Identify the Biting Dog in All Dog Bite Lawsuits!
In California dog bite lawsuits prove up that the dog which caused the injury is owned by the defendant. Now it may seem plain silly to offer into evidence the identity of the biting dog in dog bite lawsuits. Unless you have an admission or stipulation from the defendant in your dog bite lawsuits, you are well advised to prove up this fact. Of course, it may seem obvious that your child was bit by THAT dog and it was quarantined. Or perhaps the owners were cited and the dog destroyed too. But what IF the dog owner(s) deny that it was their dog?
The Burden of Proof
Remember, the burden of proof is on YOU to prove up your dog bite lawsuits. If you don’t prove up all the elements in the dog bite lawsuits you lose! Where there is uncertainty about which dog bit the child, the judge may rule you failed to prove up your dog bite lawsuits.
The In Court ID
It is a powerful litigation tool of proof and advocacy and persuasion to identify the biting dog as the culprit which caused the personal injuries, whether to you or your child.
A good prosecutor will obtain testimony from witnesses which identify that the defendant is the person who in fact committed the crime. This is called an in court ID. Now, this identifies that the person sitting in the defendant’s chair is in fact the same as the culprit who did the crime.
You should obtain photos and video of the culprit dog, animal bite reports, quarantine reports, photos while it is in quarantine if possible, admissions from owners, eye witness written statements, your own client’s witness statements, written discovery responses or depositions.
Beware that if the dog is to be destroyed you must advocate for an admission from the dog owner that it was their dog which caused the injuries. At times it may be necessary to have an attorney interface with animal control for this purpose.