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Who is responsible when a dog bites?

On Behalf of | Oct 13, 2021 | Personal Injury |

Many people in San Jose have a dog who is a furry, four-legged member of the family. Dog owners need to be careful, however, because even the most mild-mannered pup can lash out and bite someone. If so, it is possible that the dog owner will be liable for the damages their pet caused.

Dog bite incidents can cause severe damages

A person who is bitten by a dog can suffer severe damages. First there are the physical injuries from the bite itself. Dog bites can require cleaning, stitches and possibly even plastic surgery. Oftentimes a dog bite can be permanently disfiguring.

Then there is the emotional damage caused by a dog bite. A person who is bit by a dog can experience a great deal of trauma surrounding the incident. In addition, they may develop a fear of dogs that lasts well after the bite itself has healed.

California dog bite laws

Under California law if a dog bites someone the dog’s owner is liable if the bite took place in a public place or if the dog bite victim was lawfully in a person’s private premises by express or implied invitation. This is true regardless of whether the dog was previously deemed vicious or if the owner knew their dog had vicious tendencies.

California statutes defines a vicious dog as one that attacks unprovoked and causes the bite victim to suffer severe injuries or death. The law defines a potentially dangerous dog as one that bit unprovoked on two separate occasions within the past three years, causing someone to take action to protect themselves from bodily injury.

Take action if you were bitten by a dog

Being bitten by a dog can be a traumatizing experience that lasts long after your physical wounds heal. Many people who suffer dog bites wind up incurring significant medical bills, lost wages due to being unable to work and they may suffer great pain and suffering. For this reason, many in San Jose who were bitten by a dog choose to seek compensation for their damages through a dog bite lawsuit.