Bicyclists in San Francisco face many challenges, including those steep hills our city is famous for. Sadly, they must also contend with unsafe traffic designs and careless drivers on almost every ride.
They don’t need additional threats to their safety, but unfortunately, negligent dog owners can be added to the list. Dogs like to chase things, and sometimes they see a cyclist as a challenge. A dog running down someone on a bike can end up biting a rider and causing a severe injury.
Cyclists must be aware of the protections provided to them under California law and the benefits they can demand from a dog owner’s insurance provider.
Dog Bite Liability in Bay Area Bicycle Accidents
California protects dog bite victims by allowing them to sue any dog owner no matter the history of the dog. California is a strict liability dog bite state according to Civil Code 3342. The dog doesn’t have to have attacked before or shown aggression in order for the dog’s owner to be liable for a victim’s recovery.
Victims may file a claim for damages against the dog owner’s insurance coverage. This coverage is usually part of home owner’s insurance and sometimes renter’s insurance. Otherwise, the support you’d receive would have to come out of the owner’s savings.
It’s also possible a property owner or management company could be proven liable for the actions of their tenants and their dogs. A business property owner could also be accountable if they’ve leased office space to a business that offers services to dogs and dog owners.
A Free Consultation to Bay Area Dog Bite Victims
Having a San Francisco Dog Bite Attorney look over the circumstances of your case can put you in a better position to maximize the compensation you receive. This support can include reimbursement for things like hospital bills and lost wages while missing work.
A skilled attorney can also determine if there are other parties, other than the dog’s owner, that may be held liable and should be included in an insurance claim. Take advantage of a free, no-obligation consultation today and find out if you have a case.
Other Dog Attack Liability in the Bay Area
California’s strict liability statute only covers dog bite victims. Cyclists who are forced into a crash and injured while pursued by a dog can also seek compensation. However, there will be additional evidence needed to show a dog owner was negligent in the accident.
If a pedestrian is forced out into traffic to avoid a dog and is struck by a vehicle, a claim against the driver’s auto insurance may also be possible.
What To Do After a Bay Area Bicycle Dog Attack?
- Call 911. Give Police every detail about what occurred. Let paramedics check out every injury. Go to the hospital if necessary.
- Take photos. Show your bike, your surroundings, and the home where you think the dog came from. Take pictures of any visible injuries and damage to clothing. Take a photo of the dog before it runs away if possible.
- Locate the owner. Police officers will also assist in this if they are present. Talking to residents in the neighborhood is a good way to track down a negligent dog owner.
- Talk to witnesses. Get their contact information.
- Don’t throw out evidence. Keep your damaged bike and shoes. Don’t wash bloody clothing.
- See your doctor. Get every pain from the injury and any new injuries that arise checked out in the days that follow. Save your medical invoices.
Compensation Available for Cyclists After a Dog Attack
Dog attack victims should never be left to face their physical and financial recoveries alone. In a claim for damages against the dog owner’s insurance provider, they may ask for compensation for several hardships they’ve faced.
These are just a few of the factors cycling victims can receive financial support for:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future lost income
- Any permanent disfigurement
- Any permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma from the injury and not being able to ride
- Repairs to Bicycle or Replacement
Contact a Dog Bite Lawyer Serving the Bay Area
The Law Offices of Matthew J. Quinlan have handled hundreds of dog bite cases and secured the money victims and their families need to heal and rebuild their lives. As one of the top dog bite law firms in the Bay Area, we build strong cases for our clients and make sure dog owners are held fully accountable for their negligence.
We support cyclists and their rights to an absolutely safe ride. We fight to make sure they receive full support to pay for the best medical care to get them back on their bikes again. If you have questions about the California laws and benefits that apply to your case, contact our offices for a free and confidential case evaluation.