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Man Attacked by Dogs in Los Angeles County Bitten Multiple Times

A vicious dog attack in LA County may result in a 37 year-old victim taking legal action with the aid of Los Angeles dog bite attorneys.

An uneventful morning turned chaotic on January 29, 2014, when loose dogs converged on an unsuspecting bicyclist waiting for the bus. Although he used his bike to fend off the animals before he took refuge on top of a car, he sustained painful lacerations from several bites.

While the man screamed for help, a neighbor called the police. When the police arrived, the dogs turned on the officers. The police had to shoot all three dogs, killing one. The animals did not have collars or any other form of identification, and the police are still trying to track down the owners.

Although the man who suffered the attack is physically okay, he was so shaken up that he described one of the dogs as the “size of an SUV” and he described the scene was “like a scary movie” to reporters.

California dog bite laws

California Civil Code § 3342 holds the dog owner strictly liable whether the animal has a history of biting or not. The dog’s past behavior is irrelevant. Some states have a “one free bite” law; California passed legislation eliminating this statute.

A dog bite attorney only needs to show the following:

  • the animal is owned by the defendant
  • the victim was bitten on public property or while lawfully on private property
  • the claimant actually received a bite
  • the person attacked was injured by the animal

Owners cannot be held liable if the person bitten was trespassing, the dog bites a veterinarian while treating the animal, the person bitten was harassing or provoking the dog, or a dog bites someone while assisting police or military personnel.

In California, the statute of limitations is two years after the incident occurred.

Compensation available for victims of dog bites

Each year about 4.7 million people suffer dog bites and approximately 800,000 require medical care. Although most injuries are not serious, many result in lost wages, medical bills, emotional trauma and suffering. In California, a person bitten by a dog may be eligible to file a lawsuit to pay for costs related to the injuries.

Some victims of a dog attack, especially children, may suffer from emotional trauma. In these cases, the dog owner may be held liable for pain and suffering.

Most homeowners and renters insurance policies cover dog bite liability. The standard policy typically provides $100,000 to $300,000 in coverage. Some policies also have no-fault medical coverage, which can be used to submit medical bills directly to the insurance company.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average cost per dog bite claim in 2011 was over $29,000.

When to consider filing a Los Angeles dog bite injury lawsuit

If you have suffered a dog bite, on public property or lawfully on private property, you may be eligible for all related expenses including medical, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Call 1-800-INJURED to schedule a free case review with Los Angeles dog bite attorneys at Ellis Law to discuss your eligibility for filing a claim.