Asked 4 months ago - Los Angeles, CAFlag
There was some negligence on the part of the apartment complex. I made a claim with their insurance company, and although they still said that the owner of the dog is the one who is liable, they gave me a small settlement. Now, my question is can I still go after the owner of the dog in court or small claims court? I know I may or may not be able to collect on any judgment against him. But I would still like to try.
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Yes, if you did not file a lawsuit against the owner of the apartment complex and if you did not sign a release with the owner of the dog, and if the incident occurred less than 2 years ago, you can bring a small claims court lawsuit against the owner of the dog for your personal injuries.
In California, dog owners are strictly liable for dog bites. As long as you didn't sign a release with the apartment complex for all claims against everyone arising from the incident, you should still have a viable claim. I would consult with a personal injury attorney to review any documents that you have and determine how to proceed. Best of luck.
i agree with all other counsel, as long as you didn't release the dog owner when you signed the release the apartment owners had you sign and the statute of limitations has not run, you should be fine. If you did release the owner unintentionally, your only chance is to go back to the apartment owner and try and get them to void the old release and make a new one, that allows you to maintain a claim against the owner.
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