Orange County Dog Park Injury Lawyers
In designated parks and beaches, dogs are given the luxury of being off-leash and the opportunity to play with other dogs and with their owners. Even though dogs enjoy more freedom while inside leash-free zones, this does not mean that a dog owner can bring an aggressive dog and expect to be free from liability if that dog attacks a person. Leash-free zones do not relieve dog owners of their responsibility to keep their pets’ behavior in check.
If you were injured while you were enjoying an Orange County dog park or beach, consider involving an attorney to protect your rights. Here at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie, we represent dog bite victims throughout Southern California. Contact us today to discuss your case in a no-obligation, no-cost consultation.
All dog parks and beaches in Orange County have rules that must be followed to make the experience pleasant for all visitors - and protect them, as well. Prominent rules include:
- No dogs showing aggression toward other dogs or people can enter the park.
- Owners must always maintain control over dogs, and immediately remove threatening or aggressive dogs. Mounting is forbidden.
- No more than three (3) dogs per person in the park at one time.
- No puppies 4 months old and under are allowed in the park. Puppies are not fully vaccinated and are vulnerable to both disease and injury.
- Any dog over the age of 4 months must be healthy, vaccinated, legally licensed, and wearing identification tags prior to use of any leash-free dog area.
- No female dogs in heat allowed.
- No toddlers or small children allowed in the dog run area. Children under 16 are discouraged from taking a dog to a park or beach without adult supervision. Children should not run with dogs or chase them while in the park.
- Remove pinch collars and spike collars from dogs before entering the park. Other dogs can be injured while playing.
- Owners must supervise their dogs closely and cannot leave the park without their dog.
If a dog owner violates any of these rules, and it results in you, a loved one, or your pet being injured, you have a right to take legal action.
To hold a dog’s owner or keeper responsible, your lawyer must prove that they acted in a negligent manner, which directly led to the incident that caused you harm. There are three basic elements to a claim:
- The owner had a duty to take appropriate care to govern the dog's behavior.
- The owner was negligent by failing to fulfill that responsibility.
- That negligence directly caused harm to the victim.
Courts may also look at other factors when deciding whether an individual was negligent or not. One factor is whether the injury you suffered was “reasonably foreseeable” – could the dog’s owner have predicted what would happen under the circumstances?
People who are victims of dog attacks should see a medical professional to ensure that the wounds are treated properly and to have an official record of the incident. Common injuries after a violent incident with a dog include:
- Puncture wounds
- Traumatic scarring
- Broken bones
- Face/head injuries
- Emotional and psychological trauma
Children are particularly vulnerable to dog attacks. Bites vary in severity; some are horrendous, leaving victims with lasting injuries and permanent disfigurement. Parents can file lawsuits on behalf of their children.
California classifies dogs as personal property. If your dog is injured or killed at a dog park or beach, you can pursue compensation under a property damage theory of liability. Therefore, you can seek compensation based on the difference between the animal's market value prior to and after the incident.
Common injuries suffered by dogs after an attack include:
- Severe bleeding
- Eye injuries
- Ligament injuries
- Injuries to the spine
- Tail injuries
Since 1974, we have been assisting the people of Orange County after horrific dog attacks that leave them wondering what to do next. It does not matter if the incident took place in public or in a dog park - we will fight for the compensation you need to move on with your life. Contact Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie at (949) 752-7474 to schedule your free consultation today.
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