In most parts of the country, a person who has control of an animal is liable for any property damage or personal injury which said animal causes. This does not have to be its owner per se. Anyone who retains some amount of control over the animal’s actions can be held liable in a court of law. This applies most commonly to dog bite cases. The owner of a dog causing property damage or injury is normally held liable for negligence, because they failed to reasonably ensure the animal was under control.
In California, anyone who is bitten by a dog while in a public place, or while present lawfully in a private place, is eligible to sue the dog’s owner for negligence. Even if the dog has no history of attacks, or the owner is unaware of its viciousness, California law may hold this person liable. The standards set for this are strict, and require owners to take care that all people are reasonably protected from their animal’s attacks. “Strict liability” is part of the statute, and causes the person to be liable even if ordinary care was taken to prevent a bite or attack.
There is also something known as “keeper’s liability”, which gives grounds for punishing a person because they kept the dog in the first place, after knowing the dangers this posed. To win compensation, a plaintiff would need to prove that the dog had a dangerous nature at the time of the incident, and that the keeper had knowledge of this; after that, they would not need to prove negligence in proper restraining of the animal. If the owner was unaware but could have learned of their animal’s dangerous nature through reasonable inquiry, they can be held liable. Liability may also be assigned if their partners, agents, or even employees knew of the dangers, but they themselves did not.
At the law offices of Joseph Y. Avrahamy, we take on your dog bite and injury case, and litigate for maximum compensation from the negligent party. We have the skill, experience, and resources to see to it that you get your just entitlements. Get in touch with us today to get a free evaluation of your case.