Dog Bites in West Covina

A Personal Injury Law Firm for the People of West Covina, California

West Covina, California sits in the San Gabriel Valley. The Plaza West Covina draws in visitors from throughout the metro area, as does the West Covina Sportsplex Project. Interstate 10 and, in the absence of road closures, California 60 West, provide access to downtown Los Angeles.

West Covina, like many of Los Angeles’ charming cities, certainly has its share of dog lovers – in fact, its population of approximately 100,000 would drastically increase if dogs were counted as people. Adorable as they can be, dogs can also cause serious injury and even death when they become aggressive. Indeed, over 4.5 million dog bites are recorded each year in the United States.

Dog Bites and California Law

The California dog bite statute places liability on dog owners for injuries caused by their dogs. Unlike many states, California does not allow for a “one bite rule”. This means that if a dog bites, the owner cannot avoid liability by proving that the dog had never acted aggressively before. California law allows a dog bite victim to file a civil lawsuit against the dog owner, and average payouts are in the tens of thousands of dollars.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What action do you take after being attacked by a dog?

What are the most common defenses against dog bite claims?

In California, the four most common defenses are:
  • Intentional provocation (unless the victim is under five years old)
  • Trespassing
  • The dog was an on-duty police or military dog (at an airport, for example)
  • The defendant is not the owner of the dog.

Can I receive punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages?

You can receive punitive damages if:
  • The dog owner was guilty of particularly outrageous behavior (intentionally “siccing” his dog on you, for example)
  • You can prove the outrageous nature of the dog owner’s behavior by “clear and convincing evidence” (a higher standard of proof than the standard that normally applies in a civil lawsuit).

Will the IRS tax my personal injury verdict or settlement?

The general answer is no. Keep in mind, however, that the IRS does tax punitive damages (not available in most dog bite cases) as ordinary income, and it will tax judgment interest as interest income. To avoid unnecessary taxation, a settlement agreement should clearly specify the amount of each element of damages.

Can I file a criminal complaint against the dog owner for a dog bite? Will that affect my claim for civil damages?

You can file a criminal complaint against a dog owner if the circumstances are serious enough. Normally, a serious injury or death is required, and the dog owner must have already had good reason to believe that the dog was dangerous. You can definitely pursue a civil lawsuit and criminal prosecution at the same time—legally speaking, they are independent of each other.

Some of our Primary Practice Areas

Dog bite claims are not the only type of personal injury claim we deal with. The following is only a partial list of the types of personal injury claims we frequently handle:

Full Compensation is Your Legal Right

Your first course of action after a serious dog bite injury should be to seek immediate medical attention (this is important for legal reasons as well). Your second course of action should be to seek out the services of a West Covina dog bite lawyer to help you pursue full compensation for your injuries. Your claim might be worth more than you think it is!

In any case, your choice of attorney is critically important. We are available to answer any of your questions if you call (213) 817-9957 or fill out our free case evaluation form. Keep in mind that In addition to West Covina, we also take clients from elsewhere in the Los Angeles metro area.


Call (213) 817-9957

Ghozland Law Firm- West Covina Personal Injury Lawyer
1050 Lakes Drive, West Covina, CA 91790 View Map
Local (213) 334-4570

Injured? Get Help Now From a Top Dog Bite Attorney

Send message