San Diego Dog Bite Attorney

Personal Injury Claims for Animal Attacks & Injuries

If you were attacked or bitten by an animal, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim against the animal's owner. These are serious matters, not only due to the serious physical pain that may be inflicted in such an attack but because of the lasting scars—both emotional and physical—that may continue to influence your life.

At The McClellan Law Firm, we offer experienced legal representation to clients throughout San Diego who have been injured by dogs and other domestic animals. We can also handle claims involving injuries at zoos, animal parks, and other places where wild animals may come into contact with humans. No matter the circumstances of your injuries, discussing your case with a dog bite attorney is a good place to start. A legal professional can offer insight regarding liability, or legal responsibility, the value of your claim and how best to proceed.

Strict Liability & Dog Bite Cases in Southern California

In California, dog bite claims are addressed on a strict liability basis, which means that dog owners may be held accountable for any injuries their animals cause to others, regardless of any propensity toward aggressive behavior or previous attacks. The only exception may be if the victim provoked the dog in some way.

According to California Civil Code § 3342:

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.

While some states employ a "one bite rule" that exempts dog owners from liability if their animals have shown no previous aggressive behavior or have never bitten anyone before, California law offers legal recourse to dog bite victims to pursue compensation regardless of whether a dog is considered "dangerous" or "aggressive."

This is particularly helpful in these cases, considering the majority of dog attacks involve animals owned by friends, neighbors, and acquaintances of the victim. When a dog bite victim takes legal action under California Civil Code § 3342, damages are often paid through the homeowner's insurance policy of the dog owner.

Dog Bite & Animal Attack Cases Based on Negligence

Victims of dog bites may also take legal action against at-fault parties based on the doctrine of negligence. In these cases, the victim must prove the other party responsible for the animal was negligent in some way, failing to exercise reasonable care for the safety of others in the circumstances. An example may be an employee who is supposed to be managing sheep in a petting zoo, but is distracted and leaves the gate open. If a sheep escapes and knocks over a child, causing him or her to be injured, the petting zoo may be held accountable.

Seek Compensation with a San Diego Dog Bite Lawyer

Financial compensation may be awarded to a dog bite or animal attack victim for virtually any type of injury sustained, not only from a bite itself but from being knocked to the ground or otherwise injured. This compensation may cover medical expenses, continuing medical treatment, loss of earnings, emotional trauma, pain, suffering and property damage. Recovering maximum compensation can make all the difference as a victim works to rebuild his or her life.

To find out how a San Diego injury attorney at our firm can help with your dog bite case, please call our offices for a free, confidential consultation at (619) 215-1488.

  • Endorced by the Inner Circle of Advocates

    Craig McClellan is a member of the invitation-only group of the top 100 plaintiff trial lawyers in the United States

  • Attorney McClellan earned a Distinguished rating from Martindale-Hubbell for his achievements.

  • Attorney McClellan has been selected to the list of the Best Lawyers in America every year since 1993.

  • Attorney McClellan is listed as one of America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators in Business, Personal Injury, and Product Liability.

  • Attorney Craig McClellan earned one of the top 50 verdicts in California, securing a $15,771,234 verdict for a client seriously injured in a car accident.

  • Attorney McClellan has a 10/10 “Superb” rating, the highest rating an attorney can receive from Avvo.

  • The firm has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, the highest possible rating offered by the organization.

  • The firm earned a Tier 1 ranking in Commercial Litigation in the 2019 list of the Best Law Firms.

  • The firm earned a Tier 1 ranking in Personal Injury in the 2019 list of the Best Law Firms.

  • The firm earned a Tier 1 ranking in Product Liability in the 2019 list of the Best Law Firms.

  • Attorney McClellan has been named the Lawyer of the Year by the Best Lawyers in America in 2012, twice in 2014, and in 2019.

  • Attorney McClellan is a member of the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego, and previously served on its Board of Directors.

  • Attorney Craig McClellan was named as one of the “Best Attorneys” by the Los Angeles Times.

  • Attorney Craig McClellan was named one of the “Best Lawyers” by San Diego Metro.

  • Attorney Craig McClellan was named one of the Top Lawyers in San Diego in Business Litigation by San Diego Magazine.

  • Attorney Craig McClellan has been selected to the list of Super Lawyers every year since 2007.

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