When Do Dog Owners Become Liable For Dog Bites?

Dog Bite Attorney
Dog Bite Attorney
Dog Bite Attorney

California is a state with strict civil and criminal dog bite liability laws when you dogs have bitten someone. In such instances, contacting a dog bite attorney is a good idea as the state can change the laws any time. There are multiple scenarios where these canine laws can be invoked and it depends on a number of factors. In some cases the owners are liable, whereas in other situations they are not. The purpose of this article is to offer a better understanding of these situations and its outcome.

Dog Owners Are Strictly Liable

In California dog owners can be strictly liable when their dog has caused bite injuries and the victim can sue for compensation. The owners cannot argue about their negligence of dog’s history of viciousness or their reason for not being able to prevent the incident of hurting the victim. This is only applicable if the victim was bitten and if it happened at a public or in a lawfully private space like when delivering mail etc. If the dog grabs someone with teeth and doesn’t break the skin, it is still counted as a bite, similarly if it grabs someone by the pants and the person falls causing injury the owner is liable.

When Dog Owners Are Not Liable

Now, there are some exceptions when the dog owner is not liable, i.e. victims cannot sue if they are bitten by army or police dogs that were performing law enforcement work. Also if the dog bit as a defence or against provocative behaviour, the victim is not eligible for compensation.

When Dog Owners Are Unaware Of The Incident

The victim cannot sue the owner if they were not injured by the dog. For example, if the victim was on a bicycle or motorcycle and the dog chased them leading to an accident. However, if the victim can prove that this happened due to the negligence of the owner who was present at the time, then they can receive compensation. So, if the attack by the dog was due to lack of reasonable care on the part of the owner the victim is eligible for damage.

California Dangerous Dog Laws

Now, if there is a past history of the dog biting and causing injury, then the victim can file a civil suit against the owner for dog bite claim, making them liable for not taking preventive steps to remove any danger. The court can order the owner to have the animal destroyed or remove the animal from the area to avoid future attack.

So, consulting with a dog bite attorney will give you a better understanding of your position as a dog owner in the event of your pet biting a person.