Dog Bite Injury Lawyers in Chico, CA
“Man’s best friend” gets his name for a reason — many dogs are friendly, loving, and well trained. However, not all dogs earn this moniker and others are vicious and dangerous to be around. While vicious, poorly trained, and intact dogs bite more than others, the truth is that any dog can bite if the circumstances are right.
Not only are dog bites painful, they can be disfiguring, prone to infection, and can cause the victim to incur substantial psychological damage and a strong fear of dogs. If you or a loved one were bitten or attacked by a dog, it’s important that you take the injury seriously and get medical care right away. You’ll either need to rule out that the dog that bit you had rabies or you’ll have to receive preventative rabies treatments. Also, you’ll want to ensure that you receive medication to fight infection and if your wounds require surgery, it’s important to have that done as soon as possible.
Who Is Held Responsible for a Dog Bite?
If you or a loved one are bitten by a dog that is not your own, you shouldn’t have to pay for the extensive medical care you may need after the bite. However, it can sometimes be difficult to pin down who can be held liable for a dog attack, especially if the dog that bit you was a stray and an owner cannot be easily found.
If the owner can be found, California is a strict liability state, meaning that the owner of the dog will be held legally responsible for the damages caused by his or her dog’s attack, regardless of whether the owner was negligent or not and regardless of whether the dog had a known history of biting or viciousness. This means that even the owners of well trained dogs on a leash who have never bitten before can be liable for a dog that attacks out of nowhere.
Who Pays the Damages?
Typically, the plaintiff in a dog bite claim can pursue a settlement from the dog owner’s homeowners insurance company. In cases where a stray attacked the victim, it may be able to be established that the city is liable for the damages caused by the dog, although this is much harder to prove. If, for example, the dog got out of the animal shelter and bit someone, or the animal shelter hid a history of biting and viciousness in order to place the animal with a family, the shelter and the city may be responsible.
Contact Us Today
Don’t wait to get legal representation after a dog attack. At the Law Offices of Zink & Lenzi, we can help. Call us now at (530) 895-1234 for an appointment.