Injuries caused by dogs are a serious problem in the United States. When pet owners fail to properly leash or gate potentially aggressive dogs in populated neighborhoods, dangerous injuries are likely to occur.
Five million people are bitten by dogs every year. Often, dog bite victims are young children. Not only do such instances cause undue trauma to young victims, but dog bite injuries are often painful and disfiguring.
If you or your child has been the victim of a dog bite or attack, we at Curtis Legal Group are here to represent your interests.
By California Law, a dog owner is responsible for injuries caused by their animal. Even if the dog has never attacked an individual prior to the incident, the dog owner may still be liable for damages.
At Curtis Legal Group, we firmly believe that you and your loved ones should receive just compensation for your dog-related injuries.
California has a statute which places responsibility for dog bite injuries directly on the dog owner. It is contained in Civil Code Section 3342. That section says that if a person is bitten by a dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, then the dog owner is responsible for damages suffered by the person that was bitten. There are exceptions for military or police dogs, or for persons that are bitten while trespassing.
The responsibility of landlords for injuries caused by dogs owned by their tenants is somewhat different. Their liability comes from a California Court of Appeal case called Uccello v. Laudenslayer. In that case, Anthony Cappell lived in a rented home in Modesto. His family owned a large German Shepard dog which was kept as a watchdog. One day Juliana Uccello, age 5, went to the Capell home to play with one of their children. While she was there, the dog entered the house and attacked her, causing serious injuries.
In the lawsuit that followed, Juliana’s parents claimed that Cappell’s landlord should be responsible for their daughter’s injuries. The landlord denied responsibility and pointed out that it wasn’t his dog.
The court decided that if the landlord knew ;that his tenant had a dog with vicious tendencies and if the landlord had the authority to terminate the lease with the tenant, then the landlord could be held responsible for Juliana’s injuries. Thus, the liability of a landlord for injuries caused by a tenant’s dog, depends on these criteria.
Dog bites can cause serious scarring. Frequently, the necessary medical treatment doesn’t just involve emergency care, but also treatment by a qualified plastic surgeon. In some cases, the plastic surgeon cannot treat a scar (called a scar revision, to make it less noticeable) until sufficient time has passed from the date of the injury, sometimes many months or even years. In those instances, the dog bite attorneys at Curtis Legal Group will work with the surgeon to get his/her best estimate of the future cost of the surgery and the likely extent to which it will improve the appearance of the scar.This information will then be factored in when a case is evaluated for settlement purposes.
We Don’t Recover Unless You Do
If you or your child has been the victim of a dog bite, contact Curtis Legal Group, and we will assign one of our attorneys with experience in this area of the law to your case.
We are committed to helping our clients, and will devote our energy to ensuring that you are properly compensated for your injuries.
Please call us at 1-800-LAW-3080 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.