When pets become our attackers

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As citizens of California, we all have the right to have pets in our homes and provide them with the care they require. From providing them with a home and food to checking that they have all their needs covered, for example, vaccinations and regular visits to veterinarians to check that they are in good health. But it also comes with great responsibility. Having a pet represents taking responsibility for their actions and the possible damages they may cause.

Owning a dog is a commitment. Like any personal injury lawsuit, being bitten by a dog is a crime that the person who was assaulted by the pet can sue over. Under California civil code, the dog owner must take responsibility for injuries caused by his/her dog’s bite, whether the victim was in a public space or on his/her property.

The victim must verify before a jury the injuries that she or he has suffered because of a dog, for instance: 

  • The victim must prove that the attack was carried out on the defendant’s property or, failing that, that the dog belongs to the defendant.
  • The victim must also show the injuries caused by the dog, such as bites or scratches.
  • Furthermore, the victim will show that, due to the attack, he or she has suffered financial losses such as medical visits or even the inability to work due to the severity of the injuries.

In this way, and in front of a judge, the jury will be able to prove the negligence of the dog owner because they failed in their responsibility to care for their pet accordingly. He or she will not be able to escape this liability and must take care of the damages and injuries that their pet may have caused to the victim. However, there is a time limit for filing a personal injury claim in California: two years after the accident.

If you were the victim of a similar situation and have not yet filed a lawsuit, count on Lipeles Law Group to help you.

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