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Recovering Compensation for Bites at Dog Beaches

By Hess & Nghiem on August 16, 2021

Dog beaches are popular throughout Orange County for allowing pet owners to relax and show their dogs the joy of playing at the beach. However, dog owners should still be careful whenever they take their pets out in public, as all it takes is one distraction or untrained dog to cause a serious injury. After a bite at a dog beach, victims may be unsure if they can recover compensation in a dog bite claim, and our team at HN Injury Lawyers is here to set the record straight.

Dog Beach Laws in Orange County

Orange County utilizes a leash law that requires dog owners to keep their pets on leashes whenever they go out in public, whether the dog is dangerous or not. Leashes must be no longer than six feet in length and handled by adults who are capable of quickly restraining the pet if it gets aggressive. The exception to this rule is at designated dog parks and beaches.

Dog parks and beaches in Orange County include:

  • Costa Mesa Bark Park
  • Fullerton Pooch Park
  • Garden Grove Dog Park
  • Huntington Central Park Dog Park
  • Central Bark in Irvine
  • Laguna Beach Dog Park
  • Laguna Niguel Pooch Park
  • Barker Ranch Dog Park in Lake Forest
  • Yorba Park in Orange
  • San Clemente Dog Park
  • Arbor Dog Park
  • Huntington Dog Beach

Dogs are allowed at some other beaches and parks throughout Orange County, including Santa Anita and Santiago Park here in Santa Ana, but they must remain on a leash at all times.

Are Dog Owners Liable for Bites at Dog Parks and Beaches?

Simply put, yes, owners are liable for dog bites that occur on public property, even if it is the first time a dog has bitten someone. California follows strict liability when determining who is responsible for dog bites. Under this law, if a dog bites someone, then the owner is responsible for paying compensation to the victim when:

  • The victim was on public property; or
  • The victim was legally on private property; and
  • The bite was unprovoked.

Even if the dog was running free at a dog park or beach, owners can still be found liable for any injuries the animal causes to someone else. Based on this legal statute, a victim can recover compensation for:

  • All medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning potential
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment

In most cases, recovering compensation for a dog bite requires going through the owner’s homeowners insurance policy. Unfortunately, insurance companies rarely play fair when handling dog bite claims, and you can expect an insurance adjuster to offer a small settlement that hardly covers your medical bills. Owners may also try to deny liability, arguing that you provoked their dog or that the dog is normally not aggressive.

In order to get the most out of your claim, you will need to work with the dedicated Santa Ana dog bite lawyers at HN Injury Lawyers. Our legal team has more than 50 years of combined experienced advocating for accident victims throughout Santa Ana. We can go over the details of your injuries in a free consultation and explain your right to compensation. If you choose to work with us, we will use all of our expertise and knowledge to fight for your best interests. To get a free case evaluation, call us at (657) 333-5726.

Posted in: Dog Bites