Dog Bite Injuries

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In California, dog owners are strictly liable to the victim for dog bite injuries, regardless of the former viciousness of such dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness . In addition, dog owners are strictly liable for any damage or injuries caused by the actions of their dogs – bites are not required. This type of law is known as “strict liability”, or liability without fault.

In most dog bite cases, the animal’s owner will be required to pay of the damages caused by the dog attack. Sometimes, however, the dog’s “keeper,” or the person who was taking care of the animal at the time of the attack, may also be held liable. Also in limited circumstances, a landlord may be held liable for the damages caused by his tenants’ dog.

If a dog causes injury, the owner (or in some cases, the keeper or landlord) may be liable for the following damages:

  • all past and future medical expenses
  • all past lost wages and any future loss of earning capacity
  • all past and future pain and mental suffering
  • damages for all scarring
  • property damage

The medical expenses associated with a dog bite can be extremely costly, especially in the event of a scarring injury. Scars can be a serious, life-long result of a dog bite. Children, because of their size, are particularly susceptible to bites around the head and face. Scarring injuries not only cause physical problems, but can also cause long term emotional trauma, requiring a significant amount of psychological counseling.

Are dog bite injury cases covered by homeowners insurance?

Usually, yes. Homeowners insurance covers dog bite injuries, unless specifically excluded from the policy. Damages covered by homeowners insurance in a dog bite case include medical bills, wage loss, pain and suffering, future plastic surgery costs and psychological counseling, if necessary.

How is my lawyer paid? What if I can’t afford a lawyer?

The Spear Law Firm handles all dog bite cases on what is called a “contingency fee” basis. This means that no fees or costs are charged unless we collect money damages for you. All of the consultations with our office are absolutely free. When you receive compensation, meaning we have successfully concluded your case, either by settlement or litigation, our fees are a percentage of the gross settlement. This percentage is agreed upon before we begin work, is in writing signed by you and the attorneys, and is 33 1/3% prior to filing suit and 40% after the lawsuit is filed, up through trial.

The attorney’s fee is separate from the “costs” that the firm advances on behalf of the client. “Costs” include expenses for obtaining copies of medical records from hospital and doctors, investigations fees, expert witness testimony, filing fees at the courthouse, costs of taking deposition, etc. We advance all costs related to your case. Upon obtaining a recovery for a client, we are reimbursed the costs advanced by us.


If you, or someone you care about, has suffered injuries from a dog bite, contact our law firm for an “instant” FREE and CONFIDENTIAL dog bite case evaluation by completing our online consultation form or contact us at (877) 327-5291 / 8-SPEARLAW-1. to discuss any questions you may have. Attorney Bradley H. Spear will personally provide detailed and comprehensive answers to your important questions by reviewing your completed questionnaire, evaluating your claim and responding to you, either by e-mail or telephone, within 24 hours.  We will answer your questions, without charge, and there is no obligation to use our services.

For more information, or to discuss your specific case, contact the Spear Law Firm in the San Fernando Valley

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