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Attorney Jared Pursley

Is a dog’s owner responsible if their animal bites you?

On Behalf of | Apr 13, 2021 | Dog Bites

Animals are unpredictable, even if they have spent their whole lives around humans. A dog that has always been friendly toward humans could unexpectedly become aggressive one day and bite someone visiting their home.

Sudden dog bite attacks are common occurrences, often with no provocation on the part of the victim. If you are bitten by a dog while on private property in California, who is responsible for any losses or injuries you suffer?

California has a strict liability law for dog bite incidents

A dog does not have to have a history of violence for an owner to be legally and financially liable for its attack on someone. Although some states require that a dog have a history of aggressive behavior or at least one previous biting incident for the owner to face repercussions, under California’s law, a dog’s first bite can lead to a legal claim by the victim. However, it’s important for people to understand that there are a few specific limitations on their right to take legal action.

For example, if the dog attacked someone who was trespassing or illegally at the property, that could affect someone’s right to be compensated. The same is true of a bite that occurred during the commission of a criminal act.

In most other circumstances, the dog’s owner or their insurance company will have to pay for the injuries a dog causes, although the victim may have to fight hard for the compensation they deserve. An experienced attorney can help you seek that compensation if you or a loved one was bitten.

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