Protections for victims of dog attacks

Frank S. Clowney III

Dog bite laws in California are designed to protect victims of dog attacks. It is helpful to be familiar with the ways dog bite laws in California protect victims and can help them with their damages when harmed.

Protections for victims of dog attacks

In California, dog and pet owners are considered strictly liable for dog-bite injuries and the harm caused by their pet. The dog owner or pet owner can be fully liable for damages suffered by victims who suffer a dog bite while in a public place or lawfully in a private place such as the property of the owner of the dog. Any knowledge the dog owner may or may not have of any prior viciousness of the dog is not considered when determining liability for the victim’s damages suffered in a dog attack.

When considering if the victim was lawfully on the property of the pet owner, they may be considered lawfully there if they were performing some lawful duty on the property or if they were there at either the express or implied invitation of the property owner. There are some exceptions to dog bite liability including if the dog bite occurred in the course of the dog’s military or police work.

Victims of dog bites and other animal attacks can suffer both economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages can include their medical expenses and lost wages while recovering from the bite. Non-economic damages can include the emotional trauma of the dog attack. Dog bite victims can suffer severe injuries and serious damages.

A personal injury claim for damages may be able to help victims recover compensation for their damages from the pet owner who is liable for the harm caused by their dog. As such, victims should be familiar with the legal resources available to help them following a dog attack.