When the Dog Owner is Not Liable for a Dog Bite?

Dog Lawyer
Dog Attack Lawyer

Most of the families in California treat dogs as their family member rather than a pet. Dogs are always their good companions. Unfortunately, at some odd times, your good companion might attack others and cause severe injuries and damages. According to the dog bite law in California, dog owners are strictly liable for these injuries caused by their dog and the owner have to provide compensations to cover medical expenses, loss of income, pain, and sufferings of the victim. But every dog bite is not considered as the fault of the dog owner. There are some instances where the dog owners will not have any liability for the dog bite. Let’s check what these instances are.

Possible Defenses against Dog Bite Strict Liability

When the Victim Was Careless or Aware of the Risk

How can the dog owner be liable if the victim was aware of the risk and chose to ignore it? And what if the dog owner has already provided warning signs about the dog through boards and posters or given awareness about his dog to the victim? In these situations, dog owners have no liability for the attacks by their dogs. Similarly, if the dog owner is running a grooming business, the attacks by the dog on the staff during the grooming sessions are considered as part of the job and the victim will not be able to sue the owner.

The Victim Was Provoking or Harassing the Dog

Dog owners are not liable for the attacks by the dog after provoking a dog intentionally by hitting the dog, attacking with an object, showing provoking gestures, etc. by the victim. This may also include unintentional provoking activities such as invading its food or space, stepping on its paw, taking away its pups, etc.

The Victim Was Trespassing

If the victim was trespassing or attempting to trespass the owner’s property, then the dog attack against him is not covered under the dog bite strict liability.

The Victim Was a Criminal

Dog owners are not responsible for the attacks if the victim was committing or attempting a criminal offense such as theft, murder or rape at the time of the attack.

The Victim Was Not Bitten by the Dog

According to California’s dog bite law, a dog owner is liable only when his dog has bitten the victim and cause severe injuries. If the dog jumped over the victim and scratched the victim, but never bit, then it cannot be covered under the dog bite law.

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