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Who is liable for dog bite injuries?

When someone decides to be a dog owner, he or she is also deciding to take responsibility for the dog's actions. This means that if a dog -- whether it is a pit bull or a chihuahua -- bites someone else, the dog's owner can be held liable.

Recently, CBS Sacramento ran a report stating dog bites are on the rise across the country, including in California. In fact, California is leading the pack, with insurance companies paying out $65 million in dog bite claims last year.

According to the report, when it comes to dog bites, victims should keep in mind that claims are normally settled rather quickly since the state has what is referred to as strict liability. This means that if a dog bites someone -- and the person was legally allowed to be where the bite took place -- the owner is typically deemed liable. Even if the owner warned their houseguest that the dog may bite, the warning is not enough to deter liability. 

It is also worth mentioning that anyone can file a claim after a dog bite incident. This means that if a sister is visiting her best friend -- or even her brother -- and their dog bites, the sister can still file a claim. It may seem awkward to do this, but the medical expenses, pain and suffering from a dog bite can be quite severe. And, after all, by owning a dog, that best friend or brother, is agreeing to take full responsibility for their dog's actions. 

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Bender & Gritz, APLC
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San Diego, CA 92101

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