Dog Bite Injury Attorneys Serving Los Angeles
Owner Liability for Dog Bites and Attacks is the Law in California
Out of nowhere, suddenly you, your child or another loved one became the victim of a vicious dog and were bitten and attacked. A dog bite shouldn’t be taken lightly, even from small breed dogs. The wounds inflicted can cause serious infections, scars, disfigurement and even death. A study spanning 13 years by dogbite.org reported that canines killed 433 Americans with more than 50 percent of fatalities being children ten years and under.
When it comes to dog bites and attacks, California legislation is a “strict liability state,” which means a dog owner is held entirely responsible for injuries their animal inflicts. Unlike some other states, it doesn’t matter whether the owner knew the dog was vicious or had a history of viciousness. As described in the legislation, it also doesn’t matter whether a victim was on public property or lawfully on private property either by invitation or while performing duties governed by California or federal postal regulations.
California Dog Owners Are Held Responsible When Their Dog Bites and Attacks
“The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness. A person is lawfully upon the private property of such owner within the meaning of this section when he is on such property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him by the laws of this state or by the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or when he is on such property upon the invitation, express or implied, of the owner.”
Unless you were bitten after the dog showed clear warning signs of aggression, but you ignored those and interacted with the dog anyway or the owner warned you to stay away, its owner is liable for your injuries. The only exception is under the “assumption of risk” law if you choose to work with dogs as a veterinarian, kennel worker, groomer or dog walker and a bite occurs.
In all other cases, except when a K-9 officer is performing job duties and a suspect is bitten, the owner is legally and civilly. If a dog owner demonstrated lack of concern for the safety of others, such as allowing known vicious dogs to roam freely or interact with children, they may also be held criminally responsible.