Dog bite lawyers at Sette Law pay close attention to legal cases involving death or injuries. Unfortunately, it’s the most spectacular and deadly incidents that grab headlines. But our Sacramento dog bite attorneys are keenly aware of many more serious attacks by out-of-control dogs.
In 2001, the tragic attack of two dogs at a San Francisco apartment left a woman dead. According to our Sacramento personal injury lawyers, the owners of the aggressive Presa Canario dogs were actually licensed attorneys. After being charged and convicted of manslaughter and second-degree murder, they appealed the convictions for more than 10 years, continuing to draw national attention to dog bite law. Lawyers reference this high profile case as an illustration of complex state and local regulations regarding dog bites.
Complicated Statutes surround Dog Bite Cases
Sacramento dog bite attorneys explain the San Francisco case has many elements that apply to other incidents which were not as high profile. For example, the dogs had a history of aggression and had been in an abusive environment. These two elements, our Sacramento injury attorneys say, are common in dog bite cases across many jurisdictions. But, laws are not consistent from state to state and other “common law” may prevail. Our Sacramento dog bite lawyers must be aware of which statutes apply in individual cases in Sacramento.
Dog bite attorneys add that dog owners also have protection against liability. For example, if someone trespasses onto private property and is attacked by a dog, the trespasser may share in responsibility or assume all liability for injuries. Sacramento personal injury attorneys say a court can rule that a trespasser assumed a risk and actively contributed to the attack. In Sacramento, dog bite lawyers add that this principle can also apply to someone making a delivery to property where a threatening dog is known to live. In the experience of Sette’s dog bite lawyers, cases like these may result in a jury splitting responsibility for an attack between the injured party and the dog owner.
Owners may have Responsibility for Dog Bites in Sacramento
However, it’s important to realize that California code states that liability for damages caused by a dog bite in a public setting rests with the animal’s owner. The same is true for dog bites on Sacramento private property when the injured person is legally on the property. The dog owner is responsible for the actions of his or her dog.
Sacramento dog bite attorneys must be aware of all circumstances surrounding a dog bite claim or charge in a Sacramento court. Dog bites, like many personal injury issues, require clear proof of liability based on a broad range of evidence.
Broward County, Florida officials are giving dangerous dogs a “second chance” to stay off of “doggie death row,” the term applied to Florida’s dogs who are awaiting euthanasia after violating that county’s one-bite rule. County officials have now changed the standard, euthanizing dogs after a second attack.
Dog bites are serious injuries – over 1000 dog bite victims are sent to emergency rooms around the country each year. The impact of a dog bite can be lifelong, with victims not only facing injuries, but potential physical and emotional scars as a result of the animal attack. If you have been injured in an animal attack or bitten by a dog, a knowledgeable California dog bite lawyer can help.
California dog bite laws are strict. Under California Civil Code Sec. 3342, the owner of any dog who bites another person is responsible for the injuries – even if the dog hasn’t been vicious before and even if the owner has no knowledge of the dog’s potential to be vicious. This means that if you are bitten, the dog owner may be responsible for your damages including medical costs, damage to property or personal damages, and emotional distress damages. You may even be able to recover punitive damages if the dog owner behaved in a reckless or malicious manner.
Unlike Broward County, California – including Stockton and San Joaquin County – does not have a “one bite law” or other hard and fast rule regarding euthanizing dangerous dogs. Rather, a court will evaluate the dog’s conduct and determine whether to quarantine or euthanize the animal based on the severity of the attack and the dog’s prior history.
For more information, or if you have been harmed in a California dog bite attack, contact The Law Office of Frederick J. Sette, an experienced California personal injury lawyer.