If dog bite victims require a hospital visit, filing an insurance claim for compensation may be necessary.
The dog owner’s homeowner or renter insurance policy will typically cover these expenses. In 2021, dog bite liability cost insurers $882 million. Californians filed more dog bite claims than any other state (a total of 2,026 in 2021). The average payout per claim in California in 2021 was nearly $60,000.
Most of the time, dogs handled properly by their owners and restrained on a leash outside their own yard do not attack unless provoked. When an animal runs free, the odds increase significantly. In some situations, dogs have unsupervised access to parts of their owner’s property where others may be, such as people making deliveries.
Several types of wounds can occur when a dog attacks, such as punctures, tears, fractures, or amputations. Scarring and disfigurement may be significant in some victims. The most common injuries include:
As you may already know, the cost of treating dog bite wounds adds up quickly. Some only require emergency treatment, while others require hospitalization, surgery, follow-up observation, therapy, or future care (such as plastic surgery). You could miss weeks or months of work and face a period with little to no income depending on your benefits. This experience leads to frustration, stress, and financial burden for many people.
When our attorneys seek compensation in a Southern California dog bite claim, we consider all the expenses and losses the client incurred because of the bite. These may include:
When a dog bites and injures you, our personal injury lawyers in Los Angeles can pursue a case on your behalf. According to state law (CIV § 3342), California dog owners have a duty of care to keep others safe from their animals. Under this law:
Local laws also outline what dog owners must do to keep their dogs and others safe. For example, LA County has strong licensing laws. Any dog over four months of age requires an annual license from the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care & Control.
LA County also has strong leash laws that prevent owners from allowing their dogs to roam free outside of their own yard. Owners must have control of their dog using a leash no longer than six feet while on public streets or in parks or other shared areas. San Diego, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties have similar laws under city or county codes.