San Jose Dog Bite Lawyers
A dog may be "man's best friend," but unless man takes proper
care of their best friend, dangerous situations may arise that put the
health and safety of others in jeopardy. There are many responsibilities
that go into owning a dog, and not taking those responsibilities seriously
can result in another person being bitten or attacked either on private
or even public property. If you have been bitten by a dog that belongs
to someone else, you may be entitled to pursue legal action for your injuries,
depending on the circumstances of the incident.
California Dog Bite Law
The laws governing claims against dog owners, for injuries suffered by
another, fall under the scope of
premises liability law. Specifically, California Civil Code § 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 â¦ regardless of the former viciousness of the dog
or the owner's knowledge of such viciousness." However, the owner
of the dog must, typically, also be found negligent in their efforts to
have prevented the dog bite incident.
Dog Bite as the Result of Provocation
While a dog owner can be held liable if their dog, or other animal, bites
another person, this is not a blanket rule that entitles every dog bite
victim to sue the owner. For example, if the person bitten had provoked
the dog into aggression, then he or she may be considered at fault for
the incident. Provocation, however, is not simply defined. A dog may attack
a person if they approach too quickly or even as the result of a simple
pat on the head. An attack after such innocent actions does not mean the
dog was provoked, but it may mean that the owner did not exercise reasonable
care to prevent such an incident.
If an owner has not properly trained his or her dog and/or does not provide
visitors to their property or people on public property with direction
when approaching their dog, then they are responsible if the dog attacks
another person. Dog owners cannot use provocation as a defense if they
did not prevent the attack when they clearly could have.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
Whether or not you are a dog owner, you have a responsibility to ensure
the safety of others and yourself. Knowing how to properly fulfill a dog's
needs is imperative to owning a well-adjusted, non-aggressive dog and
knowing the basics of dog behavior can go a long way in knowing what never
to do around a dog. However, not all incidents can be prevented.
Dog bite law is complicated and there are many arguments that may be used
in defense of a dog owner that can significantly reduce the chances of
obtaining the compensation the victim needs to recover from his or her
injuries. At Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP, our dog bite injury attorneys
can gather all the appropriate evidence in order to determine liability
in your dog bite case. To speak to one of our lawyers about your situation,
call us today for a consultation at (800) 900-0863.