What are Compensatory and Punitive Damages for Dog Bite in CA

Personal Injury Accident Attorney
Dog Bite Cases

California has strict laws and regulations to address the cases regarding dog bite injuries. In some countries, there is a one-bite rule, in which the dog owner will not be liable for a dog bite unless the dog was known to have bitten before. However in California, the owner will be held responsible for the first bite itself. There are two types of damages associated with a dog bite case, the first one is compensatory damages and the other is punitive damages. A personal injury accident attorney will help you to distinguish between these two damages. Let’s look into the details of these damages:

Compensatory Damages

According to the dog bite statute that exists in California, there are monetary damages to the victim of a dog attack, if they are attacked on a public property or on a private property lawfully. Such damages are known as compensatory damages.

Compensatory damages can be classified in to two; the first is economic damages and the other is non-economic damages. Economic damages refer to the measurable and verifiable expenses caused by a dog attack to the victim. It includes medical bills, loss of pay and other related expenses.

Non-economic damages, however, cannot be calculated like economic damages. They are unquantifiable damages. Such damages include pain and suffering, emotional distress, scarring, post-traumatic stress disorder, disfigurement, and physical impairment. This damage category deals with the emotional and psychological problems suffered by the victim of a dog attack.

A victim can get monetary compensations for both Economic and non-economic damages. The amount will depend on the injuries and other damages which are specific to each case.

Punitive Damages

The purpose of this damage is to punish the dog owner for his reckless or egregious behavior. If the owner of the dog purposefully intended to cause harm to the victim, then he will be punished under this. For this, the victim should prove that the dog owner’s conduct led to this wrongful act.

If the plaintiff, in the context of a dog bite, is able to prove that the dog owner knew about the aggressive behavior of the dog or the owner gave instructions to the dog to attack other people or the owner intentionally or recklessly failed to take reasonable precautions to avoid the dog attack, then the owner will be punished.

In case of a dog bite, there are two distinct damages existing in California. The first one which is known as compensatory damages deals with monetary compensation for the victim, while the other one which is known as punitive damages deals with punishing the dog owner for his reckless behavior. You can contact a dog bite lawyer in California to file a lawsuit for a dog attack and to make a dog bite claim, in case of dog bites and related injuries.