When is a dog’s owner responsible for the injuries they cause?

On Behalf of | May 5, 2021 | Dog Bites |

Most dog bites are more frightening than painful. Nonetheless, dogs can cause severe, painful and disfiguring injuries when they bite a person. They could scar someone’s face, especially if they attack a child. They could also cause severe damage to someone’s hands when a person tries to defend themselves.

An attack by a dog could also cause emotional trauma that might make someone afraid of open spaces, certain styles of houses or even other dogs. When a dog attacks a person and leaves them with physical wounds, psychological trauma or other major expenses, who is responsible for all of those costs?

California expects owners to be responsible for pets

California has strict liability statutes when it comes to injuries and property damage caused by animals. Those who own animals should property care for them, train them and restrain them as necessary to keep them from posing any kind of threat to the public.

Any pet or support animal that attacks a person and hurts them will create financial liability for its owner. As long as the victim was in a place that they legally had the right to be and was not provoking the dog intentionally, the owner may be personally responsible for medical bills, lost wages and property damage suffered by the victim of a vicious dog. A person injured by a dog doesn’t need to prove any history of aggression by the animal to ask for compensation or hold the owner accountable.

Many times, there could be a homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy that will reimburse the victims of such attacks. Other times, those  injured by dogs may have to pursue legal action against the owner to recover expenses and damages.