Being attacked by an animal is a traumatic event for innocent victims and their loved ones. Serious injuries and permanent disabilities can result from dog bite attacks including Nerve Damage, Permanent Scarring, Internal bleeding, facial lacerations and disfigurement and sadly in many cases fatalities. It’s no wonder victims of dog attacks feel they have no choice but to file a personal injury claim against dog owners and property owners for the injuries they have suffered. However there are certain statutory restrictions which may reduce or eliminate the financial recovery a dog bite victim is entitled too.
California Statute of Limitations for Dog Bite Personal Injury Lawsuits:In the state of California a plaintiff generally has two years from the date of the incident to file a personal injury cause of action against a defendant in the court of law. CA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE SECTION 335-349.4. states a Plaintiff must file a claim within two years of an action for assault, battery, or injury to, or for the death of, an individual caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another. Exceptions to Statute of Limitations – Tolling of the Statute: There are certain measure which may be taken by plaintiff to toll (or halt) the statute of limitations for a certain period of time. A brief description of exceptions to the statute of limitations are as follows:
- Minors under the age of 18: The majority of dog bit victims in the United States are minors under the age of 18. Under California law the statutory period for minors injured in dog bite attacks does not run until the age of 18. In other words an minor who was injured in a dog bite incident has until his 20th birthday to file a claim against would be defendants.
- Physical or Mental Incapacitation of the injured victim.
- Injury manifested itself after the incident.
- Hospitalization and Medical Costs
- Future medical and rehabilitation costs including the cost of reconstructive surgical procedures
- Lost wages and loss of future income
- Pain and suffering including emotional distress and trauma