It is said and widely believed that dogs are humankind's best friends. Dogs and even other pet animals are companions, buddies and part of the family. Unfortunately, these furry friends come equipped with an arsenal of weapons including claws and teeth. When people suffer serious dog and animal bites, the first thing they want to know is who is liable for these injuries.
According to California dog bite law, the owner of the animal is strictly liable for the victim's bite injuries. This means that it may be possible to hold the owner legally responsible so that you can acquire financial compensation for your suffering.
While the law sounds straightforward, there are a few things victims should know about dog and animal bites in the state. Specifically, it is important to understand when you cannot take action against an animal owner for bite injuries. See below for examples.
- If you are trespassing on the pet owner's property, you cannot legally seek damages.
- You cannot take legal action against the owner of a police or military dog if the animal is on duty when the bite occurred.
- The dog bite law does not apply to nonbite injuries or damage to your property.
- Only the owner of the animal is liable for your injuries. This means that if a dog on your neighbor's property attacks you, but your neighbor does not own the animal, you cannot sue your neighbor.
Final word: To avoid infections and other severe consequences of dog and animal bites, please see a medical professional as soon as possible. It is also wise to take your case before a personal injury attorney if you wish to seek compensation for your injuries and your expenses.