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Los Angeles Dog Bite Lawyer

Often times animal attack lawsuits involve dog bites, but there are several other types of domesticated animals, including ferrets, cats, and even birds, that can also bite or attack humans. There have even been cases of non-domesticated animals like large cats normally found in the wild, but owned by some people as pets that have attacked children and adults. Based on the jurisdiction, an owner's liability for injuries caused by his or her pet, if any, will vary greatly. An excellent source for legal advice and information when injured in an animal attack is an attorney from our firm that is experienced in handling these specific types of personal injury claims.

Establishing Owners' Liability in Animal Attack Cases

In order to have a favorable outcome in an animal attack lawsuit, the injured person must establish that the animal that caused the injury was owned and kept by the defendant. Previously, the injured party would have to show that the owner had knowledge or should have had knowledge that their animal was dangerous, ill-behaved, vicious, or inclined to threatening behaviors. Currently when it is proven that an owner was somehow negligent, for example, improper restraint or animal constraint, the injured party could recover damages without the burden of proving the animal’s viciousness. In relation to an animal’s viciousness an owner of an animal could be found liable under any circumstances where the owner knew but failed to act in order to prevent injuries to others. In addition, when certain animals exhibit vicious or irrepressible behavior, the owner should precautions to protect the public from the animal. For instance, if an individual owns a pit bull that is likely to attack and bite without provocation, the owner should take great caution to keep the dog indoors or in a yard shielded from the general public. If the owner does not follow these common-sense guidelines and as a result the animal attacks, the injured person can possibly recover damages. In regards to those individuals that keep animals generally considered wild as pets, i.e. lions, bears, and monkeys will generally be liable for injuries caused by these animals regardless of previous knowledge of propensity to attack. Due to the nature of wild regardless of it training or whether it is domesticated, owners of these animals are said to be "strictly liable" for injuries directly caused by these animals. There are certain cases whereby strict liability may not apply if when the injury occurred the animal was confined or restrained on the owner’s property. Of course facts and circumstances are case specific.

In certain states, there are instances where it is not necessary for the animal to actually bite or attack the victim in order to hold the owner responsible for an injury.
In a situation where a pedestrian breaks their ankle in an alarmed attempt to escape from a fenced in dog's snapping, barking, or other aggressive behavior, the injury can be shown to be directly caused by the actions of the dog; whereby the owner could be liable.

Animal Attack Cases -Defenses to Liability

Individuals that are injured in animal attacks are not always able to recover damages. There are cases where the injured person provoked the animal and therefore recovery may be denied. In addition, if a pet owner informs his or her neighbor that their pet parrot is not friendly and should not be touched, ands the neighbor touches it anyway and is thereafter pecked or bitten, recovery could also be denied. On the other hands if the owner simply stated that the parrot was not always friendly, and encouraged the neighbor to pet it, the owner could be responsible for a personal injury claim. Individuals that are injured by an animal while on the owner's property are typically unable to recover if, at the time of the attack, were trespassing. Many states require that the injured person prove that they were lawfully in the place where the injury occurred, in order to proceed with a claim under a dog bite statute. In situations where “Beware of Dog” warnings are posted and someone jumps over a fence and subsequently taunts the dog, for example, the owner may not be liable if the dog bites the trespasser.


Individuals injured by biting or attacking animals should pursue the counsel of an animal bite lawyer that can explain the complexities of their case and give assistance throughout the legal process. If you or someone you know has been injured because of an animal attack, contact an experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer at the Gallegos Law Firm to determine if you a claim against the animal's owner and diligently fight for maximum damages.

The Gallegos Law Firm serves Los Angeles, Monterey Park, Temple City, Pico Rivera, Whittier, Montebello, Rosemead, West Covina, Pasadena, Glendale, Arcadia, Baldwin Park, Covina, Norwalk, San Gabriel, Hacienda Heights, La Puente, Alhambra, Bell, Bell Gardens, Maywood and the City of Commerce.