Dog bites can affect the lives of both the victim and the pet’s owner. Generally speaking, the recipient of a dog bite can sue for damages if he or she suffered harm due to their interaction with the pet. In some states, there are statues limiting this harm to those who have not provoked the dog.
In California, however, the fault lies with the owner. Therefore, all dogs must be well trained and kept out of situations that provoke aggression.
In California, the pet owner is responsible for any damage a pet does through the act of biting in a public or private place. Damages suffered as a result of the bite will likely be the responsibility of the dog owner, and the former behavior of the dog will likely be deemed irrelevant. The owner may escape liability if he or she can prove the dog was provoked in some way by the recipient of the bite. However, proving provocation is an extensive and sometimes fruitless process.
While the dog owner is the primary party responsible for canine aggression, there are certain circumstances in which other people may be found responsible for the dog harming another person.
This includes the following additional parties:
• Someone who has assumed care of the dog and is keeping it in his or her custody – They can be liable for any injuries that occur as the owner would be. Keeping or harboring a stray dog, or even dog sitting for a friend, means you are responsible for its actions while the pet is in your care. Therefore, regardless of what past incidents may have led the dog to bite, the fact that it attacked while you’re in charge means you may have to compensate any injured parties.
• Owners of property -Much as with dog keepers, those with a canine on the property they own assume some responsibility for that dog’s behavior. The mere act of a dog on the premises biting someone does not open the property owner to liability. However, if the property owner has not taken sufficient measures to keep the people in and around the property reasonably safe from the dog, it is likely that some liability may fall on the property owner’s shoulders.
Children, including anyone under the age of 18, are more or less immune from liability when it comes to a dog attack. Even if they are technically the primary caregiver, a minor is unable to be sued for damages. In a case like this, the parents of the minor would be held accountable for the actions of their child’s dog.
If you have been affected by a dog bite and not sure what to do? Let us review your case and provide the insight you need.