Under California Law, negligent “pit bull” owners can be held responsible for every physical, emotional, and financial hardship victims face. It’s important that victims are informed of these benefits and empowered to ask for help.
If you or a loved one are seriously hurt in a pit bull attack, it’s vital to protect yourself and your family from financial harm.
In California, you are allowed to hold a dog owner fully responsible for an attack and every hardship you and your family have faced. You may wonder if you have a strong case against a dog owner. The best way to find out is to take advantage of a free dog bite case consultation with an experienced San Francisco Dog Bite Lawyer.
Contact the Law Offices of Matthew J. Quinlan for a free 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.
Pit Bull Dog Breeds And San Francisco Ordinances
Dog breeds grouped under the misleading label of “pit bull” can make for loving companions and great pets when placed with the right families. Their bad reputations are generally drawn from isolated incidents when the actions of careless and reckless owners lead to dog bites and attacks.
There really is no such thing as a full-blooded “pit bull.” It’s a label made up to describe several types of dog breeds and mixes that some people automatically consider dangerous.
When people use the term pit bull they are usually referring to a dog breed with a certain look. The breeds grouped under the loose label include the English and American Bulldogs, several types of Terriers, the Bullmastiff, and the American Bully.
In San Francisco city and county ordinance, pit bulls are defined as such:
“the word “pit bull” includes any dog that is an American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, or any dog displaying the physical traits of any one or more of the above breeds, or any dog exhibiting those distinguishing characteristics that conform to the standards established by the American Kennel Club (“AKC”) or United Kennel Club (“UKC”) for any of the above breeds.”
San Francisco allows owners to keep dogs labeled as pit bulls as pets. However, there are some restrictions. With only a few exceptions, pit bulls must be spayed or neutered. The ordinance also regulates the breeding of pit bulls, requiring a permit and extensive reporting to the San Francisco Department of Animal Care and Control.
Pit Bull Dog Bite Liability in San Francisco
When someone is bitten by a dog grouped under the loose designation for pit bulls, it’s important that they get the medical care they need. It’s also critical that they don’t miss out on the best treatment available simply because they can’t afford it. Victims deserve the best chance at recovery so they can return to their normal lives.
As detailed Civil Code 3342, California is a strict liability dog bite state. This means that a dog’s history of good behavior doesn’t factor into the responsibility of dog owners. The victim may file an insurance claim against the dog owner even if this bite is the first act of aggression the pet has displayed.
Dog owners and their homeowner’s or renter’s insurance can be on the hook for the full costs of the victim’s medical bills. The claim also seeks money to make up for the loss of income while a victim is missing work. The physical pain and emotional trauma experienced by victims also factors into how much a dog owner would owe.
In the worst dog bite cases, a victim can be lost forever. In such a tragic situation, the family left behind is encouraged to seek financial support through a wrongful death claim. This civil claim would ask for compensation for the cost of any medical care needed before the deceased passed on. Funeral and burial costs could also be covered. The family should receive money to replace the paychecks the deceased can no longer provide in the future as well.
Dog Bite Dangers in San Francisco
Earning proper support is absolutely vital because the wounds that can stem from a pit bull attack can be very serious and life-threatening. Mauling attacks can leave victims suffering from traumatic injuries and in need of life-saving care.
Bite wounds commonly affect the legs, hands, head, and neck. These wounds can lead to long-term mobility issues. They might leave victims with a permanent disability or cause permanent disfigurement. Issues with hands might leave victims unable to return to their careers.
These are just a few of the injuries treated in emergency rooms after dog bites:
- Lacerations and Punctures: Dog bites usually break the skin and do much worse. Lacerations involve a tearing of the skin and longer cuts. Punctures may be shorter in length but go much deeper.
- Internal Organ and Tissue Damage: Organs and the tissue that connects and supports them can be damaged. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments may be stretched or torn.
- Nerve Damage: Symptoms include the suffering of burning or stinging sensations. The loss of control of hands and legs may occur and be irreversible.
- Crushing Injuries: In bites caused by large dog breeds, the force of a bite might be devastating. Hands, ankles, and even throats can end up crushed.
- Infections: Rabies, Tetanus, and other infections are possible from a pit bull bite.
Contact a Skilled Dog Bite Lawyer Serving San Francisco Victims
Contact the Law Offices of Matthew J. Quinlan for a free case evaluation and talk to a real Bay Area legal professional.
Our law firm has handled dog bite cases and secured the money victims and their families need to heal and return to their normal 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.