Holding Careless Dog Owners Accountable

At Scott J. Corwin, A Professional Law Corporation, we represent victims of dog bites and attacks in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California. We recognize the immense physical pain and emotional trauma victims endure, and we are committed to securing the maximum recovery you are owed. We fight to hold negligent dog owners accountable so that you can heal and move forward with your life. Since 1992, we have recovered more than $175 million in settlements and verdicts for our clients—contact us today to learn how we can help you protect your rights and move through the recovery process.

Making Things Right

Over $175 Million Recovered on Behalf of Our Clients
  • Brain Damage $3,407,752

    Boy sustains brain damage from trip and fall in pothole.

  • Bus Accident $2,782,954

    Passenger injured when bus driver falls asleep and rolls bus.

  • Motorcycle Accident $2,300,000

    City employee causes collision with police motorcycle.

  • Motorcycle Accident $2,100,000

    Motorcyclist suffers brain injury in collision.

  • Motorcycle Accident $1,250,000

    Vehicle turns left in front of motorcycle, causing collision.

  • Car Accident $1,250,000

    Driver injured in collision with vehicle that crossed over into his lane.

  • Car Accident $1,000,000

    Rear-end collision exacerbates pre-existing back condition.

  • Car Accident $1,000,000

    Driver injured in nighttime collision with overturned big rig on highway.

  • Brain Injury $1,000,000

    Rider injured on ferris wheel when struck in head by seat rack.

  • Car Accident Injury $850,000

    Eight-year-old boy struck and killed by vehicle while crossing busy thoroughfare.

Los Angeles Dog Bite Attorney

Dog Bites and Attacks in Southern California

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the United States Humane Society, there are approximately 4.5 million dog bites per year, about 500,000 to 900,000 of which require medical attention. Sadly, children are overrepresented when it comes to dog bites, and many of these attacks result in catastrophic injuries and/or death.

If you were bitten by a dog, or if your child was attacked, you deserve justice. At Scott J. Corwin, A Professional Law Corporation, we fight to hold negligent and careless dog owners accountable. Led by our Los Angeles dog bite attorney, Scott J. Corwin, we seek maximum compensation on behalf of victims and their loved ones. To date, our firm has recovered more than $175 million for 3,000+ personal injury clients. Learn how we can help you with your case today.

Call our office at (310) 683-2300 or contact us online to set up a free, no-obligation consultation.

Understanding California Dog Bite Law

California follows a “strict liability” law when it comes to dog bites. Generally speaking, this means that dog owners, handlers, or keepers are always responsible (with some exceptions) for bite injuries. The victim does not necessarily need to prove that the dog owner, handler, or keeper was negligent in order to file a claim and receive compensation for their damages.

Under the state’s strict liability dog bite law, you can bring a claim against a dog owner if both of the following are true:

  • You were bitten by a dog owned by or in the care of the defendant and this bite led to injuries and/or damages
  • The bite occurred while you were either lawfully on private property, including the dog owner’s home, or in a public place

Even if the dog was on a leash or the dog owner took reasonable measures to prevent the bite, you could still have grounds for a personal injury claim or lawsuit.

Can You File a Personal Injury Claim If You Were Injured but Not Bitten by a Dog?

Even if you are not bitten, the dog owner or keeper may be liable if you are injured by the animal. For example, if your child was knocked over by the dog and broke a bone or hit their head, you could have a claim against the dog owner, keeper, or handler. However, without a bite, it is necessary to establish negligence. In other words, to have a claim for a non-bite injury caused by a dog, you will need to prove that the dog owner, handler, or keeper was somehow negligent and that this is what led to the incident.

Some examples of dog owner negligence include:

  • Allowing a dog to be off a leash in a public area that is not designated as a leash-free zone
  • Failing to properly restrain a “dangerous” dog (i.e., one that has bitten or attacked before)
  • Permitting a dog to roam or be “at large” in a front yard or other unfenced area
  • Failing to take reasonable precautions to keep a dog from causing injury (e.g., keeping it within a fenced yard, keeping it on a leash, posting warning signs, etc.)
  • Bringing a dog to an area where they are not permitted, such as a public beach or hiking trail

In most cases, dog owners or any other person responsible for a dog is liable for any personal injuries and/or damages caused by the dog. This applies whether or not the dog has ever bitten anyone before and whether or not the owner has any prior knowledge of the animal’s viciousness.

