We often assume that when a California dog bite incident occurs, the owner of the dog is responsible for damages, regardless of the circumstances. However, this is not the case. While the dog’s owner often is found responsible for dog attacks, there are a number of parties involved in dog bite cases which could be at fault or partially at fault for the incident and injury. Here are a few common examples:
- The person caring for the dog, or the person in control of the dog. In some cases, the person keeping or harboring the dog may be responsible for the actions of the dog instead of the dog’s owner—for example, someone who is responsible for sheltering, feeding, and caring for the dog.
- The landlord of the dog’s owner. If a landlord was aware of a dangerous or aggressive dog living on the property, and if they did not take any actions to protect others from the animal, he or she may be partially responsible for any harm which the dog causes.
- The parents of the dog’s owner. If a dog owner is under the age of 18, his or her parents may be responsible for any dog bite incidents and injuries.
- The property owner of the land where the dog attacked. Depending on the circumstances of the case, it is possible the owner of the premises where the dog bite occurred could be responsible, instead of or in addition to the dog’s owner. This may be true especially if the property owner knew about a dangerous dog on the property, or did not take precautions against dangerous dogs threatening those on the property.
- You. In certain circumstances, a dog bite victim may be responsible for his or her own injuries. This could be true if the injury victim was harming the dog at the time of the dog attack, or if the injury victim was trespassing or committing a crime.
California dog bite injury cases can be complicated—and there could be more than one at-fault party for a dog attack incident. In order to truly understand the legal aspects of your dog bite case, we suggest you speak with an attorney about the particular details of your case. To schedule a free case evaluation, call the Orange County personal injury attorneys at Russell & Lazarus today: 885-851-2400.