Who Might Be Liable for Damages Stemming from a Dog Bite?
At the end of the day, dogs act on instinct, and even the friendliest family pets have a breaking point. This is illustrated by the simple fact that roughly 1,000 people across the United States require emergency care for dog bite-related injuries every single day.
Thankfully, victims are often entitled to compensation for the resulting damages. Even if the dog in question didn’t have a history of aggression, the injured party may be able to take action because California has a strict liability rule when it comes to such accidents.
That means claimants don’t have to prove negligence in order to win their case. They simply have to prove they were physically harmed by someone else’s dog and they weren’t trespassing at the time, among a few other factors.
If you were hurt by a dog that’s not yours, it’s reasonable to assume you have grounds to sue. In most dog bite cases, action is taken against the owner.
There are some scenarios, however, in which another party may be at fault. Depending on the circumstances of the attack, one of the following parties may be partially or wholly to blame:
- The Dog Owner’s Landlord: If the dog owner happens to live in a rental property, the landlord could be deemed liable if he or she knew the dog was dangerous but failed to remove it from the premises.
- The Dog’s Caretaker: If the dog was under the care of someone other than the owner at the time of the attack, like a pet sitter or dog walker, and said party knew the animal had a propensity for aggression, he or she may be responsible for the damages. The caretaker could also be held liable if he or she failed to take reasonable measures to control the animal.
- The Commercial Property’s Owner or Occupier: If the attack happened at a place of business, the owner or occupier might be financially accountable. Both commercial landlords and business owners have an obligation to keep their premises free of hazards, including potentially dangerous animals. If an invitee or licensee is bitten by a dog that shouldn’t have been on the premises, he or she may be able to file a third-party claim under the owner or occupier’s liability insurance.
How Can I Determine Who’s Liable for the Damages Stemming from a Dog Bite?
If you were attacked by someone else’s dog, the easiest way to determine whom you should take action against is by consulting a knowledgeable attorney. A seasoned personal injury lawyer can evaluate the situation from all angles to determine whether filing a claim may be worthwhile and, if so, who should be named in said claim.
Discuss Your Claim with a Dog Bite Attorney in California
At Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, we understand the utter devastation that can follow an animal attack. If you or someone you love was hurt by another party’s dog, we’ll help you gather the evidence needed to prove liability and damages. Call 1-800-GO-HARRIS or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free consultation with a dog bite lawyer in California.