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Dog Bites FAQs

San Francisco Dog Bite Lawyers

Dog/Animal Bites – FAQ

Q: If my neighbor’s dog bit me on my property, do I have a legal claim?


A: YES. In California if you are on your own property or legally on property other than your own such as a sidewalk or other public property, or at a mall or any place you have a right to be, or if you are legally on the property of the owner of the dog, and that dog bites you, there is strict liability for the owner of the dog. This means that you do not have to prove negligence if you were where you were supposed to be at the time you were bitten. There is no “one bite” rule in California. Even if this is the first bite for a dog, the owner is strictly liable. The owner of the dog still would be entitled to certain defenses stemming from your own wrongful conduct. For instance, if you were taunting or teasing the dog, your claim may be reduced for your own comparative negligence. This does not take away from the liability of the dog owner, though. They are strictly liable if the dog they own bites you. To learn more, if you or someone you love is bitten by a dog, Contact the experienced San Francisco dog bite lawyers at Choulos, Choulos, and Wyle today.

Q: Do I have a claim if I went to a house to perform work, and was bitten by the property-owner’s dog?

A: YES. If you are asked into a house (or onto property) to perform work for someone, and you are in the part of the property where you have a right to be, and if the property owner or renter has a dog that bites you, the owner of the dog is strictly liable. If the person has a pet, the person might be responsible for keeping the pet away from you, or at least warning you of the presence of the animal so you can stay away from the animal. Basic Rule: If you have a right to be there and someone’s dog bites you, you have a valid legal claim. Note that you may also have a workers’ compensation claim against your employer or a medical payments claim against the dog owner’s homeowners policy as well. Because every case is unique, however, you should contact our San Francisco dog bite lawyers today so we can help by explaining your options.

Q: A police dog bit me. Do I have a claim?

A: If the use of a police dog was unreasonable force, you may have a claim, however it depends on the circumstances. Police cannot use unreasonable force when making an arrest or performing their duty. The improper use of a police dog can constitute unreasonable force. If this was the case in your situation, which is something you should have us help you determine, the police may be required to compensate you for your injuries.

Q: My city has a “leash law.” If a dog owner violates this law, is she liable for injuries caused by her dog?

A: Generally, yes. If an owner violates a leash law, and her dog attacks someone on public property, the injured person is entitled to compensation from the dog owner. If you are in a dog park however and trip over someone’s dog, the case may not be so clear. If the dog bites you, the owner is liable. Contact the California animal attack and dog bite claim attorney at Choulos, Choulos, & Wyle today to determine if you have a case.

Q: What types of injuries are the most common with dog bites?

A: Animal attacks and dog bites can produce traumatic, life threatening injuries. Long after the wounds have healed, there may be physical or emotional scarring. Our experienced San Francisco dog bite attorney recognize when the survivor of a dog attack needs psychological counseling for the potentially lifelong fear this attack has created. We also can connect the survivor of a dog attack with plastic surgeons who may be able to surgically revise scars and improve the appearance or even function of the area where you were wounded. If you or a loved one has been injured in one of these dog attacks, please contact Choulos Choulos & Wyle today for further information.

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