In 2021, Insurance Information Institute and State Farm reported that dog bite-related claims increased by 2.2% from the year prior, totaling 17,989 cases in the US nationwide. California is the state with the highest number of claims (2,026). The value of claims is $120.7 million, with an average cost per claim of $59,561.
The strict liability law implemented in California holds dog owners accountable if their dog gets involved in biting incidents. The statute does not even excuse responsible owners. Regardless if the owner is completely unaware his dog has aggressive nature or does not bite someone before, he remains liable for the case.
However, it is necessary to understand if liability actually applies to a victim’s case before hiring a Costa Mesa dog lawyer. Holding a dog owner is applicable if:
The Dog Did Not Bite the Person
The dog must have bitten the victim for this statute to take effect. If the dog causes injuries in other ways, such as knocking the person down, the owner is not liable for compensation.
The Victim Enters the Property without Notice
If the individual trespasses during the attack, the owner has no responsibility to pay the victim. The strict liability statute only protects persons allowed on public property or legally permitted to enter private property.
The Individual Provoked the Dog
If the victim used provocation to anger the dog, the individual has no right to come after the dog owner for compensation.
Military or Police Dogs Carrying Tasks are Exempted
The strict liability exempts military or police dogs from this statute. However, this only works if the bite or injury incident occurs when the dogs are performing specific duties.
The Claim is Beyond the Law’s Prescribed Period
Claimants only have two years from the date of the injury to pursue compensation from the dog owner. Filing a lawsuit after the prescribed timetable will render it inapplicable.
Like in dog attacks, individuals involved in car collisions should also consult an auto accident attorney Costa Mesa to learn the next important steps.