Who is Liable for Dog Bite Injuries in California?

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At Hanning & Sacchetto, our Whittier personal injury attorneys know that determining who is liable for dog bite injuries in California may not be as clear as it seems.

The reality is, California has strict liability laws for dog owners, making them liable if the dog bites someone on private or public property, even when the dog has never shown any signs of aggression before.

The dog’s owner is only released from liability if the dog bite or attack occurs when a person is illegally trespassing or committing a crime on the property or against the homeowner.

Nearly 77% of all dog bites are caused by a known dog, which means the injured person may have to pursue a neighbor, friend, or family member for their financial recovery, which can lead to fears of damaging the relationship if they move forward with a civil claim.

Dog bite injury victims should not have to pay for their injury expenses out of pocket, and our dog bite attorneys in Whittier can help you learn more about your legal rights and options to pursue the dog owner’s insurance company for financial compensation necessary for your unique injury needs.

How Can I Pursue the Dog Owner if They Do Not Have Homeowner’s Insurance?

Generally speaking, a dog owner’s homeowner insurance policy would be financially responsible for the injuries caused during the dog bite.  However, when the dog owner is a tenant in a condominium, apartment, or other rented property, the property owner may be liable for the dog bite in addition to the dog owner.  The injured party must show the property owner knew or should have known about the tenant’s dog’s vicious tendencies.

This usually occurs when the dog has shown signs of aggression or has bitten someone before.

Other times, the rental agreement will include a pet clause stating who is liable if the pet bites another guest or tenant.

What If I Am Bitten By a Dog that Was With a Dog Walker, at Doggy Daycare or a Kennel in California?

California is also a comparative liability state, which means more than one person can be held liable for injuries caused by a dog bite or attack.

This means a dog walker may be held liable for injuries the dog causes under their care but holding them accountable could depend on the level of negligence displayed.

For instance, if the dog owner instructs the walker to muzzle the dog leaving the home, but the dog walker fails to do so and the dog bites someone, he or she may be held liable for the damages.

Dog walking apps, including Rover or Wag, have rules concerning liability for their dog walkers and pet sitters and provide coverage for accidents and injuries that occur when working under the app.

Rover, for instance, provides up to $1,000,000 for damages caused to third-party individuals injured by a pet while under the care of a Rover employee, although there are some exclusions.

Like dog walking and pet sitting apps, or doggy daycare facility, kennels often have their own set of liability rules outlined in the contract the dog owner signs before leaving the pet in their care.

How Long Do I Have to File a Dog Bite Claim in California?

If you or someone you love has been bitten by a dog in California, contact our skilled personal injury lawyers to determine what type of financial compensation you may be entitled to for your unique damages.

Dog bite victims have two years from the date the bite or attack occurred to file a personal injury claim against the owner.

Contact Our Whittier workers’ compensation attorneys at Hanning & Sacchetto

Getting bitten or attacked by a dog can be life-changing. If this has happened to you or your loved one, contact our experienced Los Angeles County personal injury attorneys at Hanning & Sacchetto today by calling 562-698-6446 to learn how we can pursue the liable party for the compensation you are entitled to, so you can get the medical care and time away from work you need to fully heal.