Animal attacks can cause very serious injuries and mental disorders in humans. Accidents with animals are bound to happen and sometimes hard to avoid. Ever year, many people are bitten by dogs, clawed at by cats, bitten by snakes, spiders, or other unusual animals. Animal attacks can cause a lot of suffering for victims and can even affect the rest of their lives. Being bitten by a dog or cat can put you at risk for life-threatening rabies. Unfortunately, the number of victims of attacks by these animals are particularly high among children.

The main cause of these attacks is from the carelessness of the owners of the pets. It is essential that all owners tame their pets in order to prevent a sudden escape from their control. Owners should properly train and have control of their pets. Surprisingly, California ranks #1 in the state that has the most dog attacks on humans. The entire U.S. insurance industry pays roughly $1 billion annually for dog bites. One-third of the money paid from homeowners’ liability claims is being paid in relation to dog attacks. Dog attacks can cause serious damage to the face or body, especially for children. If you or someone around you is a victim of a dog attack, you should consult a lawyer immediately.

In California, it does not take a lot to prove that a dog is ferocious and prone to biting people. If there is even just one bite, a claim can be made. However, there are a few things that you must prove in order to make this claim.

Under California Law, these are the things you must prove in order to file a civil lawsuit:

  • That the defendant owns the dog.
  • The dog actually bit you.
  • That you were legally in the vicinity of the dog.
  • You were actually physically injured from the dog bite.

The following is Section 3342 of the California Civil Law, which refers to damage caused by dogs. The provisions of this section contain information that allows the owner to take responsibility for the damage, even if the damage was cause for the first time.

Civil Code of California Section 3342:

3342. (a) The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness. A person is lawfully upon the private property of such owner within the meaning of this section when he is on such property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him by the laws of this state or by the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or when he is on such property upon the invitation, express or implied, of the owner.

(b) Nothing in this section shall authorize the bringing of an action pursuant to subdivision (a) against any governmental agency using a dog in military or police work if the bite or bites occurred while the dog was defending itself from an annoying, harassing, or provoking act, or assisting an employee of the agency in any of the following:

  1. In the apprehension or holding of a suspect where the employee has a reasonable suspicion of the suspect’s involvement in criminal activity.
  2. In the investigation of a crime or possible crime.
  3. In the execution of a warrant.
  4. In the defense of a peace officer or another person.

(c) Subdivision (b) shall not apply in any case where the victim of the bite or bites was not a party to, nor a participant in, nor suspected to be a party to or a participant in, the act or acts that prompted the use of the dog in the military or police work.

(d) Subdivision (b) shall apply only where a governmental agency using a dog in military or police work has adopted a written policy on the necessary and appropriate use of a dog for the police or military work enumerated in subdivision (b).