Sometimes, a visit to a friend or a walk in the park can have unexpected consequences if you encounter an angry or aggressive dog. Dogs are frequently found at parks, and although most of them are well behaved and properly managed, that isn't always the case. Some dogs are naturally aggressive, while others can become angry or violent in certain circumstances.
Whether you were enjoying your coffee on a friend's porch or watching your children on the playground equipment at the time of the attack, a dog bite can leave you with severe injuries and medical expenses.
Thankfully, the state of California does not leave victims of dog attacks vulnerable to those financial expenses. It is the obligation of a dog's owner to make sure that it is both properly trained and adequately restrained at all times.
California has strict a liability statute for owners of dogs that bite
In some states, the victim of a vicious dog has to prove that the dog has attacked a person before or that the animal's owner knew it would present a risk to the public. California is not so lenient with dog owners. Dogs are animals that can behave unpredictably at any time.
Becoming a dog owner is a common decision, but it does come with unique risks. Those risks include vulnerability to a lawsuit if the dog hurts someone. Dogs that bite can leave terrible, disfiguring scars that require cosmetic surgery. Their bites can cause nerve damage, hurt someone's vision or leave them with enduring pain.
Medical costs, counseling or therapy expenses and lost wages are commonly claimed by victims of severe dog attacks. Sometimes, a dog owner will have a homeowner's insurance or renter's insurance policy that will protect the victims of a dog bite. Other times, the owner does not have coverage that protects victims, which may mean that civil lawsuits are the only way to recoup those losses.
A California lawyer can help you make good choices
Determining how to move forward after an attack by a dog is not always simple. If you know the person who owns the dog, whether they are a friend, relative or neighbor, you may feel conflicted about holding them accountable for the actions of their dog. However, unless you were abusing the animal or breaking the law at the time of the attack, liability and responsibility are usually straightforward.
Sitting down to talk with an attorney about your injuries and the circumstances of the dog bite can help you figure out what is the best approach to take to resolving your issues and connecting with compensation after you suffered an attack by a vicious dog.