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Legal options for victims of California dog attacks

On Behalf of | Oct 20, 2020 | Criminal Defense |

Dogs are great companions, and most dogs are gentle, loving pets. However, not all dogs are socialized to interact with the public and trained to be safe when around others. Dog owners in Santa Rosa and throughout California should be aware of the harm their dogs can inflict on others when they become aggressive and choose to attack.

Dog bites vs. Non-bite injuries from dogs

California law establishes a distinction between bite and non-bite injuries, and this influences the level of liability a dog owner will face if their dog’s victim chooses to sue them for damages. If a dog bites another person, the owner of the dog is strictly liable for the victim’s injuries. Strict liability means liability without the need to provide other evidence: the fact that the dog bit the victim is enough to demonstrate the liability of the dog’s owner.

If a dog inflicts non-bite injuries on a victim, that victim cannot base their claims on strict liability. Rather, the victim would have to build a negligence argument and show that the dog’s owner did not act reasonably given the circumstance and that they were the cause of the victim’s losses.

What to do after a dog attack

Dogs can carry diseases that can be transmitted to victims. After a dog attack, a victim should seek medical help to ensure that their health and safety is protected. They should get the contact information for the owner of the involved dog, and they can also get the names and phone numbers of witnesses who saw the dog attack. They can also choose to contact trusted dog bite and personal injury attorneys for guidance on their cases to determine how they should approach litigation based on their losses.