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A glimpse at California's dog bite laws

Owning a dog is very common in California and other states across the nation. A dog can provide excellent companionship, and they are often considered a perfect pet for people of any age. While a cute a cuddly dog seems like a very positive and safe animal to have around, this may not remain if and when the dog is threatened. A dog owner is responsible for their dog and has the duty to protect others from his or her dog. Thus, when a dog attack does occur, a victim may have legal recourses available to them.

Although a dog is coined man's best friend, there can be situations where a dog is not friendly. Maybe it is a stressful environment due to noise, or possibly, a stranger is approaching the dog and it is feeling uneasy. In other situations, a dog may be fearful after getting loose or it may be defensive because a person is causing them harm. Thus, when a dog bite occurs, there are many factors to consider.

In the event of a dog bite, the dog owner is presumed liable for any injuries and damages suffered when a dog bite occurs in a public place or when a person is lawfully in a private place. This liability occurs regardless if the dog has previously bit anyone or has shown any vicious tendencies. A dog that has bit a person unprovoked on two separated occasions in a 36-month period is deemed a potentially dangerous dog. And a dog that has inflicted severe injuries or killed a human being in an aggressive manner when they were unprovoked is deemed a vicious dog.

Following a dog bite, it is possible to file a personal injury action. This legal action will consider where the bite took place, if a victim was legally on the property where the bite occurred and if there was any provocation by the victim. A personal injury action could help hold a negligent dog owner accountable while also helping with the recovery of compensation for losses and damages suffered from the incident.

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