A recent WeHoNews.com story discussed the efforts of the United States Postal Service (USPS) to reduce dog bite injuries to its mail carriers. This story underlines the importance of understanding California’s laws regarding dog bite injuries and pet owner liability.While some other states will not hold the owner liable for the first biting incident (the so-called “free bite” rule), this is not the case in California. California enforces a strict liability standard with regard to dog bites. This means that a dog owner is responsible for all injuries caused by his or her pet, regardless of dog’s breed or suspected temperament.
Dog bite injuries can be very serious. According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in five dog bites are serious enough to warrant significant medical attention. The dangers for young children are even greater. For them a dog bite is more likely to result in a trip to the emergency room.
Even supposedly minor dog bite attacks can produce serious injuries. Dogs are distantly related to wolves and retain some of the same bite characteristics that made their ancestors excellent predators. Two sets of long canine teeth deeply penetrate flesh. These biting teeth are often curved which prevents prey from escaping the bite as readily.
Dogs are also equipped with sturdy claws for digging. In a dog bite attack, victims often suffer secondary injuries from the claws. Under California law, a dog’s owner is equally liable for claw injuries.
If you or a family member has been bitten by a dog, please contact the California personal injury Law Offices of Samer Habbas and discuss your situation with an experienced dog bite injury lawyer.