Families love to get together and visit, but there is sometimes an additional hazard: the family pet. Whether you’re visiting your siblings, parents, friends or others, the dog of the household is something to watch out for.
Dog bites are particularly common when animals are not familiar with everyone who is visiting or there is activity that is going on. Around five million people are bitten by dogs each year in the United States, and while most are children, adults are also at risk.
California’s strict liability law protects you
As the victim of a dog bite, you are protected under California’s strict liability law. This law makes it so that the owner of a dog is responsible if the dog bites another person. While there are exceptions to the rule, the majority of cases are handled under this statute.
Dog bites might be avoidable
Dog bites might be avoidable. If you host a party, for example, it’s in everyone’s best interests for you to separate the family pet with a gate or by placing it into a room that is off-limits. It may be safe to bring out the dog among those who are familiar with it, but if the animal shows signs of discomfort, it should be put away.
If you travel and encounter an unfamiliar animal, consider asking the owner about the dog and if it is a bite risk. If it isn’t known to bite but shows signs of being uncomfortable, ask the owner if they can leash it or keep it away from others to prevent a bite.
What do you need to do if you’re bitten by a dog?
If you are bitten by a dog, the priority is to get medical care. The dog should be removed from the room and contained. Then, you should seek medical attention for the bite.
The pet’s owner can be held responsible for bites in most cases. Their homeowner’s insurance and other policies may provide the coverage needed to take care of your expenses like medical bills and lost wages.