Dogs in homes are generally considered as a part of the family. That said, many of them end up causing injury to people visiting or passing by, often causing the latter to need medical treatment. If you have been attacked by someone else’s dog in California, it is possible to recover compensation for the harm incurred, and this covers both medical expenses and further damages. The law offices of Joseph Y. Avrahamy are one place in the state where you can obtain adequate representation in the protection of your legal rights. We are attorneys with sufficient knowledge and expertise in this practice area to ensure you are served your just entitlements.
Holding a Pet Owner Accountable
California law places strict liability on owners of dogs who cause injuries to other people. Even if the dog has no existing record of biting anyone before that point in time, the owner’s claim of ignorance of their pet’s viciousness is not enough to get them off the hook. They would still be liable for allowing someone to come to harm in this manner.
When bringing a claim, the plaintiff is required to prove beyond doubt that the defendant owned the dog, that the victim had a legal right to be on the property where they were bitten, and that this incident caused them injury. According to the governing statute, trespassers are denied the right to file for compensation, and so are those injured by a dog owned by a governmental agency, if said dog was being used for police or military work at the time. If neither of those two scenarios apply, then the act of filing the claim needs to be completed within two years from the date of the attack.
The law also finds handlers, keepers, etc liable for any attack on a person by the dog in their control. However, in order to be liable, these individuals or parties need to be proven as having been aware of the animal’s propensities, such as from a previous attack. Liability can also be charged on non-owners who were careless in restraining a dog under their responsibility, if they knew the dangers of being negligent. That includes dog walkers who illegally allow a dog to go off its leash in areas such as public playgrounds.