If you're familiar with California's dog bite laws, you're probably aware that a dog's owner is liable for the damages their dog causes, even if the owner had no reason to assume their dog was vicious. There are, however, certain exceptions to this rule. Continue reading to learn more about them, and then call The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 to speak with a dog bite lawyer.
Trespassing was committed by the victim
If the dog bite victim was trespassing on private land, the dog's owner is unlikely to be held liable for their dog biting the victim. Why? Because homeowners have the right to protect their property. They are not liable for anyone who is on their property illegally.
It's possible that a person is aware of the fact that their dog is prone to biting and hence refuses to allow visitors into their property. They should not be held liable for visitors who enter their property without permission or notice.
The dog was a member of the police force
Whether you like it or not, the normal property harm regulations surrounding dog bites do not apply to law enforcement dogs. If you were assaulted by a law enforcement dog, you may have limited options.
The dog was not owned by the person who was being sued
The lawsuit may fail if the dog's owner was not there at the time of the assault and the victim sues the person who was. Why? Because the person in charge of the dog may or may not be responsible for the dog's actions, depending on their connection and duty of care.
A known risk was accepted by the victim
If the dog's owner posted a "Beware of Dog" notice and told a visitor to their home that their dog was prone to biting out of fear, and the guest was then attacked, the dog's owner may not be held responsible. They gave the guest enough warning, and the law may view it as an expected risk that the victim accepted.
The victim could be partially to blame
In some circumstances, the victim may be held partially responsible. If this is the case, it does not necessarily mean that the dog's owner is not at fault; rather, it implies that the victim's reward will likely be reduced by their percentage of fault.
We strongly advise you to contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker for a free legal consultation if you have been the victim of a dog bite incident. We can examine your situation and offer our best recommendations for moving forward.