Dog Bites: Is it the Dog or Owner’s Fault?

September 30, 2017
On behalf of The Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg Posted in Dog Bite

You’ve probably been bitten by a dog at least once in your life (especially in your childhood).

And if you have kids, you most likely keep them at a safe distance from dogs, because… well, dogs bite.

An estimated 4.5 million Americans get bit by dogs annually. That’s not too bad considering that there are about 78 million dogs currently owned in the U.S.

Seeing a dog that is hungry for your flesh can be a scary experience, but getting a bit is far scarier. Most often than not, people demand to put down the dog after a dog bites without realizing that it’s not really the dog’s fault.

But whose fault is it?

Why do dogs bite and who is to blame?

You can see dogs walking on a leash (and off-leash) pretty much every day on the streets of Los Angeles, where there are an estimated nearly 1.7 million dogs.

Most often than not, whenever a huge, angry-looking dog walks past us, we tend to panic a little. Here’s the thing: dogs can sense fear.

In fact, dogs are merely domesticated wolves, so obviously it’s best not to mess with them.

Whenever a dog bites, it usually makes sense, because dogs bite when:

  • Frightened
  • Sensing danger
  • Provoked
  • Beaten or in pain
  • Feeling the need to protect their owner or territory.

Although dogs can’t speak, it’s not too difficult to understand the reasons behind dog bites. But does it mean the dog is to blame for biting people?

Not necessarily.

Under federal and state law in Los Angeles, if you own a dog, you’re responsible for all of its actions, including bites.

Although lawmakers have attempted to take a bite out of the ever-growing number of dog bite cases by introducing regulations to walk dogs on a leash and in a muzzle, it’s up to the owner to follow or not to follow these laws.

Leashes, muzzles, yearly licensing, vaccinations, keeping an eye on your dog when it’s not in your house or backyard – there are plenty of obligations to follow to keep everyone safe from dog bites.

But only a handful of dog owners actually fulfill them. So if a dog bites someone, it’s the owner’s fault, because he/she hadn’t prevented that bite when they totally could.

How to hold the dog owner liable for the bite?

That’s why whenever people get bit by a dog, they file a dog bite claim against the owner, not the dog.

In fact, even if you’re filing a dog claim, you must prove to the court that you weren’t teasing, provoking, tormenting, or abusing the dog before the dog bite took place.

The process of resolving dog bite cases in court is complex and requires proper legal advice from experienced dog bite attorneys.

Only a Los Angeles dog bite lawyer can give you proper guidance when filing a claim. If you want to get compensated for your pain and damages in Los Angeles, the owner of the dog can even be held liable if they can prove the dog had no history of violence prior to the bite.

Contact Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg or fill out this contact form to investigate your particular dog bite case and maximize your compensation.


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