Every dog his its day, and there are more dogs out in summer along with their owners, walkers and trainers. It may feel like the streets of Los Angeles have completely gone to the dogs. And a bite victim may feel sick as a dog if he doesn’t know who is liable if a dog goes too far.
California’s civil code includes Section 3342, which covers liability in the case of dog bites. An owner is normally responsible if a dog bites a person in public or a private area that is not posted against entry. Victims generally cannot collect damages if they were bitten while trespassing.
Owners’ liability only extends to injury, not damage to property, and does not cover police or military dogs on duty.
Liability begins with the first bite, so there is no consideration of a dog’s previous behavior. If a dog has bitten people twice or more, however, a person or government agency can bring an action against a dog owner to investigate how an animal’s treatment and care have changed since the first incident.
If a bite victim believes that a dog exhibited dangerous behavior and the owner was aware of it, the victim can file suit under the common law-based “one bite rule.” This claim generally requires a higher threshold of evidence than general liability.
Negligence, covered by a different section of California law, may be the case when a dog attack is the result of a breach of animal control law, such as walking a dog without a leash or losing sight of a dog in a public space.
These regulations, combined with municipal regulations, may be confusing if you find yourself the victim of a dog bite. It is recommend to consult a legal expert if you require restitution after a dog attack.
Source: FindLaw, “Los Angeles Dog Bites: The Basics,” accessed July 03, 2017