Dogs are cherished residents in countless San Francisco apartments, condos, and houses. And many people spend their days and nights with a beautiful German Shepherd. These working dogs can do just about anything. They work with the police as K-9 officers and serve in the military. Their intelligence makes them great service dogs. And of course, they also make very loyal family companions.
Unfortunately, some dog owners can get careless and neglect their duty to keep dogs and people out of situations where a bite could occur. You might suffer a German Shepherd bite and be overwhelmed by a devastating wound. You could face a mountain of medical bills and be unable to fulfill your duties at work while you heal.
At this point, you’ll probably come to realize that you shouldn’t have to deal with these hardships alone. But can you hold a dog owner liable after a German Shepherd bite in San Francisco?
A Free Dog Bite Accident Consultation for San Francisco Victims
Dealing with a severe bite wound won’t leave you a lot of time to consider where to find financial help until your medical bills are already at alarming levels.
In California, you can hold a German Shepherd owner fully liable for your doctor bills and other damages after a bite incident. However, there are benefits available to you and your family that an insurance representative won’t be telling you about.
There’s an easy way to stay informed of your rights and options after a dog bite. Take advantage of a free case consultation with a San Francisco Dog Bite Lawyer.
Contact the Law Offices of Matthew J. Quinlan for this confidential case evaluation to find out what your injury is worth. We want to hear about what happened to you and help you secure the financial support you’ll need to heal and rebuild your life.
German Shepherd Dog Bite Dangers in San Francisco
German Shepherds are legendary for their loyalty and intelligence. It’s often a surprise to many that they rank near the top of dog bite threat lists each year. Unfortunately, through mistreatment and negative training, German Shepherds can learn to be aggressive and their powerful frames and large mouths only increase the risk of a severe injury.
The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) examined the data of a 15-year-study to find German Shepherd ranks high on the list of breeds most likely to be involved in a dog bite incident.
When dog bites caused by unknown breeds or mixed breeds were removed from the data, breeds grouped under the label of “pit bull” came in first. German Shepherds were second on the list of dog breeds most likely to bite. According to the study, German Shepherds ranked higher than both terriers and rottweilers.
German Shepherds and humans must stay out of situations where a dog might experience confusion and have reason to bite. When a bite does occur, the first priority is to make sure the victim gets the best medical care available. Then it’s critical that the cost of that care doesn’t affect a patient’s recovery in any way.
Strict Liability for San Francisco German Shepherd Owners
California doesn’t offer dog owners any latitude where bite accidents are concerned. In some states, dog owners aren’t financially responsible for helping dog bite victims if it’s the dog’s first incident of biting or showing aggression.
California is a strict liability dog bite state, meaning that dog owners are completely liable in most cases, even when the dog has no history of violence. The statute is outlined in state Civil Code 3342.
There are a couple of factors that must be true of the dog bite incident in order for San Francisco victims to file a claim for damages against owners:
- The bite must have occurred in a public place. If it happened on private property, the victim must have been there legally.
- There must be no signs of provocation of the dog.
Who Pays After a San Francisco German Shepherd Bite Accident?
After a German Shepherd dog bite, victims should absolutely expect full support for their medical bills. There should also be compensation for the valuable time they miss at work. Their physical pain and emotional trauma must also factor into the support they receive.
Victims would file a claim for damages against the dog owner’s homeowners insurance coverage. Victims might also earn compensation from a renter’s insurance policy. Otherwise, the support you’d receive would have to come out of the owner’s pocket.
Victims could also have a case against a property owner or management company if proof shows them 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.
You may be at a public park, like Lafayette Park Dog Park or St. Mary’s Dog Park, and receive an unfortunate bite. Most of these parks run by the city or by an apartment company are “use as your own risk” type places. The owners and operators usually wouldn’t be liable for your bite, but the strict liability for dog owners still applies.
Contact a Dog Bite Lawyer Serving the Bay Area
The Law Offices of Matthew J. Quinlan have handled cases for many dog bite victims and secured the money they need to seek the best medical treatment and rebuild their lives. As one of the top dog bite law firms in the Bay Area, we build strong cases for our clients. Our mission is to make sure dog owners are fully accountable for their negligence.
We fight to make sure victims receive the support they need to get back on their feet 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.