Yes. If your child is under 18 and was bitten or attacked by a dog, their rights to injury compensation are slightly different than for an adult filing a claim. Here are three laws regarding their legal rights you need to follow.

Deadline to File His Lawsuit

The time period you have to file a lawsuit against the dog owner and any other negligent party is called the statute of limitations. Adults have two years from the date of the dog bite to file their civil complaint.

However, the statute of limitations is extended for minor children. They have two years from the date of their 18th birthday to file their lawsuit. It's critical not to miss this deadline to sue the dog owner, otherwise your child loses the right to peruse their claim.

Innocent Child Rule

dog bite lawsUnder California's comparative negligence laws, a victim who was partially at fault in causing their dog bite would have the amount of compensation they receive reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, if found to be 30 percent to blame, they would only be entitled to 70 percent of the total amount owed.

A different rule applies to children under 5-years-old. Due to their age, they're considered "faultless" if bitten or attacked by a dog. The comparative negligence laws that could limit the amount of damages they receive won't apply.

Court Approval of a Dog Bite Settlement

You must follow a special procedure to obtain court approval of your child's dog bite settlement if you settle their case before they turn 18. This is required whether you resolve the claim with or without litigation.

Did your child suffer injuries due to a dog bite or attack? You need the help of an experienced dog bite lawyer to hold the animal's owner responsible for rightful injury compensation—and to get the settlement approved by the court. To learn about my success helping other children in personal injury cases and how I can assist your family, call my San Diego office to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.


Mark Blane
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San Diego Personal Injury Lawyer | California Car Accident Attorney