A majority of people will judge dogs based on their breed, size, demeanor, or location. Unfortunately, it is difficult to predict when a dog will attack based on these factors. When a dog bite occurs, many victims report that they were shocked at the time of the attack and this is also similar to what dog owners report. According to current California dog bite laws, however, dog owners can be held legally liable for injuries caused by their pet whether they had knowledge of the dog’s aggressive demeanor or not.
When a dog bites a person, the injury can be devastating. For many, the bite can cause severe pain and infection, which will often require medical care and potentially surgery. In other unfortunate cases, dog bite injuries lead to the untimely death of the victim. Injuries caused by a dog bite can leave people with physical and emotional scars that can last a lifetime. Fortunately, the State of California has enacted a law that protects those who have been injured as a result of a dog bite.
California’s Strict Liability Law for Dog Bite Victims
Every state across the nation will have its own laws regarding dog bites and dog attacks. California follows the “strict liability” doctrine, which states that dog owners will be held responsible for injuries caused by their pet’s bite even if the owner had no prior knowledge of the animal’s aggression.
There are, however, two exceptions to this law. Individuals who have sustained a dog bite will not be able to hold the pet owner responsible if they were not lawfully in the pet owner’s premises at the time of the attack. If the canine owner can demonstrate that the pet owner was trespassing at the time of the attack, he or she may be able to avoid responsibility. Likewise, dogs that serve for local law enforcement agencies or are military dogs cannot be held accountable when the attack occurred as part of its duty.
California’s dog bite law serves to allow a victim the opportunity to receive compensation following an attack. Although these circumstances may seem direct, proving a dog bite injury and holding the owner accountable may be difficult.
After a Dog Bite Injury, Hire the Support of a Qualified Personal Injury Attorney
Depending on the circumstances, proving a dog bite injury may be difficult but even if this is the case, speaking to a qualified attorney can help evaluate your legal options. A personal injury attorney can save you time and money when building a case against a dog owner.
Attorney Albert E. Hirst has many years of experience helping dog bite victims receive the compensation they deserve following an attack. If a dog bit you, you may encounter physical and emotional pain as well as financial distress. Dog bite cases in California are time restricted and it is important to seek legal representation shortly after the accident. Speak to a professional attorney who can help you build a strong case and set you on your path toward recovery.