For individuals who live in California and want to own a dog, it is important to know the law. Your dog is not exactly likely to get you in trouble, but it could get you involved in a lawsuit if it happens to bite a stranger. The laws in California are severe by the owner and put you under significant responsibility to keep control of your pet. Here’s what to know about dog bites and lawsuits in California.
California as a “strict liability” state
In many states, the victim must prove that the dog owner was negligent if that victim wants to win a lawsuit. This is not the case in California. In California, the civil code provides something called strict liability. This means that with a few exceptions, the owner of a dog is liable for any injuries caused by that dog’s propensity to bite. From the time a person takes ownership of the dog, he is responsible for the injuries that dog causes. The victim does not have to prove that you were negligent, nor does she have to prove that you had prior knowledge of the dog’s willingness to bite.
Exceptions to the law
There are a few different limitations to this particular law. For instance, if your dog was provoked by the person who got bit, then you may be able to avoid liability. Likewise, if the person who was bit was being paid to walk your dog, then they cannot use the strict liability statute. In addition, a person who is trespassing on your property cannot use the strict liability statute if they are bitten by your dog. It is important to recognize these conditions whether you are the person who was bitten or you are the person whose dog did the biting. In most cases, you’ll be held liable, but this is not always the case.
What to do if you find yourself in a dog bite situation
If you’ve been bitten by a dog in California or you have a dog that’s bitten someone, then you owe it to yourself to get in touch with a lawyer. Lawyers help people navigate these situations, providing legal advice and case strategies that can either minimize the damage for a dog owner or maximize the payoff for a person who has been bitten. These cases can be complicated in some situations, so it pays to get in touch with the attorneys at Chris and Frank in California as soon as possible.