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Determining Whether an Owner Is Liable for a Dog Bite

Dog bite

Were you recently bit or injured by a dog in California? While many owners are quick to defend Fido’s actions, the truth is that a dog bite can lead to extensive medical bills, loss of wages, and pain/suffering. In California, dog owners can be held liable for the majority of dog bites, but only under certain conditions. For this post, we’re looking at how liability is determined in a dog bite case.  

Steps to take Immediately after the Dog Bite

First things first, you need report the dog bite to the appropriate authorities, including Animal Control and the police. You can worry about getting in touch with a personal injury attorney and filing a claim after these critical first steps are taken. This is also useful in leaving a trail as your attorney will be able to use any formal reports made to these agencies as you build your case.

Proving Liability in a Dog Bite Case

In order to prove that an owner is liable for a dog bite in CA, the following statements need to be true:

  • The defendant is the legal owner of the dog
  • The dog actually bit the plaintiff and caused injury
  • The bite occurred either on private property, or when the victim was lawfully within the boundaries of private property

These stipulations are important for a variety of reasons. First, a dog can be vicious or injure a person without actually biting them. In this case, a different procedure is followed, one where Animal Control or your local law enforcement takes the helm to determine whether the dog is considered vicious. Furthermore, the stipulation that the bite occurred while the victim was lawfully within private property is an important distinction because this not only protects workers such as a mail carrier, it also puts the onus on owners to ensure that dogs are not a threat to any visitors they might invite over.

Consult with an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

We at the Law Offices of Dean Petrulakis hope that this information helps clear things up a bit. With this info in mind, if you believe you have a dog bite personal injury case on your hands, your next step should be to seek out the assistance of qualified legal counsel.

Remember that the personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Dean Petrulakis are just a phone call away. If you want to learn more about how we can help, be sure to give us a call at (209) 528-0404 to schedule a completely free initial consultation.