Who is responsible for your medical bills when a dog bites you?

On Behalf of | Aug 5, 2021 | Animal bites |

Dog bite injuries can range from minor irritation to disfiguring wounds. Dogs can cause severe damage to the face, hands and eyes in a matter of seconds. A single bite can do serious damage, and multiple bites can cause both physical and psychological trauma for the victim.

The bites that dogs inflict can also easily becomes infected. Most people won’t require a lot of medical care to recover after a dog bites them, but a small number of people will require reconstructive surgery as well as psychological therapy. Who pays for all of those medical expenses when a dog injures you?

Californian pet owners are responsible for their animals

California state law creates strict liability for those with animals. Owners should train and restrain or enclose their animals so that they cannot hurt others. Someone with a dog should invest in fencing and a good leash for when they take the dog out in public. If their dog gets loose or attacks someone who visits their home, the victim of that attack can hold the animal’s owner responsible.

The strict liability statute in California means that even a first bite by a dog leads to liability for the owner. Unless you broke the law or antagonized the dog, the owner is responsible for its behavior.  Homeowner’s or renter’s insurance may reimburse you. If there isn’t insurance coverage available, you may need to pursue a civil lawsuit against the animal’s owner.

Knowing California’s dog bite laws will make it easier for you to take the right steps if a dog injures you or a loved one.