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Dog Bite Claims in Los Angeles: Essential Information for Victims

Dog bites hurt, and in some cases, they can cause serious injury. If you’ve been bitten by a dog in LA, you likely have a whole slew of questions running through your head. Can I sue? What are my rights? How much compensation can I get?  This article will walk you through the essential legal info you need to know if you want to file a dog bite claim in Los Angeles.

We’ll cover the laws, your options, and what to expect if you decide to take legal action with the help of a Los Angeles personal injury attorney, so you can make an informed decision about how to proceed after this traumatic incident.

The Prevalence of Dog Bites in Los Angeles

Los Angeles has a lot of dogs—an estimated 5.3 million of them. With so many dogs around, it’s no surprise that dog bites are common. LA sees more reported dog bites than any other U.S. city.

Children are frequent victims, with bites most common in kids between ages 5 and 9. Adults over 65 are also at high risk, as some dogs may view them as vulnerable. Male victims outnumber females in all age groups.

Certain breeds have been identified as more aggressive. Pit bulls, for example, were involved in over 35% of severe and fatal attacks between 2005 and 2017. However, a dog’s size and strength, rather than its breed alone, are better indicators of potential danger.

Over half of all dog bites occur on the dog owner’s property. This highlights the need for responsible ownership and properly containing dogs within fenced yards or on leashes. Stray dogs roaming off-leash also pose a threat, with 14% of bites occurring in public areas like parks, sidewalks or recreation centers.

California Dog Bite Laws – What You Need to Know

In California, dog owners are held strictly liable for any injuries caused by their pets. This means that the owner is responsible for whether or not they knew the dog might bite. The only exceptions are if the victim provoked the dog or trespassed on the owner’s property. As the victim, the law is on your side.

Report any dog bite to the authorities immediately. Contact animal control and the police to file an official report. Get the owner’s name, contact information, and insurance information. Photograph the injury and any damage to your property.

If the owner refuses to take responsibility or does not have proper insurance, you’ll need to file a lawsuit to recover damages. In California, you have two years from the date of the incident to file.

learn how to file a claim against the owner of an aggressive dog

Proving Liability in a Dog Bite Claim

To have a legitimate dog bite claim in Los Angeles, you’ll need to prove that the dog owner is liable for your injuries. There are a few ways to establish liability:


The most common way is by proving negligence on the part of the owner. This shows that the owner failed to exercise reasonable care in handling or controlling the dog. For example, if the owner let the dog run loose or didn’t properly restrain an aggressive dog, that may constitute negligence.

Strict Liability

In some cases, dog owners can be held strictly liable for bites, regardless of negligence. This applies if the owner knew the dog tended to attack or bite people. So, if the dog has bitten someone before, the owner is automatically liable.

Contact an Experienced Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer

A dog bite injury can be an extremely traumatic experience. If you’ve been bitten by a dog in Los Angeles, you need the guidance of an Los Angeles personal injury attorney experienced with these cases. Our lawyers have handled hundreds of dog bite claims for victims like you at our firm.

We understand the emotional and physical pain involved and will advocate aggressively to get you the maximum compensation. Call us today at 818-960-6155 for a free case evaluation. We will review the details of your dog bite injury in Los Angeles and advise you on the best steps to take next.

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