Your furry pet quickly becomes part of the family and you could never imagine them harming someone. However, strangers and police officers do not share the same view. They can see your lovable pet as a ferocious monster. That is why it is imperative to follow all dog laws to avoid any legal repercussions or in an extreme case the loss of your pet. In the case of a dog bite incident, victims will need to contact a Los Angeles dog bite attorney to discuss options. Every dog attack case has common aspects that an attorney needs to consider including how aggressive the dog is if the dog bit the victim and what happened after the attack.
Dog Attack Laws
Los Angeles has specific leash laws requiring owners to keep the pet on his or her property and if they are to be taken off the property the dog or other pet must be on a leash. The leash can’t be over six feet in length and needs to be used at all times. The only exception would be at a designated off-leash access dog park. Los Angeles has strict liability for dog bites meaning the pet owner is liable for any damages inflicted by their dog whether the person was legally on private property or the dog was in a public place. Pet owners can use the negligence cause of action in their defense. There are four main elements to it including the owner owing a duty of care, breaching the duty of care, the breach resulting in a dog attack, and causing significant injury because of the attack. The last law that dog owners should consider is premises liability laws. These laws require property owners to warn individuals entering the property of any dangers and offer protection against these dangers.
Statutes and Damages
As with every personal injury case, there are statutes of limitations that need to be considered when seeking compensation for your injuries. California has a two-year statute of limitations for animal attack cases. Victims have two years from the incident to file a lawsuit or lose the opportunity to receive compensation and legal ramifications. Minor victims, those under the age of 18, have up to two years after their 18th birthday to file a lawsuit against the pet owner. The parents of the minor can consult with a dog bite attorney in Los Angeles to weigh their options and choose the appropriate course of action. Dog bite victims have the ability to seek damages for health and medical treatments both past and future. They may also be compensated for mental trauma, emotional distress along with pain and suffering. If you had to miss work due to the incident or become disabled you will also be compensated for your loss of earnings and loss of future earning capacity. In some rare cases where the person’s intention or reckless behavior caused harm to the victim, punitive damages will be awarded.