As the weather warms up in the summer months, more people spend time outdoors to enjoy the sun. This increases the likelihood of encountering unknown dogs at the park, on the sidewalk, or right outside your house, which results in a higher risk of dog bite accidents.
There are more dog bites in California than in any other state. In 2017, 14% of all dog bite claims for State Farm were accounted for in California, more than any other state in the country.
With that said, it’s important for all dog owners to understand their legal responsibilities when it comes to their animals and how to prevent dog bite injuries this summer.
Dog Owner Responsibilities
California follows a “strict liability” rule when it comes to dog bite liability. Essentially, this rule makes a dog owner liable if their dog bites or otherwise injures another person, regardless of whether the owner did nothing wrong or the animal has never bitten someone before.
Strict liability is different from the “one bite rule” that many other states follow, in which a dog owner would only be liable for dog bite injuries if the animal had violent tendencies, such as if it had bitten another person before.
Ultimately, California dog owners are completely responsible for the actions of their dogs and should take steps to prevent their dogs from biting or injuring others, such as:
Keeping dogs on leashes
Not allowing people to pet the dog without permission
Ensuring you have total control over the length of the leash
Getting proper vaccinations for your dog
If needed, putting a proper-fitting harness on the animal
What To Do If You Sustain Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bite injuries can leave physical and emotional lifelong scars. If you, your child, or another family member sustains dog bite injuries this summer, it’s imperative to seek medical attention so that your wounds heal properly and do not become infected or scar.
Whether or not the dog was harassed or provoked prior to the incident does not matter.
Fowler Helsel Vogt can help you pursue compensation against the owner of the dog to pay for your damages, including:
Pain and suffering
Contact our Fresno dog bite injury attorneys at (559) 900-1280 to schedule your free case review.