Defenses for Dog Owners and Exceptions to the Strict Liability Law

There are some cases in which the dog owner, keeper, or handler may not be liable for injuries or damages, even when their dog bites someone.

Common defenses and exceptions to the law include:

  • Law Enforcement Dogs: Law enforcement and military dogs that are actively “on duty” when they bite or otherwise injure someone are typically exempt from the strict liability statute. In other words, you cannot bring a claim against a law enforcement agency or similar entity if you are harmed by a working police dog. However, this only applies when the dog is actively carrying out specific work duties and the agency has written policies regarding the handling of dogs.
  • Trespassing: Because dog owners are strictly liable for bites that occur on public property or when the victim is lawfully on private property, they may raise the defense of trespassing. If you are found to have been trespassing or unlawfully entering private property when the bite or attack occurred, you might not have a case. If the victim was a child, the dog owner may not be able to use this defense.
  • Provocation: Dog owners may also argue that the victim provoked the dog to bite or attack. In such cases, California’s rule of comparative negligence applies here and can affect your case. The degree of fault you are found to have had in the incident will determine your ability to file a claim. If you are anything less than 100 percent at fault, you can still seek compensation, but your total recovery will be reduced by your at-fault percentage.

At Scott J. Corwin, A Professional Law Corporation, our Los Angeles dog bite attorney is well-versed in the state’s dog bite statutes. With over three decades of experience, he has the skills, resources, and dedication to advocate for your maximum recovery.

What to Do If You Are Bitten by a Dog

It is important to know and teach children the basic rules of interacting with dogs. In general, you should always refrain from approaching or petting strange dogs, especially when the owner is not around. If a dog displays signs of aggression, agitation, or fear—such as growling, bristled hair, stiff posture, or pinned-back ears—stay away. Always ask owners about a dog’s temperament and whether or not it is okay to approach the dog before doing so and remember, even a familiar pet can attack if it feels threatened.

While these actions can help reduce the risk of a bite, it is not always possible to avoid an attack. If you are bitten by a dog, there are several things you should do:

  • Seek immediate medical attention. Dog bite injuries can be severe and may lead to serious complications if left untreated, such as infection. You should always see a medical provider after a dog bite, as you may need to receive a series of rabies shots in addition to treatment for your injuries.
  • If you can, write down the dog owner’s name and contact information, including their phone number, email, and/or address. If the dog is loose and the owner cannot be located, contact the local animal control department to come collect the dog.
  • Take pictures of your injuries and document any other damages you experience, such as physical pain, emotional distress, medical expenses, time off work, lost income, etc. It is a good idea to write down everything you can remember about the attack right away, as your memory of the incident can fade over time.
  • Most counties in California require you to report dog bites and attacks to the appropriate animal control department. If you are unable to contact animal control, you may report the incident to law enforcement using a non-emergency number. In Los Angeles, you can report dog bites to the Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control Department or the Department of Public Health.
  • If you were injured and suffered damages due to the dog bite or attack, you should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. You should not have to suffer the physical, emotional, and financial consequences of the incident on your own. An attorney can help you hold the dog owner accountable by seeking compensation from the appropriate insurance policy or the dog owner directly.

In California, dogs that bite are not automatically put down. However, these animals must be assessed for rabies and other risks. As such, they are quarantined for at least 10 days following any bite or scratch caused by the teeth. Depending on the specifics of the case, the dog owner may carry out this quarantine on their own property, or it may occur at a private boarding facility or the local animal control agency.

Trust a Firm with Over Three Decades of Experience

At the law firm of Scott J. Corwin, A Professional Law Corporation, we have successfully handled numerous dog bite injury cases. Attorney Scott J. Corwin has more than 30 years of personal injury experience and a strong reputation for results in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange, San Diego, Ventura, and Santa Barbara counties, as well as throughout the state of California.

