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Costa Mesa Dog Bite Lawyer

vicious dog trying to biteDog bites are a strict liability cause of action in California. This means that a dog owner is liable for their dog biting someone and causing injuries, even if their dog has never bitten someone in the past. There is no “one bite rule,” like other states, where the owner can only be held liable if it has bitten someone in the past.

It is important that when seeking out a dog bite attorney in Costa Mesa, that those victims choose one that is both experienced and well versed in this area of law. The dog bite & animal attack lawyers at Hicks Law Firm have recovered millions of dollars from our offices in Costa Mesa.

If you or a family member were seriously injured through the negligence of a dog owner, contact us today at (949) 541-9944 to schedule a risk-free, no obligation consultation.

A Dog Attack Can be Sudden and Vicious

You were enjoying a peaceful day until time slowed down and an aggressive dog ran toward you and bit you. Now, you are startled, in pain, and possibly even disfigured. While we know that animals have a mind of their own, you can still seek justice in the situation and be made whole for your injuries and associated expenses.

If you’ve been bit by a dog in California, here are some quick facts you should know:

  • California law applies “strict liability” on dog owners for dog bites.
  • The dog owner did not need to know the dog was vicious. They are liable for the first bite.
  • Recovering compensation in these cases typically requires filing a lawsuit against the dog owner.
  • Our team of lawyers are skilled and experienced in dog bite cases and can help you file your claim and receive compensation as soon as possible.

When is a dog owner liable for its dog biting someone?

In California, a dog owner is strictly liable for its dog biting another person. There are other states where dog owners are only liable if the dog was known to be vicious; however, this is not the case in California. California dog owners are liable to a victim for their injuries if the dog bites an individual in public or on private property where the victim had a legal right to be.

This broad law therefore covers anyone besides trespassers on a property for injuries they sustain from a dog bite.

How is a “dog bite” defined under California law?

Under California law, a dog bite does not need to break the skin or cause bleeding in order for it to be considered a compensable bite or one that you can recover damages from the dog owner for.

The dog need only grab a person with its teeth to be considered a bite. Furthermore, the dog owner could be responsible for damage caused by their dog beyond the bite. For example, if a dog jumps on a person, bites them, and the person falls down and hits their head on concrete, the dog owner may be liable to the victim for their head injuries as well.

How much is a California dog bite claim worth?

The potential value of your personal injury claim from a dog bite depends on the extent of your injuries and damages caused by the dog attack. These damages may include:

  • Medical bills
  • Temporary or permanent disability
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Rehabilitation
  • Loss of wages/sick leave

When you work with a Costa Mesa dog bite attorneys at Hicks Law Firm, we will help you to gather all relevant information and evidence and provide you with an estimate of how much your claim is worth. Typically, the first step in these cases is to send a demand letter to the dog owner detailing these damages and demanding compensation before filing a formal lawsuit. However, the particular circumstances involved in your case might warrant a different approach.

Can a dog owner be criminally liable for a dog bite?

While most dog bite cases are civil and involve the victim either receiving compensation from a dog owner voluntarily or as a result of a court judgment, it is possible for a dog owner to face criminal liability for their pet’s attacks on others.

A dog owner may be found criminally liable if they knew their dog had a propensity to be vicious, they did nothing to control their dog, and their dog killed or injured someone.

Contact an Experienced Dog Bite Lawyer in Costa Mesa

If you or a loved one have been injured by a dog bite in California, the dog’s owner is subject to strict liability for your injuries. Sometimes these situations can be difficult to navigate as it is common for the dog owner to be a neighbor of the victim.

However, it is not your responsibility to bear the pain and expense of being bitten by someone else’s dog. You are rightfully entitled to compensation for your injuries and related expenses.

Our team of lawyers at Hicks Law Firm have handled hundreds of personal injury cases including dog bites. When you choose to work with us, you will receive dedicated attention to your case and an advocate who is as motivated to collect as much compensation for your damages as you are. We are paid on a contingency fee basis, so you do not owe any legal fees unless we win your case. Call 949-541-9944 or fill out our online contact form so we may discuss your case.

Our Costa Mesa Office Location

Hicks Law Firm is conveniently located at 245 Fischer Ave Ste D1, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. We are near the 55 & 405 freeways and approximately a block away from the Lyon Air Museum just west of John Wayne Airport.