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Been Bit by Someone’s Dog - What are my legal rights?

Posted by Ramin Montakab | Jun 02, 2021 | 0 Comments

Being attacked and bit by a dog can be a traumatic experience and cause short or long-term physical and/or emotional damage. If you have been bit by a dog that is not your own and need appropriate treatment, we highly encourage you to talk to an attorney to see what your rights are. We recently received a dog bite case from a Rover sitter and so we'd like to expand on this topic for our readers:

Here are some stats that we have gathered to put dog bite personal injury cases into perspective:

  • There were over 90 million dogs in the US in 2019/2020
  • About 4.5 million people a year are bitten by a dog in the US resulting in an estimated 800,000 injuries that require medical attention.
  • 2019 statistics show that Homeowner insurers paid $797 million in dog bite and dog-related liability claims. The number of claims increased from 2018 to 2019 and the average cost of claims settled also increased by 14.2%.
  • The AVMA's dog bites statistics from 2020 show that the animals' bite is mainly because of their personal history and behavior.
  • There was a 300% increase in dog attacks during the covid pandemic!

Now let's look at some liability facts:

Every State views dog bite cases differently. Most states are either "strict liability" or "negligence" states. California is a “strict liability” for dog bite cases. This means that an owner cannot escape liability for a dog bite by claiming that he or she had no idea the dog would act aggressively. The owner is responsible for all damages resulting from a dog bite, even if the dog has never bitten anyone before. Specifically, the statute declares owner liability, "regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner's knowledge of such viciousness."

So, what do you do next?

The sooner you retain an attorney in your case, the better your chances are of receiving quality treatment. Your Personal Injury attorney will review the facts and assess your case/strategy with you. Next, your attorney will help you receive treatment which is usually covered by dog owner's homeowners or renter's insurance. The “declaration page” of any policy has coverage details that are important to know.

If the dog owner has no insurance, a claim can still be filed. This is the territory that you'll have to discuss further with your attorney in more detail. RTM Law has the experience and resources to help you receive the outcome you deserve. Call for a free consultation today.

About the Author

Ramin Montakab

 Ramin T. Montakab has been in the legal industry since 2008, starting as a litigation consultant. His practice has primarily focused on business and real estate litigation. Mr. Montakab litigated at mid-size and national litigation firms, representing fortune 500 ...

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