Anyone who has a dog knows that your dog can be your best friend. Unfortunately, your dog can also be a financial liability if your dog bites another person. There are approximately 4.5 million dog bites a year, which require over 800,000 people to seek medical attention. Over half of these dog bites occur to children. Statistically, dog bites generally occur from a known dog that belongs to the family or friend of the family. If you have a dog who has bitten someone, then you may be held liable for the actions of your dog and could possibly pay a hefty fee depending on the circumstances. Because of this, it is important to understand dog bite liability and how a dog bite can affect you. If you or a loved one has a dog that has bitten someone or if you have been bitten by a dog, it is invaluable to contact an experienced California personal injury attorney so that we can help you strategize about the best possible outcomes for your case.
Dog Bite Cases
In California, if your dog bites another person, you will be held strictly liable for your dog’s actions. In California, to be held strictly liable means that you will be held responsible for most dog bite injuries if your dog bites another person and if a victim sues you for damages that have been incurred, you will be required to pay those damages whether your dog has a dangerous propensity or not, or whether you took preventive measures to ensure that your dog did not hurt another person.
Though this is California’s standard, there is also an exception to every rule. In California, a dog owner is only strictly liable if the injured person was bitten, and was in a public place or a lawful private place when the injury occurred. However, there are circumstances in which a dog owner will not be liable. These circumstances consist of:
- If the person is considered a trespasser or on the property without the permission of the landowner;
- If the person is a vet who is treating the dog;
- If the dog bite someone while helping the police or military officials;
- If the dog bite someone who provoked the dog
In all of these circumstances, strict liability will not apply and you will not be held liable for dog bite injuries.
Need Legal Advice?
Dogs can be great companions and are generally man’s best friend. However, dogs can also be the reason you are held liable if your dog bites another person. Depending on your case, this amount can be small or large, however, there are exceptions to every rule and this is also the case when it pertains to dog bite liability. Because of this, it is invaluable to seek legal advice and representation if you have found yourself in this circumstance. If you or a loved one has a dog that has bitten someone or if you have been bitten by a dog, contact an experienced personal injury attorney at The Paris Firm to help you with your case today.