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What are the laws in California concerning dog bites?

On Behalf of | Nov 4, 2022 | Personal Injury

You may be a dog lover and there is no doubt that many dogs are adorable and are only interested in loving and in being loved. However, dogs are still animals and that means that sometimes they turn aggressive and they may inflict injury on humans, whether it is provoked or unprovoked.

If you have been injured by another person’s dog, it is important for you to understand what the laws are so that you can make sure that you are compensated for your injuries, if the injury occurred because of some negligence on the part of the dog’s owner.

What is the dog’s owner responsible for?

According to California law, the owner of any dog is liable if their dog injures any person in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including on the owner’s property. Even if the owner was aware of the dog’s viciousness and informed you about it, the owner is still liable if the dog injures you.

California residents who own dogs are held strictly liable if their dog injures a person, or worse, causes them to lose their life. In other words, if the dog bites another person, the dog’s owner can automatically be held liable for the damages.

However, if the dog causes an injury to a person but does not bite them, the owner is only subject to a negligence claim. In other words, the victim must produce evidence that the owner did not use reasonable care.

In addition to civil charges being lodged against the dog owner, depending on how severe the situation is, they may also be charged criminally. If the owner did not properly restrain the dog, knowing that the dog is vicious or has been trained to attack, they can be charged with a felony if the biting results in injury or death.

Sound advice from a personal injury attorney

If you have been injured by someone else’s dog or a loved one has lost their life because of a dog, the experience of a California personal injury attorney may make a tremendous difference to your case. The attorney may be able to help get you the compensation that you need and that you deserve while protecting your rights at the same time. Being injured by an animal can be an extremely traumatic experience and although compensation can’t erase the memory of what happened to you, the compensation can give you the support that you need to move on.