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Dog Bite Lawyer for Children in LA

dog bite lawyer for children
dog bite lawyer for children

Being bitten by a dog can be a traumatic experience for anyone, but it can be especially devastating when the victim is a child. As caring parents, we all want to protect our kids from harm. But sometimes accidents happen, and even playful or seemingly docile dogs can suddenly bite.

If your child suffers a dog bite injury in the Los Angeles area, you likely have a legal right to pursue compensation for their medical treatment, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Understanding Your Child’s Right to Compensation After a Dog Bite

California has strict liability statutes regarding dog bite injuries. If a dog bites someone in our state, the animal’s owner is directly responsible for the victim’s damages, regardless of fault or whether the dog has ever shown aggressive tendencies. The law recognizes that children, in particular, must be shielded from hazardous animals.

So, for example, if a neighbor’s dog bites your son or daughter, you have grounds to recover compensation even if the child proved the attack and the dog was always considered docile. California places liability for injury squarely on the pet owner’s shoulders. They must always control their animal’s actions and bear responsibility should it bite someone.

California Imposes Strict Liability for Dog Bite Claims

California has imposed strict liability for dog bites since 1931 through California Civil Code section 3342 (Cal. Civ. Code § 3342). Under this statute, a dog bite victim can recover damages from the animal’s owner regardless of the owner’s negligence or the dog’s former viciousness.

The law states that “[t]he owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness..”

So if a dog bites someone in a public park or even within the dog owner’s home where the victim was legally invited or performing civil duties ( i.e., delivering mail), the owner faces automatic liability under Cal. Civ. Code § 3342 to defend the dog attack by claiming they had no prior knowledge of the dog’s aggressive tendencies.

High Court Upholds California Dog Bite Laws

The California Supreme Court upheld Cal. Civ. Code § 3342 in 1962 when ruling in GREENE V. WATTS, “the owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.” And, “A child is, as a matter of law, incapable of contributory negligence,” regarding Civil Code § 3342. Greene v. Watts, 210 Cal. App. 2d 103 (1962).

Cal. Civ. Code § 3342 also provides minimal, strict liability defenses revolving mainly around trespassers and proof that the bite victim somehow provoked the dog through abuse or assault. Outside of those narrow excuses explicitly written into the statute, dog owners must fully compensate bite victims for medical expenses, lost income, emotional trauma, and any other resulting harm.

Los Angeles Dog Bite Attorneys Prove Losses and Recover Maximum Damages

Because the law imposes automatic liability on dog owners when bites occur, parents mainly need to prove the full extent of damages after an attack injures their child. Parents, accordingly, must meticulously document all physical, emotional, and financial losses to strengthen the victims’ compensation claims.

Cal. Civ. Code § 3342 entitles dog bite victims to economic and non-economic damages in strict liability cases. As defined in California Civil Code section 1431, economic damages cover “quantifiable out-of-pocket losses,” such as medical bills, lost wages, and future employment issues stemming from trauma, disfigurement, or restricted mobility.
Non-economic remedies under the same code include general damages like “pain, suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, disfigurement, loss of companionship, loss of consortium, injury to reputation or humiliation.”

By recording your child’s encounter before, during, and after a dog attack, you give the court irrefutable evidence to support the economic and non-economic damages pleaded under Cal. Civ. Code § 3342. An experienced Los Angeles dog bite attorney can help you calculate your child’s total current and future lifetime injuries and losses.

Documenting Your Child’s Dog Bite Case to Support a Strong Claim

If you intend to hold the dog owner liable for your child’s harm after a dog bite, you’ll need to document all wounds and treatment.

Take clear, well-lit, color photographs from multiple angles, capturing the full extent of the child’s injuries immediately, before and after medical care. Maintain complete records of all hospital, physician, therapy, and pharmaceutical bills relating to the bite.

Details matter, so keep notes on pain levels, emotional trauma, lost time from school and normal childhood activities, scarring or disfigurement, and any other effects stemming from the attack.

Thoroughly documenting your child’s experience builds a more compelling case when negotiating with insurers or dog-bite defense attorneys when settlement negotiations break down. Complete records will strengthen your position when the case proceeds to litigation.

