San Diego, California, residents who have the misfortune of getting bitten by a dog may feel somewhat sorry for the owner of the animal, particularly if the owner seems apologetic about what happened and generally nice.
They may figure that the owner cannot control when or if a dog bites someone, and so they be reluctant to ask that owner to pay for medical bills, lost wages and non-economic damages, even though they have every right to do so under California’s strict liability standard for injuries of this nature.
The reality is, though, that owners can do quite a bit to prevent their dog from biting someone, even though they of course cannot fully control whether their dog attacks a person. The most basic thing they can do is take proper care of their dog, meaning that the dog is either supervised or confined at all times, well-fed, properly licensed and up-to-date on its medical care.
Moreover, owner can take three additional steps that further reduce a dog’s chance of biting someone. For one, an owner can spay or neuter their animal, which tends to reduce the dog’s aggressive tendencies. Moreover, an owner can also make sure the dog goes through obedience training with the owner and gets exposed to a lot of different social situations.
All these steps take are a little responsibility and time, but, unfortunately, many pet owners, for a number of reasons, do not take these steps. They are to that extent somewhat responsible when their animal bites someone, and a victim should not hesitate to hold them to account, even if they did not mean for their animal to hurt somebody.