Who is Liable When a Dog Bites While with a Dog Walker?
Most dog owners consider their pets to be part of their family. However, no matter how sweet and docile a dog seems, it is essentially to remember that they are still animals and they do have animal instincts. In some cases, those instincts can take hold and result in the dog acting out, whether in aggression because they are scared.
Every dog owner should understand that the dog bite laws in California are extremely straightforward: If your dog bites a person then you are responsible in almost all situations. Read on to learn more about these laws and what to do if you are bitten by a dog.
The laws regarding California dog bites
If a dog injures a person then the owner of that dog is liable for the injuries. This is a very strict law that has only a few very specific exceptions. This applies both to public and private property – as long as the injured party was invited onto the property. If a person is illegally on the property of another person and is bitten by a dog, then the owner is likely not liable.
A dog walker is almost never responsible for a dog that bites
If a professional dog walker or dog handler, or even just a friend who is walking a dog, is in charge when the dog bites someone, they are not likely to be responsible. That is unless they did something proactive that actually caused the dog to bite, such as telling the dog to attack.
What can happen to the dog?
While there is plenty of evidence regarding what happens to the owner of the dog if their dog bites, it is less well known what can happen to the dog. California law holds that if a dog attacks a person or animal twice in a three-year period, or if a dog bites a person just a single time and causes even minor injuries, then the dog is classified as dangerous. This requires that the owner of the dog ensures that their dog is locked up behind a fence or held indoors at all times. If the dog goes three years without another reported attack, then they are no longer classified as dangerous.
On the other hand, if a dog severely hurt a person or killed a person, then they will be classified as vicious. This leads to a hearing with a judge. The result of that hearing could be the dog being transferred to animal control and put down. While this is not the outcome any pet owner would want, it is required if the dog is considered to be extremely dangerous to the community.
Have you been injured by a dog?
If you have been bitten or otherwise injured by a dog then you deserve competent legal help. When you work with Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas, you are working with an attorney that has decades of experience. Contact us today at 909-982-0707 for a free legal consultation.