Bitten By a Dog? What to Do Now | Ellis Injury Law

Bitten By a Dog? What to Do Now

Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer

April 16, 2014

Ellis Law Corporation


Many people love dogs. Man’s best friend has a spot in millions of homes across America. While the majority of dogs are friendly, some are not.

In fact, many people in Los Angeles are injured by dog bites each year that can make a lasting impact. Most dog bites are not serious, but very violent acts do occur that can leave the victims with both physical and emotional scars.

Dog attacks in Los Angeles

Dog owners have a responsibility for the behavior of their pet. Even typically calm, tame animals can snap without warning. It’s important for people to keep their dog on a leash outside, to ensure it doesn’t get out of control.

For example, at least four people were recently taken to a Los Angeles hospital after a pack of five German Shepherds began attacking parents and children outside of Manhattan Place Elementary school. A few hours later, at least three more people were rushed to the hospital after the wild animals stuck again.

Another incident occurred earlier in the month in El Monte, causing police officers to fatally shoot a pit bull. The dog got loose from a yard, bit two people, attacked another dog, and then lunged at them. The owners of the pit bull were not home when the dog escaped. The officers said they tried unsuccessfully to calm the animal with bean bag pellets and a come-along stick prior to shooting it.

Know your legal rights

Dog owners are liable if their pet causes injury in more than half the states ─ even if they didn’t have any reason to believe the animal was dangerous. While often referred to as dog-bite statutes, many of these state laws are applicable to a number of injuries caused by dogs, not just bites. The “One Bite Rule” is not in effect in California, thus owners are liable for damages associated with any harm caused by their dog.

These “strict liability” statues impose liability without fault, meaning the victim does not have to prove the dog owner is at fault. However, in some states the “one-bite rule” applies, meaning the owner is liable for injuries only if they knew or had reason to know the dog was capable of injuries of that nature. If the dog tries to bite someone once, the owner is liable for later bites from that point on.

These laws were established to create a sense of accountability for dog owners, as they should be held responsible for the actions of their pet.

Los Angeles dog bite attorneys

Most dogs are cute, playful animals but occasionally they do attack. Dog bites can be very serious injuries. It’s essential that owners are held responsible for the actions of their pets. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries as a result of a dog attack, it’s important to know your rights. The Los Angeles dog bite attorneys at Ellis Law are here to provide an honest and free assessment of your case.

Our team of personal injury attorneys has more than two decades of experience managing dog bite cases. Call 310-641-3335 to schedule a private consultation with an LA dog bite personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options today.