If I am bit by a dog and prove negligence can the negligence factor override the cap on the dog bite? I was in the hospital for

Asked 6 months ago - North Hollywood, CA

3 days, had surgery. The cap is $10,000. my bills were in excess of $34,000.

Attorney answers (13)

  1. Robert Max Klein

    Pro

    Contributor Level 15

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . In CA, a dog bite is considered "strict liability" so you do not have to prove negligence. If a dog bites you, the dog's owner is responsible. The next question is does the dog's owner have insurance (renter's insurance or homeowner's insurance). There is no such thing as $10,000 cap on damages. (Unless you mean a cap on damages for filing a case in small claims court.)

    I suggest you contact an attorney to discuss your case. It will be worth your time.

  2. Alan Ray Barnes

    Contributor Level 18

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It is not clear what you're asking. What is clear is that you were seriously injured. You really need to retain a lawyer. The initial consultation should be free, and you won't be responsible for paying any fees out-of-pocket; they'll be a portion of the recovery.

  3. John A Nojima

    Pro

    Contributor Level 9

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . On dog bite cases you normally need not prove negligence. If a dog bites you and you are lawfully where you are supposed to be then the owner of the dog is liable. There is no cap on damages you can recover on a dog bite case. You need to contact a local AVVO rated and CAALA member attorney who has experience on these cases. There are other issues that may arise in these types of cases but an attorney can easily address those issues in your initial consultation.

    John Nojima

  4. Hillary Arlene Jones

    Contributor Level 9

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I believe the "cap" that you are referring to is the small claims maximum recovery. However, if you were seriously injured as a result of a dog bite, you should file a civil lawsuit, rather than small claims (which does not have a $10,000 cap).

    If you were in the hospital for 3 days and had surgery, you should contact a personal injury attorney that can discuss your case and represent you in a civil lawsuit against the owner of the dog (assuming that you can identify them). Given how high your medical bills are, you will want to discuss the facts of what happened with a lawyer to ensure that you are properly represented and compensated for your injuries.

    Hillary Jones
    310-844-7401

    The information contained in this response is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be... more
  5. Sagar P. Parikh

    Contributor Level 19

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You can file a court in superior court, there is no $10,000 cap on damages. And a dog bite would be strict liability, there is no negligence necessary. A full consultation would be necessary to properly advise you.

  6. Michael Raymond Daymude

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Owners of dogs are strictly liable for bites from their dog. You do not need to prove negligence in CA. There is no cap on damages, although that may be the maximum amount of available medical payments or liability coverage. That would be a surprise, however, if the owner has a California homeowner's insurance policy. It appears you have not consulted legal counsel. You should. Your case has substantial value given your specials.

    My answers are for general information only. They are not legal advice. Answers assume California law. I am... more
  7. Paul J Molinaro

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Pooches in California do not get one free bite and their owners are strictly liable for their bites. Thus, man's best friend can get man in trouble should said BFF bite someone. Thus, should someone be bit by another's dog, the most important legal issue will be the amount of physical harm caused... and $34,000 in medical bills is a pretty good indicator that someone has been really hurt and "hurt bad." Thus, someone who is bit by another's dog should consult with a personal injury lawyer to investigate how one can get fully compensated for one's injuries.

    Also, for all practical purposes, the only limits to recovery from a dog bite are the amount awarded by the jury and the ability to actually recover - so, factors that need to be examined are whether the dog owner has insurance and/or assets.

    - Paul

    Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D.
    Attorney at Law, Physician

    * This post and all others I make on Internet are for informational purposes only. None of the information or... more
  8. Robert Bruce Kopelson

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The 10k cap is small claims. You should hire an atty given the damages you have. If the owner of the dog has no ins and is a tenant, it can be very difficult to try to nail the property owner for the tenant's dog. It will need investigation to see if there is evidence that the Landlord/owner had knowledge before you were bitten that the dog had dangerous propensities. You don't say how this occurred. if the dog was in the yard, but the fence had a hole so he got out, then the owner could be liable for lack of proper maintenance.

  9. Armen Michael Tashjian

    Pro

    Contributor Level 14

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You've got a six-figure case. Why are you concerned about $10K cap? I think you're referring to the small claims court cap, yes?

  10. Christopher John Gansen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . What cap are you talking about? Insurance?

  11. David Ian Schoen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If you are talking about a $10K cap for med pay, then yes you can sue for your injury and collect medical bills, lost income pain and suffering and other damages.

    In seeking an attorney on this site, beware of limiting your search to attorneys with a 10 rating, and carefully... more
  12. Richard Jonathan Spencer

    Contributor Level 11

    Answered . You do NOT need to prove negligence in California to win a dog bite case. It is unclear what you mean by the "cap." Typically, the insurance polices that cover dog bites (such as homeowners policies) have limits MUCH higher than $10,000. I recommend that you consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer and go from there.

  13. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Then don't take it to small claims court, get a personal injury lawyer.

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