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 … 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.

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