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Who is liable for a dog bite injury?

On Behalf of | Jul 13, 2022 | Personal Injury

Dogs can make great pets for people in Northern California. They can be very loyal, fun and become part of the family. They are still animals though and have certain instincts. If they are cornered or feel threatened, dogs do still bite and attack to protect themselves. They also can be protective of their territory and homes. So, while they may be perfectly fine with their owners, they may still bite other people.

Depending on the circumstances, the victims of the dog bites could suffer fairly significant injuries too. Sometimes, dogs will keep biting until they feel that the threat has been neutralized. This may mean that they bit multiple times, causing deep wounds in the victim. Not only can the victims need stitches to close the wounds but they may also prevent people from doing various activities while the wounds heal, including being able to work, depending on what they do for work.

If a dog attacks, it can also affect people psychologically and in the future, dogs may cause them great anxiety and fear. The costs associated with a dog bite can grow quickly as a result. The victims of the dog bite should not be left paying for this on their own as most of the time they did not knowingly provoke the dog.

Dog owners are generally liable for dog bites

In California, the owners of dogs who bite other people are liable for the injuries their dog causes in any public place and also to anyone who is lawfully on the dog owners property at the time of the attack. Being on the owner’s property lawfully means that they had a legal right to carry out a job, such as a postman or police officer, or the victim either had an express or implied invitation from the owner to be on the property. An example of an implied invitation would be a delivery driver.

Most dog owners in California do not train their dogs to attack and may not have an idea that their dog would bite another person. However, there are times when dogs are unpredictable or are put in a new situation and react. Even if the owner of the dog did not have reason to believe that their dog would attack, they are still liable to the victim if the dog does attack. Experienced attorneys understand the physical and mental effects of a dog bite and may be able to help one become whole afterward.