Getting bitten by a dog can be a traumatic and painful experience. In California, you'll want to keep the law surrounding owner liability in mind if you're wanting to file a lawsuit against the dog's owner. California is known for having strict liability laws that make dog owners responsible for most dog bite injuries. It doesn't matter whether the dog owner knew that the dog was dangerous or not. The owner will not be able to argue that they took care to prevent the dog from biting someone either. California law does have strict limits as well. The injured party must have been bitten and further, been bitten in public or lawfully in a private place. Dog owners can also be sued for negligence if they are found to have not taken the necessary steps to restrict their dog's potentially dangerous behavior.
Another California law makes dog owners responsible for their dogs' actions. California's liability dog bite statute applies regardless of the animal's history and the owner will also be responsible for taking necessary steps to prevent future attacks. Whether the dog has bitten someone once or three times, the owner will have to decide to remove the dog or destroy it. In addition to this law, California has legal procedures regarding the control of dangerous dogs. If animal control files a petition against a potentially dangerous dog, and the court agrees that the dog could be a threat, the owner can also be ordered to keep their dog indoors, secured, and unable to access children.
Owners who do not meet the court's requirement in controlling their dog could face fines. In addition to the civil lawsuit to recover damages from injuries sustained by the dog bite, criminal charges can also be charged in connection to the bite. The civil suit must be filed within two years from the date of injury. Dog owners can potentially defend themselves against these fines and charges by arguing that the victims were trespassing or were partly at fault for the bite in order to reduce compensation amounts, or that the victim voluntarily took risk of injury. Also, keep in mind that you cannot sue police or military dogs acting within the scope of their work.
If you've been bitten by a dog in California, contact a dog bite attorney today. The experienced lawyers at the Law Office of Brian H. Turner will fight for the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.
This blog is intended as attorney advertisement, and should not be considered legal advice. This article does not create an attorney-client relationship and should not be used to make legal or medical decisions. Consult with an attorney before relying on this legal information.