Owning a dog is very common in California and other states across the nation. Whether it is a small or large breed, dogs are a lot of work. Dogs require time, training and attention. Even more so, dog owners are also required to ensure the safety of others that come in contact with his or her dog. Failure to do so could result in a dog bite, causing much harm, pain and suffering.
While dog owners in California are aware of the responsibilities that come with dog ownership, they may not be aware of the legal responsibilities that exist when his or her dog bites or attacks another person. It is important to note these laws, as a sudden incident could impact both the victim and the dog owner in the event of a dog bite.
What are the dog bite laws in California? Even if a dog has never bite anyone and has maintained a calm and friendly demeanor for years, in California, dog owners are strictly liable for dog bites. This means that even if this is the dog's first time biting anyone and that dog has never shown viciousness or dangerous propensities, the dog owner will be liable for all damages suffered by a victim.
In order for a dog owner to be strictly liable for the dog bite, however, the bite must have occurred in a public place or in a private place that the victim is lawfully at. In other words, if a person has trespassed onto private property, the dog owner will not be strictly liable for a dog bite. It should also be noted that dog owners could also be liable for non-bite injuries, however, strict liability does not apply here. In these matters, there must be evidence of negligence, meaning that the owner failed to use reasonable care.
Suffering an injury due to a dog bite or attack can be a serious matter. The injuries caused by a dog bite could be severe, even causing disfigurement. In addition to physical pain, a victim could also suffer mental and emotional damages, causing one to be fearful of dogs or events that resemble his or her attack. Because the damages can be extensive, it is important to understand that compensation could be recovered. A personal injury action could help hold a dog owner accountable for the damages, resulting in an award of compensation.