Los Angeles Dog Bite Lawyers

When man’s best friend becomes a source of harm, it can be a painful and traumatic experience. Dog bites can lead to not only physical injuries but also emotional and psychological scars. If you or a loved one has been a victim of a dog bite in Los Angeles, it’s crucial to understand your rights and seek experienced legal counsel to navigate the complexities of the law. Guardian Injury Law is here to provide you with dedicated representation and guide you through the legal process to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

California Dog Bite Law

California has specific laws that address dog bite incidents. Understanding these laws is essential in determining liability and the potential for compensation. Here are some key aspects of California dog bite law:

Strict Liability

In California, the dog owner is typically held strictly liable for injuries caused by their dog biting someone, regardless of the dog’s prior behavior or the owner’s knowledge of it. This means that even if the dog had never bitten anyone before or showed aggressive tendencies, the owner can still be held responsible for the victim’s injuries.


There are a few exceptions to strict liability in California dog bite cases. These include:

  • If the victim was trespassing on private property where they were bitten.
  • If the victim was provoking the dog.
  • If the victim was a veterinarian, groomer, or someone providing a service to the dog.
  • In such cases, liability may not automatically fall on the dog owner, but it’s crucial to consult with an experienced dog bite attorney to assess the specifics of your case.

Common Injuries Caused by Dog Bites

Dog bites can result in a wide range of injuries, some of which can have long-lasting effects on the victim’s health and well-being. Common injuries associated with dog bites include:

  • Puncture Wounds – Dog bites often cause deep puncture wounds, which can lead to infection and scarring.
  • Tissue and Nerve Damage – Bites can damage underlying tissues, muscles, and nerves, potentially causing chronic pain and impairment.
  • Infections – Dog bites are susceptible to infection due to bacteria in a dog’s mouth. Infections can lead to more serious health issues if left untreated.
  • Scarring and Disfigurement – Many dog bite victims suffer from disfiguring scars that can have a significant impact on their self-esteem and quality of life.
  • Emotional Trauma – The psychological effects of a dog attack can be long-lasting, leading to anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Insurance Companies and Dog Bite Claims

Insurance companies often play a significant role in dog bite claims, as most homeowners’ and renters’ insurance policies cover dog bites. While they are responsible for compensating victims, their primary goal is to minimize payouts to protect their bottom line. Here’s how insurance companies typically operate in dog bite cases:

Making Settlement Offers Soon after the Attack

Insurance adjusters may approach victims shortly after the incident with settlement offers. These initial offers are usually low and designed to encourage quick acceptance. Victims may be tempted to accept, not realizing the full extent of their injuries and damages.

Blaming Victims for their Injuries

Insurance companies may attempt to shift blame onto the victim, arguing that their actions provoked the dog or contributed to the attack. This tactic can be used to reduce the compensation amount.

Pressuring Victims to Provide Statements

Victims may be asked to provide recorded statements to insurance adjusters. These statements can later be used against the victim to downplay the severity of injuries or dispute liability. Insurance companies may manipulate the victim’s own words to their advantage.

Making Victims Wait for a Settlement Offer

Insurance companies may employ delaying tactics to frustrate victims and pressure them into accepting lower settlements. This can include prolonged investigations, requests for excessive documentation, or otherwise dragging out the claims process.

The California Dog Bite Claims Process

The process of pursuing a dog bite claim can be intricate, and understanding the steps involved is crucial for a successful outcome. Here’s a breakdown of the typical dog bite claims process:

  • Seek Medical Attention – The first and most critical step after a dog bite is to seek immediate medical attention. Your health and well-being are paramount, and documenting your injuries is essential for your claim. Medical records will serve as crucial evidence.
  • Gather Information – Collect as much information as possible about the dog, its owner, and the incident. This includes the owner’s name and contact information, the dog’s breed, and any history of aggression or prior attacks. Additionally, gather witness statements, take photographs of your injuries, and document the scene of the incident.
  • Report the Incident – Contact local animal control or law enforcement to report the dog bite. They may conduct an investigation and, if necessary, quarantine the dog to assess its health and behavior.
  • Consult with an Attorney – It’s advisable to consult with a dog bite attorney as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can provide guidance on how to protect your rights and navigate the legal process. They can also help you understand your potential for compensation and evaluate the strength of your case.
  • File an Insurance Claim – Your attorney will assist you in filing a claim with the dog owner’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance company. The insurance company will assign an adjuster to investigate the claim and determine liability.
  • Investigation – During the investigation, the insurance adjuster will review the evidence, including medical records, witness statements, and photographs. They may also interview the dog owner and any witnesses.
  • Negotiation – Once liability is established, negotiations will begin. Your attorney will negotiate with the insurance company to secure a fair settlement that covers your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
  • Settlement – If negotiations result in an acceptable settlement, you can agree to the terms and receive compensation for your injuries. It’s essential to consult with your attorney before accepting any settlement offers.
  • Litigation – If negotiations fail to yield a fair settlement or if liability is disputed, your attorney may advise pursuing legal action. A lawsuit may be filed against the dog owner to seek compensation through the court system.
  • Trial – If the case proceeds to trial, both parties will present their arguments, and a judge or jury will make a final decision on the outcome. Your attorney will represent your interests in court and present evidence to support your claim.

Call a Los Angeles Dog Bite Lawyer Today

The aftermath of a dog bite can be physically, emotionally, and financially challenging. Guardian Injury Law is here to guide you through every step of the dog bite claims process. Our experienced dog bite attorneys are dedicated to fighting for your rights and securing the compensation you deserve.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a dog bite in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, or Orange County, contact us today for a free consultation. Your well-being is our top priority, and we are committed to seeking justice and recovery on your behalf. Don’t face the challenges of a dog bite claim alone—let Guardian Injury Law be your trusted advocate.