Dog Bites Fall under Strict Liability in California
When it comes to dog bites, strict liability rules are applicable in the state of California. There are certain measure that can be taken by both dog owners and dog lovers to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of a dog bite.
Preventative Measures for Dog OwnersSo what can a dog owner do to protect themselves? While there are no steadfast rules to protecting yourself from dog bite claims, we have found that the following list of proactive steps should be taken by all dog owners:
1) Keep your dog on a leash
2) Make sure that your backyard fencing and gates are of a proper height.
3) Do not allow others to pet your dog if your dog displays any signs of frustration, aggression or irritation.
4) Study your dog’s moods and learn why or when they may bite.
5) Always supervise your dog
6) Get regular checkups for your dog with a veterinarian.
7) Hire a professional to train your dog
Preventative Measures for Dog LoversIf, like us, you are a dog lover. There are various ways that you can reduce the risk that you will be bitten by a dog. A good list of preventive measures is below:
1) Always ask the dog’s owner before approaching or petting the dog
2) Approach dogs slowly and calmly
3) Allow the dog to sniff your hand and become familiar with you.
4) Do not approach a stray dog
5) Do not run away from a dog.
6) Do not make loud noises around a dog.
7) Do not play with a dog in an aggressive manner.
8) Avoid direct eye contact with the dog.
9) Avoid panicking if the dog is overly excited or aggressive
What do I do if I am bitten by a dog?California Civil Code Section 3342 states that “the owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.”
As you can see, the strict liability guidelines make virtually any dog bite compensable under California law. For this reason, serious precautions should be taken by dog owners, dog lovers and everyday residents alike. If you are bitten by a dog, seek medical care immediately. Like other personal injury claims, medical care is of paramount importance. Once your injuries are stable, make sure to keep a log of exactly hat happened, where it happened, whether or not anyone witnessed the incident, photos and video of the location of the incident and your injuries, etc. Thereafter, we always recommend that you contact a personal injury lawyer for further information regarding your rights and responsibilities.