Dog Bite Attorney in Fresno CA

California Personal Injury Attorney
You are Safe with Drake

Representing Animal Attack Victims Across the Central Valley

If you or a loved one has been injured by a dog bite or animal attack, you may be able to pursue compensation for your damages by bringing a personal injury lawsuit against the pet owner. 

Because you may have options to bring a claim on negligence, an animal’s dangerous tendencies, or strict liability under California’s dog bite statute, it is important that you work with an attorney who can help determine the best path to justice based on the unique facts of your case.

Our Fresno lawyers at Drake Law Firm know dog bite injuries can result in significant medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. We may be able to help you fight for the financial recovery you deserve. 

You’re Safe with Drake

Drake Law Firm is an award-winning personal injury practice devoted to fighting for victims. We know the laws surrounding dog bite and animal owner liability and can help explore your legal options for securing full compensation.

When you choose Drake Law Firm, you can be confident knowing:

  • Our record of success includes over $150 million in recoveries for clients.
  • We have over 100 years of combined experience in personal injury law.
  • Our award-winning attorneys are recognized for client satisfaction.
  • We handle cases on contingency fees – if we don’t win, you don’t pay.

Discuss your dog bite or animal attack lawsuit with an attorney from our Fresno office. We serve clients across the Central Valley and offer FREE case evaluations.

Liability in California Dog Bite Cases

Victims injured by dog bites or animal attacks may have several options to recover compensation for their damages. This includes bringing personal injury claims that prove:

  • An animal / dog owner knew or should have known about their pet’s unusually dangerous nature or tendency to attack; or
  • An animal or dog owner was negligent in failing to prevent an attack, such as by failing to keep their dog on a leash or secure them in their yard.

Though bringing claims based on negligence or an animal’s dangerous propensities may be appropriate options in some cases, victims should also evaluate whether they can bring claims under California’s dog bite statute (Civil Code § 3342), which imposes strict liability on a dog owner. 

When victims bring strict liability claims, they do not have to prove an owner was negligent or knew of their dog’s past aggression or tendency to bite. Instead, victims only need to prove that:

  1. The defendant owned the dog;
  2. The victim was bit by the dog in a public place or while lawfully on private property;
  3. The victim was harmed; and
  4. The defendant’s dog was a substantial cause of harm.

Defenses to Strict Liability Dog Bite Claims

Although California is one of a few states to impose strict liability in dog bite cases, there are some exceptions. Common defenses include:

  • Trespassing: Dog bite victims can recover damages if they were attacked on public property (such as a park or sidewalk) or while lawfully on private party (such as being a guest or invited worker). To avoid liability, defendants may argue a victim was trespassing when they were bit.
  • Assumed risk: Pet owners cannot be held strictly liable if a victim assumed the risk of being bit. This is known as the “veterinarian’s rule,” as vets and others who work with animals know the risks they face. Owners may still be held liable by victims who assume such risks when they were negligent in failing to prevent an attack. 
  • Comparative fault: Pet owners may argue a victim is partially to blame for their injuries, such as by harassing, provoking, or attacking the dog or its owner. Under comparative fault rules, damages awarded to a victim found to be partially responsible for their injury are reduced by their percentage of fault. 
  • Law enforcement K9: The government cannot be held strictly liable for dog bites if the dog was a military or law enforcement K9 being used to investigate a crime or execute a warrant, or when the dog was defending the officer or someone else. If an innocent bystander is injured by a law enforcement k9, however, there may be grounds for strict liability.

Damages You May Be Able to Recover in a Dog Bite Lawsuit

Strict liability makes it easier for dog bite victims to hold pet owners responsible. However, they must still show how injuries impacted their lives to recover full compensation.

At Drake Law Firm, we help clients fight for a full recovery of:

  • Hospital and ER bills
  • Rehabilitation and therapy expenses
  • Reconstructive surgery
  • Lost income and lost future wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Permanent disfigurement or disability
  • Other economic and non-economic losses

The facts of your case and what happened during the dog or animal attack will determine if you can bring a claim for damages against a pet owner. At Drake Law Firm, our Fresno dog bite lawyers are readily available to review your case and discuss how we can help. Contact us for a FREE consultation.

Contact Drake Law Firm for your free initial consultation

Contact Drake Law Firm so I can answer any questions you may have and let you know what I can do to help. If you’re unable to visit our firm, we can come to your home or hospital room.

Get a Free Injury Consultation Today
Call 844-51-DRAKE

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