Who Is Responsible for Dog Bites?

Who Is Responsible for Dog Bites?

The Bakersfield dog bite lawyers at the Law Offices of Mickey Fine understand the fear caused by a dog attack.

If a dog bite seriously injured you, you could face high medical bills, disability, and emotional trauma.

You need a lawyer who understands your rights and who can hold the at-fault party liable for your injuries.

Our dog bite attorneys have substantial experience in animal attack claims. We can help injured victims through every stage of the legal process.

We have helped many clients achieve successful outcomes and settlements after a dog bite. Let us determine who is responsible for your dog bite injury, and let us help you recover the compensation you need to get better.

What Is Strict Liability for Dog Bites in California?

California holds dog owners to a no-excuses statute regarding bites gone bad.

Under strict liability laws, it doesn’t matter if a dog never so much as growled at a mailman before—if your dog bites, you’re on the hook for any harm it caused. “I didn’t know he could do that!” won’t cut it here.

Dog Bites in California

Whether you’ve done everything by the book or were blissfully unaware of your pet’s potential for damage, you’re responsible if your dog hurts someone or damages their property.

This rule applies to incidents occurring anywhere from the local park to someone else’s backyard if the person bitten was there legally.

In addition, California doesn’t just care about the aftermath but also prevention. If your dog ever bit someone, the law expects you to take reasonable steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Fail to do so, and if a second incident occurs, you could find yourself facing a civil lawsuit, especially if a trained attack dog causes serious injuries.

In essence, California’s stance is clear: own a dog, own the responsibility.

What Exceptions Apply to Strict Liability?

Strict liability stipulations only apply if the injured party did not trespass or break in at the time of the incident and did not provoke the dog.

People injured by a police or military dog doing their law enforcement tasks or defending someone cannot sue the city for damages unless they are innocent victims who weren’t suspected of a crime at the time.

Dog bites during routine visits and procedures with veterinarians or vet assistants do not have legal recourse because it’s an accepted risk of the trade.

These highly complex cases can require the knowledge of a Bakersfield dog bite lawyer with experience handling such claims.

At the Law Offices of Mickey Fine, our attorney has the skills and resources to help you pursue the justice you deserve.

Dog Attacks Don’t Just Mean Bites

According to the CDC, nearly 800,000 people in the United States annually require medical treatment for a dog bite. The threat is real. Dog bites cause significant injuries and trauma, but they don’t have to break the skin to cause damage.

One example is a dog bite lawsuit in which a dog clamped its jaws on a worker’s pants, causing him to fall off a ladder. The court held the dog owner liable for his injuries.

What Can You Hold a Dog Owner Liable For?

The circumstances matter in dog bite claims, but the essential factors to determine fault include:

  • The injured victim did not provoke the animal
  • The incident occurred on public property or private property with permission to be on-site

Civil cases against dog owners for compensation may include economic (monetary losses), non-economic (pain and suffering), and punitive damages (to punish bad behavior).

Dog Owner Liable

However, some dog owners may also face criminal charges if the animal harms someone while roaming free.

You can hold dog owners liable if their pet injures someone and they have home insurance coverage.

The owner or insurance company may need to pay for:

  • Medical bills.
  • Pain and suffering.
  • Lost income or lost days of wages.
  • Property damage related to dog bite (broken prescription eyeglasses or a wrecked bike or motorcycle).
  • Punitive damages if the dog owner’s behavior was especially egregious to prevent another attack.

California is a comparative negligence state, so insurance companies and courts may reduce the amount recovered by dog bite victims who contributed to the altercation.

How Can a Dog Bite Attorney Help?

These claims require detailed knowledge of California laws and statutes. An attorney will review the facts in your case and determine if the animal’s owner may be liable for your injuries.

A lawyer will build your claim and provide a detailed estimate for the compensation you’re owed for your ongoing medical bills and pain and suffering. Hiring an experienced attorney to handle your claim gives you the time to focus solely on healing.

Talk to a Bakersfield Dog Bite Lawyer for Free

Bakersfield Dog Bite Lawyer, Mickey Fine

Mickey Fine, Bakersfield Dog Bite Lawyer

The Law Offices of Mickey Fine has decades of experience successfully helping injured victims pursue their dog bite cases.

Call (661) 333-3333 today to speak with an attorney for free. Our firm works on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t owe us unless we win.


Dog Bite
by Mickey Fine Law
Last updated on - Originally published on