Contact a Lawyer Experienced in Dog Bite Cases

A blurred close-up of a dog baring its teeth.

California is a statutory strict liability state. Its dog bite statute makes the dog’s owner strictly liable for any dog attacks or dog bites as soon as the owner takes ownership of a dog. As long as the victim doesn’t engage in trespassing or is injured by an employer’s dog while on the job, the owner of the dog is responsible for any damages suffered when someone is bitten or attacked by the dog. According to the state’s statute, the victim does not have to prove negligence. If you encounter a dog bite, attorney Scott Sumner in Walnut Creek, CA, can help you hold the owner legally accountable. 

In addition to physical injury, victims of dog bites can also be left with emotional pain, especially children.

Negligence and Third Party Liability

Often, it is the dog owner who is responsible for the attack. However, there may be times when a third party may be liable for damages. All owners of property open to the public have a legal responsibility to provide a safe environment for visitors. Owners of rental property can be responsible for their tenants’ dogs. These property owners may be held responsible for dangerous dogs on the property.

Another example of third party liability is when a worker on the job incurs a dog bite or attack. Postal workers in the course of delivering mail can pursue a worker’s compensation case and a third party liability lawsuit against the owner of the dog.

In third party liability cases, the negligence theory is often used, as the California dog bite statute does not apply to non-owners. It must be shown that others contributed to the dog attack by not properly controlling or handling the dog.

Fractures, Scars and Emotional Scarring from Dog Attacks

It is not uncommon for a fracture to occur during a dog attack. The compressive force from a dog’s jaw are strong enough to result in a comminuted fracture of a bone. These wounds are the most severe because bacteria can infect the broken bone with the associated puncture wounds from the dog’s teeth. Scarring is one of the most common injuries by victims of dog bites. Muscles and tendons may be damaged, and deep wounds may need stitches or plastic surgery.

In addition to physical injury, victims of dog bites can also be left with emotional pain, especially children. It is not unusual to experience some range of post-traumatic psychological distress after a dog attack.

Overcoming the Common Defense Strategies

At Sumner Law, we have the legal knowledge and experience to overcome the most common defense strategies in dog attack cases, such as provocation, comparative negligence and assumption of risk. If the dog owner was present when the attack occurred, he may come up with some kind of justification as to why his pet mauled you. This excuse involves blaming the victim. We know how to take depositions from owners to get to the real cause of the attack.

Contact Us Today

With 23 years of experience, attorney Scott Sumner has the knowledge and the resources to ensure that you receive just compensation for trauma suffered. Contact our practice today to discuss your case in person with a professional.