Who is Responsible for My Dog Bite Injuries?
Most people love dogs, but every now and then a dog bite can seriously injure someone. Medical bills, emotional trauma, and disability can all be the result of a damaging dog attack. Finding the responsible party is important and can lead to financial compensation for dog bite victims.
The question that most dog bite victims often have after an incident is who is responsible for their injuries? The short answer is the dog owner, but there are several things that courts may consider.
Factors Affecting Liability
• California has a strict liability rule for dog bites – In the past, dog owners were given a “free pass” for a first dog bite, as there was often little reason to believe that a particular dog would be a biter until they commit the act. However, this is not the case in California, where the owner of a dog can be held liable for a first bite.
• Provoking a dog is your fault – Animals have rights and often are acting in self-defense when they bite. If the dog felt threatened by your actions and bit you as a result, your right to a personal injury claim towards the owner may be jeopardized.
• Trespassing negates liability – While the owner of a dog is liable for bites that occur in public or upon guests at their residence, a trespassing individual may not be compensated.
• Police dogs are allowed to bite – In bringing down a suspect or through enacting out a warrant, a police dog may legally bite a suspect. In other words, dogs are allowed to attack and bite while in the line of duty. For those resisting arrest or breaking the law, these rules often prohibit personal injury claims towards the police.
• California’s statute of limitations for dog bites is 2 years – If you’ve sustained a serious injury from a dog bite, you have 2 years in which to file a personal injury lawsuit. Upon expiration of this time period, you will have no legal recourse to seek financial compensation from the dog owner.
We Can Help
If you or a loved one was bitten by a dog and sustained injuries that required medical treatment, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with a Los Angeles dog bite attorney, please call the Law Offices of Samer Habbas at 1-888-848-5048.