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Everything You Need To Know About Dog Bites in San Diego

California has laws that protect people that have been injured by dogs. Dogs can seriously injure or even kill someone. Unfortunately, most dog bite victims are children.  It is important to know what classifies as an injury in order to receive damages.

Common dog bite injuries include:

  • Brain injuries 
  • Permanent scarring 
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Disfigurement
  • Nerve damage 
  • Psychological trauma 
  • Infection 

Children & Dog Bites

Dog bites are very common in everyone, but specifically in children. Children are most affected by dog bites because they may not know how to act around pets. It is important that children know how to act around dogs they are unfamiliar with. 

Here is a Helpful List of Things Children Should Know About Dogs:

  • Do not approach dogs from behind
  • Do not touch or go near a dog’s food bowl
  • Do not pull a dog by any body part
  • Do not put your face by a dog’s mouth

We understand that youngsters enjoy playing with dogs and giving them kisses, but even well-behaved dogs can become aggressive at times. To avoid being surprised and reacting badly, you should constantly be visible to a dog. If you come into contact with an unexpected mean dog, stay cool, don’t yell, and attempt to stay still or back away as slowly as possible.

Animal experts warn that even our beloved dogs can sometimes be vicious and territorial. 

What should I do if I am bit by a dog?

two black and white dogs

If you are bitten by a dog, seek medical help right away. Also, if at all possible, exchange contact information with the dog’s owner. It’s critical that you recall as many facts about the occurrence as possible, such as the dog’s breed and color. If you believe the dog poses a threat to your neighborhood, please contact San Diego Animal Services.

Who is liable if I am bit by a dog?

In San Diego, dog owners are liable when their dog bites someone on a persons’ private property, or while in public. Unlike other personal injury cases, the plaintiff does not have to prove the defendant was negligent before they recover compensation, under California law. However, the statute only applies when the victim was lawfully in a private setting or a public place. Also, this only applies to bites and to the owner of the dog. And of course, it does not apply to police or military dogs. 

“One Bite Rule”

The plaintiff can bring a lawsuit under common law doctrine known as “one bite rule”. Under this rule, the keeper of an animal that attacked someone is liable for damages the dog causes when the owner is aware of the animal’s vicious or dangerous acts and does not exercise reasonable care in containing the dog. 

The plaintiff must be able to prove the defendant had knowledge of the dog’s dangerous propensities in order to prove negligence. This process can be more difficult than statutory strict liability. If the dog caused a non-bite injury, the common law doctrine is absolutely necessary.  

San Diego Personal Injury Lawyer | Mova Law Group

3262 Rosecrans St, San Diego, CA 92110

(858) 333-4999


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Our firm represents the following accident types: Car Accidents, Motorcycle Accidents, Pedestrian Accidents, Slip and Fall Accidents, Dog Bite Accidents and more.

If you suffered a back injury, and feel that you have a case, call our San Diego Personal Injury Attorneys. We can help you figure out your course of action and advise you on the best way to go about your case.

How long do I have to file a lawsuit?

Under California law, and like most other personal injury lawsuits, dog bites that resulted in injury must be within two years of the incident. If you do not file your lawsuit within the two years, you will lose the right to file a lawsuit and collect any damages. 

If you have further questions about filing a dog bite lawsuit and collecting damages, please contact us at…

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