When Can You File A Lawsuit for a Dog Bite?
You can sue a dog owner or anyone who has custody over the animal for a dog bite lawsuit under these conditions:
- If the defendant is the owner of the dog
- If you were bitten while on public property or while you were lawfully on private property(ex: mail person, meter reader, police officer, census taker etc who are either invited or who visit to perform a duty)
- If you suffered an injury
- If the defendant’s dog was responsible for your injury
What Is Considered An Injury Legally?
An injury can be any kind of harm caused by the dog such as a broken limb caused by the dog knocking you over.
If the injury is a dog bite, it is not required to show that the skin was broken in order to collect compensation.
Situations Where You Cannot Sue For a Dog Bite?
Below are few situations where you cannot sue for a dog bite:
- If the dog was protecting its owner or anybody else in self-defense
- If the dog was a military or police dog that was on duty
- If the dog was provoked by abusing or teasing it
- If you were injured by your employer’s dog while on the job and the employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance
- The dog chased you and caused you to fall down and suffer an injury
Few other exceptions include:
Employees like Kennel workers, veterinarians and veterinarian assistants cannot sue either their employer or whoever they have a contractual arrangement with, in caring for the dog as the risk of injury is assumed to be a part of their occupation.
How to file a lawsuit for Injuries without a Bite?
In situations where a dog has injured you but not bitten you, such as knocking you down and breaking your arm, you would have to prove that the owner was negligent in allowing this to happen and that this incident was foreseeable. Prior knowledge of the dog’s propensities needs to be demonstrated and proving that the owner failed to implement reasonable care in preventing the attack, can help you win the claim.
The Statute Of Limitations On A Dog Bite Lawsuit Include:
- You have two years from the date of the incident to settle the matter or file a lawsuit, else lose your right to claim the damages
- If you are a minor, then the statute of limitations for filing the action is stayed until you attain the age of 18
Homeowners Insurance Coverage for Dog Bite Claims
If a dog bites or attacks someone on the owner’s property, the defendant homeowner’s insurance will cover any injury claim. Approximately 885,000 dog bites are reported each year in the U. S., which accounts for nearly one-third of all claims presented under homeowner’s insurance coverage. It is the most common claim brought under such insurance policies.
Dog Breeds That Homeowners Insurance Does Not Cover?
There are many aggressive dog breeds that most of the homeowner’s insurance carriers will not cover because of their history of inherent aggressive behavior, these include:
- Pit bulls
- Alaskan Malamutes
- German Shepherds
- Siberian Huskies
- Wolf breeds
- Presa Canarios
- Cane Corsos
- Wolf breeds
There are many other such exceptions which limit the coverage. There are umbrella or liability rider policies that can be purchased which offer a broader range in terms of coverage.
Statute of Limitations on Dog Bite Cases in California:
Dog Bite cases are considered as Personal Injury Claims, hence the Statute of Limitations on Dog Bite Claims is same as that of Personal Injury Claims. California’s Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury cases is 2 years.
The person injured in a dog bite case has two years to file the case in order to preserve their rights. They need to contact an attorney within days and make sure they have proper medical treatments and keep all the records.
If the case is filed after the two-year deadline, the court will certainly not hear it.
Our attorneys are very well equipped with all the knowledge required to help you to get the Compensation you Deserve.