Generally, dogs are very friendly and playful animals. However, they can inflict serious injuries when they attack. Sometimes, a dog’s aggressive behavior can be the result of the owner’s negligence. In such instances, our legal system demands that the owner compensate the victim for financial and psychological damages that the dog bite caused.
Damages resulting from a dog bite can be severe and life-threatening. Knowing how to prove fault in your California dog bite case can help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
What California law says about dog bites
California applies a strict liability statute when dealing with dog bite cases. This means that the dog owner will be held liable even if the dog has no previous history of aggressive behavior. Thus, California law allows dog bite victims to recover “full compensation” for injuries sustained from a dog bite. Under this law, the victim is entitled to compensation for both medical treatments and emotional distress following the bite.
However, the victim must prove that the psychological trauma they suffered had something to do with the dog attack. Also, they must prove that the emotional pain that they suffered was severe enough to warrant compensation. For this, the victim will need to provide a psychologist or doctor’s note to prove such a claim.
Proving fault in a California dog bite claim
Proving negligence in a dog bite case means that the victim must convince the court that the attack occurred due to negligence on the dog owner’s part. To this end, the victim must demonstrate the following:
- That the defendant owned the dog
- That the attack happened in a public setting or while the victim was on private property legally
- That the attack resulted in an injury to the victim
If a dog has attacked you in California, you may be eligible for compensation for your injury. However, to file a lawsuit, you must understand how California dog bite laws work. No matter how minor the bite might be, you may have legal grounds for filing a lawsuit against the pet owner as long as you can prove that they were at fault.