay damages. In addition to the strict liability rule, a California dog bite claim also involves understanding the doctrine of negligence.
Accordingly, your child dog bite attorney should be aware of all California laws on dog bites, including strict liability and the doctrine of negligence. Like in other dog bite cases, the owner should help you establish the owner’s negligence in a child dog bite case. Negligence exceptions like where the victim was an illegal trespasser may also apply in a child dog bite lawsuit.
Most Dangerous Dog Breeds
Even though a dog’s behavior depends on its personality and history, some dog breeds are more aggressive and more likely to attack people, including children, than others. These dogs are known for their dominance and strength, and an attack on a child can be fatal. The top five dog breeds that have led to severe injuries and fatalities include:
- Pit bulls
- German shepherds
- Mixed breeds
Statute of Limitations for a Dog Bite Case
A statute of limitation is a ‘deadline’ on when you can file a personal injury claim. According to California law, you have a maximum of two years after you or your child sustains a dog bite injury to file a personal injury claim. You are likely to lose your right to recover damages if you do not file a personal injury claim within the stipulated time frame.
What to Do After a Dog Bites Your Child
Dog bites often lead to severe injuries, and in the case of a child, the injuries may be more severe or even life-threatening. Consequently, there are some actions you need to take to ensure the safety of your child after a dog bite, including:
- Seeking immediate medical attention. Seeking medical treatment as soon as possible ensures the child is treated for current injuries and is not in danger of further complications.
- After the hospital visit, ensure there are no infections by taking care of your child’s wounds and other injuries. It may include applying constant antibiotic ointment and regularly changing the bandages to prevent any infections.
- Contact the dog owner. With most child dog bites inflicted by familiar or even family dogs, you probably have access to the dog and its owner if it is not your dog. Contacting the owner helps to find out what happened and if you can recover for compensation.
- In some cases, you may need to report the animal to animal control. The animal control department can help you investigate who owns the dog and the dog’s history and behavior.
- Contact a skilled child dog bite attorney to help you file a personal injury lawsuit against the dog owner/defendant.
Recovering Damages in California’s Child Dog Bite
As a parent or a legal guardian, you have the right to hold a dog owner accountable when their dog bites and injures your child. California law allows you to recover damages in such cases. Some of the damages you can recover include medical expenses, damage to property, emotional suffering, rehabilitation costs, and pain and suffering. You can also recover punitive damages.
While the process of a child dog bite claim is almost similar to that of any other dog bite claim, there are some differences. Some differences are obvious, including that a child cannot file a lawsuit, and their parents or legal guardians must file the case on their behalf.
California laws also seem to favor child dog bite victims over dog owners, including doing away with some exceptions to the doctrine of negligence. For instance, where the victim is a child of 5 years or younger, the exception for provoking the dog does not apply. Generally, most of the exceptions applicable for adults are not applicable for children.
Contact a Los Angeles Child Dog Bite Attorney
Child dog bite accidents can leave victims with severe and catastrophic injuries or death. Additionally, they may leave a child emotionally scarred and requiring lengthy and often costly medical treatment. With children having a greater risk of sustaining dog bite injuries than adults, child dog bite cases are common. However, the cases are also much more complex.
At Heidari Law Group, our well-qualified Los Angeles child dog bite attorneys have broad experience dealing with child dog bite cases and understand how traumatizing dog bites can be, especially for children. We will aggressively fight for your child’s right to recover damages and are committed to helping you get the compensation you and your family needs and deserve. Call us today for a free case evaluation and to learn more about our services.
Get a Free Consultation
If you need a personal injury attorney with a history of success, good communication at all stages of your case, and who will help you manage and settle your case call Abogados Con Experiencia. We will handle your case so that you can heal and put your life back together.
Are we a good fit?
- Have you suffered injuries in an accident that was caused by someone else?
- Does the person who is responsible for these damages have insurance?
- Were there significant injuries that caused hospital visits or missed work?
- Did the accident happen within the last 24 months?
If you answered YES to ALL of the questions, Abogados Con Experiencia may be a good option. Contact us today for a free case evaluation. Our team will lay out your options and answer all of your questions regarding your potential case. It is our job to determine how to best protect your rights and minimize the impact of an injury caused by another’s carelessness thus giving you the ability to focus on recovery.