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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    1

    Default Suing for Dog Bite in Small Claims Court

    My question involves injury or loss that occurred in the state of: California

    I was bitten by a stranger's dog in a San Francisco park while riding my bicycle today and suffered a 1-inch laceration on my leg. If I decide to sue in small claims court, is there a reasonable amount I should ask for (I suppose I could ask for the maximum, but I want to be realistic)? It would be strictly for pain and suffereing since my medical costs were only $15, & I presume there will be a scar which I believe should entitle me to compensation.

    Also, when should I file suit? When I filed the police report I was told there would be a hearing in "dog court" which may be in 30 - 60 days, according to sfgov.org. Should I wait until after the hearing?

    Any advice is greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    3,835

    Default Re: Suing for Dog Bite in Small Claims Court

    Quote Quoting kms0201
    View Post
    My question involves injury or loss that occurred in the state of: California

    I was bitten by a stranger's dog in a San Francisco park while riding my bicycle today and suffered a 1-inch laceration on my leg. If I decide to sue in small claims court, is there a reasonable amount I should ask for (I suppose I could ask for the maximum, but I want to be realistic)? It would be strictly for pain and suffereing since my medical costs were only $15, & I presume there will be a scar which I believe should entitle me to compensation.

    Also, when should I file suit? When I filed the police report I was told there would be a hearing in "dog court" which may be in 30 - 60 days, according to sfgov.org. Should I wait until after the hearing?

    Any advice is greatly appreciated!

    Here is CA's dog bite statute, see 3342:

    http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/di...le=3333-3343.7

    You may wish to go to a library, maybe a main branch, where they have the CA code. Look up this section for some case law annotations that may help.


    Has he admitted what happened? It probably matters not when you file suit, but yes, you can wait until the adjudication of the hearing to see the outcome, there is no hard fast rule one way or another.

    Be wary though, a personal injury suit DOES have a statute of limitations, probably 1-3 years, without looking that is. You don't have to file it tomorrow, but don't wait forever either.

    True though, if a person is convicted in a criminal court, although this may be more of an administrative hearing (?), that reflects on any civil suit and it may automatically mean the court will find in your favor, since the burden of proof is a lower one in a cvil court??

    The jurisdictional limit in CA small claims is $7,500.00. YOU have to decide how much your pain and anguish should be compensated.

    You admit minimal medical bills and if your pain was also minimal in degree and duration, limit your request.

    No one can tell you what it is worth to you. The court will decide, based on your testimony how much it feels you should be compensated if you overly request damages.

    If you sue for 6 k's the court may only award 2??

  3. #3

    Default Re: Suing for Dog Bite in Small Claims Court

    Quote Quoting kms0201
    View Post
    My question involves injury or loss that occurred in the state of: California

    I was bitten by a stranger's dog in a San Francisco park while riding my bicycle today and suffered a 1-inch laceration on my leg. If I decide to sue in small claims court, is there a reasonable amount I should ask for (I suppose I could ask for the maximum, but I want to be realistic)? It would be strictly for pain and suffereing since my medical costs were only $15, & I presume there will be a scar which I believe should entitle me to compensation.

    Also, when should I file suit? When I filed the police report I was told there would be a hearing in "dog court" which may be in 30 - 60 days, according to sfgov.org. Should I wait until after the hearing?

    Any advice is greatly appreciated!
    Although you CAN sue, since your damages are so limited, why not contact the dog owner and make a request for some reasonable restitution? It could save you a bunch of time and money in the long run.

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