I’m currently studying at UCLA and I’ve heard a lot of stories lately about dogs attacking and biting victims in the Los Angeles area. I always thought this was tragic because we usually consider dogs man’s best friend.
When a dog bite accident occurs, it’s hard to know who’s responsible. Some dog bite injuries result in significant medical bills; so, as a victim, it’s important to understand California’s legal process regarding dog bites and dog owners.
The Law Offices of Gary K. Walch, a Law Corporation, is one of many Los Angeles firms that handles dog bite accident cases. If you believe someone else is liable for your dog bite injuries, you may need legal counsel to help you prove negligence and secure a settlement. The first step is having knowledge of the laws.
Strict Liability for Dog Owners in California
While some states have a one bite rule that releases owners from liability if their dog bites for the first time without prior knowledge of violent behavior, California holds dog owners strictly liable for any injuries their dogs inflict. Dog owners in California can’t argue that they didn’t know their dog was violent and they can’t argue that they tried to prevent the attack.
As long as a dog bite accident inflicts injury, occurs in a public place, or lawfully in a private place, then the dog owner will be liable for any damages that result.
Proving Negligence Against a Dog Owner
The strict liability law doesn’t apply to accidents involving dogs where a bite hasn’t occurred. For example, if a dog bites the tires of a bicycle and causes an accident that leads to injury, the dog owner won’t be strictly liable under the law. In a situation such as this, the injured victim may need to prove negligence against the dog owner to receive compensation.
If the dog owner knowingly unleashed the dog or the dog escaped from the owner’s property, then the plaintiff can argue that the dog owner’s failure to contain their dog led to their injuries.
Dangerous Dog Laws in California
If a dog bite accident occurs, the court may order the dog owner to prevent further attacks from occurring by taking appropriate action. If the dog owner doesn’t follow the court ordered actions and another attack occurs, the court may charge the dog owner criminally. If a dog in California is proven to be dangerous beyond repair, the dog may be put down.
An experienced attorney can guide you through the legal process if you’re trying to hold a dog owner accountable for your injuries. You deserve a settlement for the trauma you’ve been through and, now that you know the laws, I hope you can move forward with your case.