California dog bite laws give victims legal grounds to recover compensation for injuries and damages caused by dog attacks. However, dog bite laws can be complicated, and cases are not always easy to win. Laws can change, such as the new dog bite disclosure law. Hiring a Sacramento dog bite attorney who understands the law and the legal requirements to prove liability gives victims a better chance of receiving a just and fair settlement after being bitten by a dog.
New Dog Bite Disclosure Law in California
A new dog bite disclosure law became effective as of January 1, 2020. The bill, signed into law on October 2, 2019, by Gov. Newsom, requires certain groups to disclose information regarding the bite history of a dog that is being adopted.
California Assembly Bill 588 requires humane societies, animal shelters, and rescue groups to inform a potential adopter of the known bite history of the dog. Adopters are required to sign a statement verifying that they have been informed of the dog’s bite history. Dogs that are placed for adoption, transferred, or given away are subject to the new law.
The law does not prohibit a dog that has a known bite history from being adopted or given away. It does protect people from adopting a dog with a known bite history by ensuring they are aware of the dog’s history before deciding whether to adopt the dog.
California’s Strict Liability for Dog Attacks and Dog Bites
Dog owners can be held strictly liable for damages if their dog attacks or bites someone. As long as the person did not provoke the dog and was legally on private or public property when the attack occurred, the dog owner is liable for damages. However, the victim must prove that the dog did in fact bite the victim, and the victim sustained damages to recover compensation for damages. The dog owner could also have one or more defenses in some cases.
Five Steps to Take After a California Dog Bite
The steps you take after being bitten by a dog in California can make a difference in how your dog bite claim is resolved. Five steps that can help protect your legal rights after a dog bite are:
1. Seek medical attention for the dog bite. Even a minor dog bite injury can result in infections or other complications that impact your health and wellbeing.
2. Photograph your injury. Taking pictures of the dog bite injury as soon as possible after the attack helps document the injury for a claim.
3. Report the dog bite. Report the dog bite to the dog owner and local animal control agencies.
4. Ask eyewitnesses for contact information. Eyewitness testimony can be extremely valuable when establishing fault for a dog bite claim. Ask witnesses for their names and contact information.
5. Contact a Sacramento Dog Bite Injury Lawyer immediately. An attorney familiar with dog bite laws and dog bite injury claims can help you take the additional steps necessary to hold the dog owner responsible for medical bills, loss of income, emotional distress, scarring, physical pain, and other damages.
Contact Our Sacramento Dog Bite Attorneys for Help
To schedule a free consultation with one of our Sacramento dog attack attorneys to discuss your case, call The Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000.