My Child Was Bitten by a Dog: What Are My Options?

These days, staying active is a necessary part of our lives. While our options of public activity have become limited, playing outside will always be encouraged (as long as it’s from a safe distance). 

Adults, children, and even pets have grown anxious from spending longer periods of time isolated at home. If you bring your children to the park or beach and they come across an easily excitable dog, your day can quickly take a turn. Should your child be bitten by a dog, it is important to know your options.


California Dog Bite Law

Legalities concerning dog bites vary from state to state. If you live in California, dog bites fall under “strict liability” laws. This means that the owner is responsible for the dog’s actions, even if the dog has never bitten someone or acted out in a similar way. Other states may operate under a “one bite” law, which only allows the injured party to take legal action if the dog has bitten someone or acted aggressively before. In California, the dog’s owner is liable for any damages caused by the dog if the bite occurred in public or lawfully on private property. As long as the injured person didn’t provoke the dog, they are likely to take responsibility. 

When it comes to children, the lines of what provokes a dog may be slightly blurred, for children are often curious and naive. Their excitement when approaching the dog may lead to the bite, which can potentially be argued as a provocation. When taking your child’s dog bite to court, you need to be confident that your child’s actions cannot be considered a provocation. The more evidence you have of the situation, the more likely you will win your claims. Make sure to take thorough notes of the scene – get the contact information of the dog’s owner, talk to witnesses, and even keep your child’s stained clothes as evidence to strengthen your claims.


Your Rights and Options 

When suing for a child’s dog bite, there are options when choosing compensatory damages to pursue for your child: These include medical bills, compensation for scars & disfigurement, emotional scarring, pain & suffering, punitive damages, and PTSD. In children especially, PTSD is common after a dog attack and can lead to long-term fear of the animal. Typically, the claims process can become very complicated when underage children are involved, so it is important to work with an experienced personal injury attorney to better understand your rights, what claims to pursue, and to get the fullest extent of compensation. 


Gokal Law Group is a family firm that treats our clients as if they were our own flesh and blood. We fight for our clients as we would our own children, sisters, brothers, and parents. We are our clients’ Warriors, fighting to bring them justice and right the wrongs they have endured.

Each attorney has a specific practice area for which they are tried, tested, and battle-ready. They have vast years of experience in their practice area, providing them the knowledge, skills, and vision to fight and win. Learn more about Gokal Law Group. 

One Response

  • Thank you for mentioning that there are options when deciding which types of compensatory damages to seek for your child after a dog bite. My friend was bitten by a dog while jogging in the park. I’ll advise him to speak with a dog bite attorney before submitting a claim for compensation.

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