Most people love dogs. They are a man’s best friend. People consider them as another member of their family. It’s scary when dogs act out and attack you. They could have seemed harmless, maybe it was a cute little Yorkie. Or maybe it was a giant pit bull who snarled and barked at you everytime you passed your neighbor’s fence. Getting bit by a dog is a scary situation to be in. You don’t really expect it or expect it to happen to you. It does happen more often than you’d think. There are several laws in place that protect victims of dog bites and manage dangerous dogs. It’s important to know the liability of dog owners as well as see what California law says about dangerous dogs.
Liability of Dog Owners
Dog owners are responsible for the injury costs that are associated with their dog biting someone. This includes medical expenses as well as lost wages. This law applies if the dog bites in a public place, for example a neighborhood park, or a private place such as the owners property as long as the person was there for a lawful reason. For example, a friend visiting for a party or a UPS driver trying to deliver a package counts as lawful reasons for being on the dog owner’s private property. California has a “strict liability” rule. This means that whatever the case may be, the owner is held responsible unless the victim was trespassing onto the owner’s property. There is one exception however, if the victim is provoking the dog in any type of way, then the owner is not liable. This applies even if the dog usually doesn’t bite others and/or if the owner did nothing wrong in the situation.
California has specific laws on dogs that are considered dangerous. It is the responsibility of the owners to take the necessary steps to remove any danger of future attacks. This applies when the owner’s dog has bitten someone in the past. Anyone may file a case with the owner of the dog if the dog has bitten a human twice on two separate occasions, or if the dog has caused serious injury to someone. The court must take steps into preventing future attack from the dog which may include removing the dog from the area.
Controlling Dangerous Dogs
The state of California has a separate legal procedure for controlling dangerous dogs. In order for dogs to be added to this list, animal control or law enforcement must file a petition when they feel a dog is a threat. If the court finds the dog potentially dangerous or vicious, then the owner will be required to meet certain conditions such as keeping the dog on a leash. Dogs can be seen as potentially dangerous if they have bitten someone without being provoked causing minor injury, they have killed or injured a domestic animal within the past 3 years, or someone has been forced to defend themselves from the dog’s aggressive behavior within the past 3 years. Dogs are deemed as vicious when the court has already labelled them as potentially dangerous and the owner has done nothing or the dog has continued, or the dog killed or injured someone without being provoked.
It’s incredibly scary when you’re bitten by a dog. It’s nothing you would’ve prepared for. In most cases the owner is liable for it. You’re suffering as a result of their animal. California has the most dog bite-related fatalities in the US. You need an expert San Diego dog bite attorney on your side. Edward “Skip” Babbitt is here to help you get the compensation you deserve. Call his office today at 619-543-1789 to schedule your free initial consultation.