The dog owner’s defense team will likely try to lowball or dismiss legitimate losses. So, an airtight set of medical, financial, and emotional records protects your ability to recover fair compensation.

How Much is Your Child’s Los Angeles Dog Bite Injury Worth?

Every child dog bite personal injury case is unique, but our experienced dog bite attorneys can provide tailored insight into reasonable compensation ranges based on your child’s specific circumstances. We have helped many Los Angeles child dog bite victims maximize settlements and court awards after a canine attack, including

  • Full reimbursement for all medical costs, both immediate and future, when additional treatment is needed.
  • Future expenses for procedures or care like plastic surgery and physical therapy.
  • Monetary general damages if disfigurement negatively impacts your child’s future earning capacity.
  • Pain and emotional suffering damages, which increase if bite wounds require reconstructive surgery or leave permanent scars.
  • Home or vehicle modification funds if permanent injury impairs your child’s mobility.

Verdicts and settlements may hit six or even seven figures for child dog bite cases because owners hold high legal duties to secure their dangerous animals properly. The strict liability aspects of Cal. Civ. Code § 3342 reinforces those duties.

An Experienced Dog Bite Lawyer Brings Insider Knowledge to the Table

California dog bite statutes clearly define a pet owner’s responsibilities. However, legal actions carry civil procedure, discovery, and pretrial settlement negotiation complexities where a lawyer’s skills prove invaluable.

Determining At-Fault Parties

Multiple parties, like landlords or renters, can share strict liability depending on the bite circumstances. We know how to identify all potentially responsible defendants.

Maximizing General Damages

In addition to medical costs, our dog bite lawyers fight to cover more subjective, non-economic suffering and future injuries.

Navigating Insurance Company Tactics

We retort standard insurance adjusters’ stalling and denial strategies to minimize payouts for genuine losses.

Building an Airtight Case

When you cannot secure a fair settlement, we assert valid Cal. Civ. Code § 3342 arguments on your behalf and secure evidence and expert testimony that comply with California’s strict liability standards.

Avoiding Slow Justice System Pitfalls

Even clear dog bite liability cases tend to drag through the system. We move personal injury swiftly through the litigation process.

Bottom Line—you need a Los Angeles dog bite attorney with experience in animal attack laws, negotiating tactics, and civil court processes. Our decades of focused experience in these realms offer clients unmatched insight and efficiency.

Choosing the Right Los Angeles County Dog Bite Lawyer to Fight for Your Child

Only work with a dog bite lawyer practice intimately familiar with California’s strict liability rules and dog bite insurance claiming processing.

Try to find child dog bite attorneys with:

  • Active State Bar Licenses: Any retained counsel should be in good standing with the California Bar—our practice maintains proper Bar credentials.
  • Past Case Successes: Ask for specific examples of previous dog bite lawsuit results or settled insurance claims—we have a long record of six and seven-figure recoveries.
  • Rapid Response: Biting incidents require quick action to protect evidence and legal interests—our team launches child dog bite investigations within hours of incident notices.
  • Tiered Fee Structures: The most influential firms work on contingency, collecting fees only when they secure compensation for your child—LA Dog Bite Law offers its clients tiered contingency agreements, meaning no upfront payments are required.

Recovering fair compensation for your child’s traumatic dog bite experience involves specialized legal skills along with full strict liability knowledge. Our acclaimed Los Angeles dog bite practice offers unparalleled capabilities that benefit local families in these unfortunate situations.

A Free Consultation Starts the Claims and Compensation Process

Our commitment to a child’s safety is what drives our firm daily. Protect your family against negligent animal owners. If a dog has harmed your child, contact our counsel today to protect your child’s legal rights.

LA Dog Bite Law provides free consultations, so schedule a meeting with us to discuss your child’s dog bite attack in complete confidence.

How to Report a Dog Bite Near You

Our reach extends throughout California, from the sunny streets of San Diego to the bustling cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco, and beyond. We’re here to help victims across the state report dog bites, find the legal support they need, and ensure that justice is served. By reporting dog bites and seeking assistance, we’re all doing our part in making our communities safer while helping victims get back on their feet.

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