Scott J. Corwin holds an Avvo rating of 10.0 “Superb.” He has also been named a member of the National Trial Lawyers Association, Top 100 Trial Attorneys in California and has been selected for inclusion in the Southern California Super Lawyers® list every year from 2007 through the present, with membership limited to the top 5 percent of attorneys.

We recognize that dog bite cases are often highly sensitive, especially when the owner is someone you know. However, remember that dog bite claims are not typically filed against the dog owner directly but against their homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. This insurance is there to compensate injured victims, and you have a right to seek a fair recovery. Even if the dog owner is a friend, family member, or neighbor, you should not have to shoulder the burden of massive medical bills, extensive lost wages, and immense pain and suffering on your own.

Providing Personalized, One-on-One Attention

You can count on Attorney Scott J. Corwin to give you the one-on-one attention you need and deserve after a serious dog bite or attack. Your case will never be passed off to a less-qualified associate or paralegal. Our experienced Los Angeles dog bite attorney is here to listen to your story and develop an innovative legal strategy tailored to your unique needs, concerns, and goals.

We proudly offer compassionate and aggressive legal representation on behalf of injured individuals and the families of those wrongfully killed throughout Southern California. Whether you were injured by a dog, or your child was bitten, our team is ready to fight for justice. There are no attorney fees unless we recover a settlement or verdict for you.

Call our office at (310) 683-2300 or contact us online today to schedule a free, confidential consultation.

Client Reviews

Here What People Have to Say About Scott
  • Needed help with a 4-car collision. He took care of everything on his end.

    - Earon Bagunu
  • I am not one to write reviews but after an unfortunate car accident, I am so glad I called Scott Corwin.

    - Catherine Lenke
  • A month ago, I was involved in a car crash and broke my right wrist. The process with this attorney was pretty fast. Scott was able to help me and also Julie was always super nice and very professional. I’m very glad everything was easy and fast.

    - Sabrina Guna
  • Scott got the personal injury settlement amount I expected to get (actually a few percent more). He was quiet and efficient, not a time-waster. Perfect fit for a working person.

    - Carl Hoppe
  • Thanks again Scott and Staff for your great work. My family and I are fortunate to have you all by our side in times of need.

    - Maria Mejia
Client Testimonials

What Sets Us Apart

Quality Legal Representation Your Case Needs
  • Fast, Favorable Resolutions

    At Scott J. Corwin, A Professional Law Corporation, we understand the importance of securing a favorable outcome in your case, fast. More than 95 percent of our clients’ cases settle within 5 to 9 months, and our clients are very satisfied with the results (see our client reviews!). We only file lawsuits when absolutely necessary, such as in cases where the defendant disputes liability or refuses to pay for the full extent of our client’s damages.

  • Renowned Reputation

    With more than 30 years in practice and over $175 million recovered for his clients, Scott is known for his aggressive approach to litigation. Some of his accolades include:

    • Inclusion in the Southern California Super Lawyers® list since 2007, a distinction reserved for only the top 5 percent of all personal injury lawyers in the region
    • Named a “Top 100 Super Lawyer”
    • Named a Top 25 Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyers in California by the National Trial Lawyers Association since 2010
    • Maintains a 10.0 Superb rating on Avvo

  • Personal Attention

    At Scott J. Corwin, A Professional Law Corporation, we believe in developing strong attorney-client relationships built on honesty, trust, and communication. As a client, you will always receive direct, personal attention from Scott; your case will never be passed off to an associate or paralegal. Instead, you can always rely on dedicated representation from a highly experienced and award-winning attorney who is ready to fight for you.

  • Zero Upfront Fees

    Our firm offers all personal injury and wrongful death legal services on a contingency fee basis. This means you do not pay any upfront or out-of-pocket fees or expenses. Instead, we only get paid if and when we recover compensation for you. In the unlikely event that we do not win your case, you do not pay a dime. We also offer free consultations, so you have nothing to lose in reaching out to our team today. Contact our firm 24/7 and we’ll get back to you within one business day.

Get In Touch With Us Today

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