For the vast majority of dog owners in California, it can be hard to ever imagine that your furry friend would bite someone. Unfortunately, it happens more often than you think, with up to 4.5 million cases of dog bites in the United States each year. However, whether or not you’re a dog owner, there are a few facts about dog bite laws that every California resident should be privy to.
Some breeds affect your homeowner’s insurance
There is no shortage of dog owners out there that will happily tell you their big dog is about as harmless as a stuffed teddy bear, but that doesn’t make a difference to your homeowner’s insurance policy. The underwriters of your policy may have already deemed your dog potentially dangerous. In fact, there are numerous breeds that underwriters have categorized as being potentially dangerous, such as Rottweilers, Huskies, German Shepherds, and more. If you have one of these breeds, then you might be in for a surprise when you attempt to obtain homeowner’s insurance.
The owner is responsible for a bite
There are two places in which an owner is responsible: public property and private property. That just about encompasses everywhere, so the bottom line is that owners are pretty much always responsible. Bites that occur on public property such as parks or sidewalks will be the owner’s responsibility as much as a dog bite that occurs in their own home or on their own property. That includes people who are lawfully entering your private premises, such as mailmen. In any situation, you’ll want to attain a dog bite lawyer.
You don’t have to own the dog to be responsible
You don’t technically need to be the dog’s owner to be held responsible for a bite that happens when the dog is in your care. That means dog-sitters and dog-walkers can be held responsible for bites that occur while the dog is under their watch. However, these cases often require proof that the sitter/walker knew that the dog was potentially dangerous beforehand. If you’re a dog-sitter or dog-walker and someone is bit by a dog in your care, you should contact a dog bite lawyer immediately.
Just as you would contact car accident attorneys after you were in a car wreck, contacting dog bite lawyers can help you with any legal or financial predicaments you find yourself in the wake of a dog bite.