In the state of California, dog owners are strictly liable for injuries and deaths of children caused by their dogs.
Some dog owners and their insurance companies try to claim that the way the child approached the dog reduces the child's damages because the child caused or contributed to the dog bite. They claim that the victim was contributorily negligent. Some dog owners and their insurance companies will also try to claim that the child was "trespassing" at the time of the attack, and thus, they are not responsible for the injuries caused by the attack.
Attorneys Protecting Rights of Children Injured in Dog Attacks
In dog attacks against children under the age of five, the courts have declared children cannot be held to be negligent for failing to exercise reasonable care in approaching a dog ( People v. Berry, 1 CA 4th 778). Since children younger than five are incapable of knowing and acting with reasonable care, contributory negligence does not apply.
Additionally, under California state law, knowledge of a dog's prior dangerous disposition or nature may result in punitive damages for its owner as well. Consequently, an owner of a violent dog with a history of prior attacks or bites may be held liable for punitive damages in an amount designed to punish the owner. These damages are in addition to past and future medical expenses, including plastic or reconstructive surgery, emotional distress resulting from the horror of the attack and it's consequences, and pain and suffering occasioned by the bite.
At the law office of David P. Beeson & Associates, we recover damages for children attacked by dogs and their parents. We have the investigative and medical resources needed to establish damages and demand fair compensation for our clients' pain and suffering. To schedule a free consultation and discuss your case, contact San Diego dog bite attorneys at David P. Beeson & Associates today.
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The Physical Consequences of a Dog Bite
The law office of David P. Beeson & Associates represents children suffering from dog bite, mauling or attack injuries, such as:
- Facial scarring
- Loss of vision
- Loss of fingers, ears or other body parts
- Torn ligaments
- Muscle damage
- Severe lacerations
- Broken bones
- Wrongful death
The Emotional Impact of a Dog Bite
Children are often drawn to dogs due to their portrayal in children's films and cartoons as lovable, friendly animals. As a result, when they are attacked by a dog, the emotional consequences can be significant. Trauma suffered at an early age can lead to nightmares, phobias, trust issues and other psychological reactions that sometimes affect a person into adulthood. Additionally, the physical scarring from a dog attack can be significant and cause the child embarrassment and distress. This is particularly true in facial bite cases. That's why our lawyers consult psychologists when necessary to assess the pain and suffering endured by a child after a dog bite.
Recovering Fair Compensation After a Dog Bite
In order to ensure that our clients receive fair compensation for their child's injuries, our office works closely with medical economists who take into account the cost of medical care, reconstructive surgery, psychological therapy, and pain and suffering. If your child was attacked by a dog, contact dog bite attorneys at David P. Beeson & Associates today in order to understand your rights and the legal options available to you.