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Can a Dog Owner Fight Liability for an Attack?

Can a Dog Owner Fight Liability for an Attack?

Dog attacks can cause devastating physical and mental injuries, many of which leave permanent scars and effects on your life. After a dog attack, you and your family will likely want justice, as well as the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses. Can you automatically hold the dog’s owner responsible? Are there ways for the owner to fight liability?

California law holds dog owners strictly liable for injuries caused by their animals. This means that the owner does not need to be negligent or to know the dog may be dangerous to be liable for bite-related injuries. However, there are some ways dog owners can try to defend against a dog bite claim. It is imperative to seek help from a skilled dog bite lawyer in California when determining your best legal options.

Some possible defenses that dog owners may raise include:

  • You were not lawfully on the property at the time of the bite (i.e., you were trespassing)
  • You were partially responsible for the attack because you provoked the dog in some way
  • You knew the dog may be dangerous and voluntarily put yourself at risk of injury

In addition, strict liability principles only apply if the dog actually bites you. If you are riding your bike and a dog attacks the wheel, causing you to fall, the owner would not be strictly liable for injuries from your fall. However, you still may file a personal injury claim against the owner, though you would be required to prove negligence on the owner’s part in this situation.

Speak with an Experienced Dog Bite Lawyer in California

The Law Offices of Brian Brandt handles complicated dog attack cases involving a wide range of injuries and losses. Call 800.983.4467 or contact us online for a free case evaluation with a California dog bite attorney today.

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