5 Biggest Misconceptions About Dog Bites That Still Persist in California

April 4, 2018
On behalf of The Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg Posted in Dog Bite

Whether you are a dog owner in Riverside or elsewhere across California or you have recently been bitten or attacked by a dog, it is equally essential that you become familiar with California dog-bite laws.

The following information will most likely be an eye-opener for you, as the vast majority of Californians still have certain misconceptions about dog bites. We brought our Riverside dog attack attorney from the Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg to debunk these misconceptions and explain which dog attacks are and which are not compensable under California’s dog-bite laws.

Misconception #1: Getting compensation will not be easy

Wrong. It is quite the opposite, as California is one of few states that has “strict liability” laws when it comes to handling dog bites and dog attacks in Riverside, Los Angeles, and other cities across the state. That means: proving the dog owner’s liability and obtaining compensation is relatively easy if you are represented by a dog attacks lawyer.

If you file a lawsuit against the dog owner, you can obtain compensation without having to prove that the owner knew his/her dog had been dangerous or vicious before the incident, and therefore failed to prevent the attack. Under California dog-bite laws, it does not matter whether the dog had or had not to be been vicious before the attack. What matters is the fact that you have been bitten and sustained injuries.

Misconception #2: I can win even if I was bitten on the dog owner’s private property

Not always. California’s dog-bite laws have their limits, too. You cannot expect the court to rule in your favor if you were trespassing or unlawfully in a private place.

Our best dog bite attorneys in Riverside explain that the dog owner may be held “strictly liable” for the attack or bite only if the injured person (a) was bitten, AND (b) was either in a public place or “lawfully in a private place” (the dog owner’s private property) when the incident took place.

Note: if you were performing your duties at the time of the incident (for example, you are a mail carrier), California courts will most likely rule in your favor as you were lawfully on private property (even though the dog owner had never personally allowed you to enter or remain on his/her private property).

Misconception #3: I can sue a police officer for a dog bite

Probably not. You see, under California laws regulating dog bites and dog attacks, there is one exception that is often overlooked by injured people.

If you were bitten by police or military dogs that were either carrying out their duties – doing law enforcement work – or defending themselves against provocations or potentially dangerous behavior, you will most likely not be able to sue the police officer or obtain compensation for your injuries and damages.

Misconception #4: If there was no blood, I cannot sue for a dog attack

This is a complicated matter, for which you will need a Riverside dog attack attorney to personally look into your particular case. Generally, however, if a dog grabs your arm or another area of your body with its teeth but does not break the skin (and there is no blood), this will most likely still count as a dog bite.

Misconception #5: I can sue the dog owner for my injuries caused by the dog even if there was no bite

Most likely not. You see, many people in Riverside and all across California wrongfully believe that strict liability laws make it possible to sue the dog owner for their injuries that were caused by the dog but did not come from the bite itself.

One common example is when a dog chases after a bicyclist and attacks his bicycle wheel, which, in turn, causes the bicyclist’s collision with a vehicle. In that case, you can hold the dog owner liable only if you can prove that he/she was negligent in keeping the dog under control or preventing the dog attack.

Contact the Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg to find out the most optimal legal strategy in your particular case. Call our Riverside offices at 310-997-0904 or fill out this contact form to get a free consultation.


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