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Dog Bites Who Is Accountable Injury Law
Dog Bite Injuries: Who Can Be Held Accountable?
Dog bites can easily result in serious injury and expensive damages. Victims of dog bites, as well as dog owners, should be aware of who can be held accountable for a dog’s actions – and what to do after a bite occurs.
It’s a simple question with a not-so-simple answer. According to Steve Recordon, a California attorney with nearly 30 years of experience whose practice represents individuals who have been injured by dog bites, owners can obviously be liable, but so can others. He explained:
Even in the strict liability states, like California, landlords can be held responsible, but they can not be held strictly liable. So when you look at a landlord, you look at the other states that have the one bite rule – a rule which some state follow that allows a dog “one bite” before the dog’s owner will be held liable. In order to hold a landlord responsible, you have to show that the landlord was aware of the dangerous propensities of the dog and did not take any action to protect the public and individuals from that dog.
A dog walker may or may not be held liable. It depends. If it’s a one-bite rule state, you’re going to look, first, at the owner of the dog and then, maybe, secondarily, to someone who’s walking the dog. But once again, we have the same situation. Like a landlord, you’re going to have to show that the dog walker had knowledge of the dangerous propensity of that dog. However, if the dog walker had no idea that this dog would ever do anything aggressive, then your only remedy will be against the owner.
Three things dog owners should do after a dog bite
Since dog owners will usually be held responsible for the actions of their dogs, Recordon says that there are three things dog owners should do after their dog has bitten someone. He explained:
Secure the dog. The first thing that the dog owner needs to do is secure the dog. They need to get that dog away from the victim, get that dog in a situation where the dog can not bite anyone else.
Help the victim. The second thing that they need to do is tend to the victim. Help the victim with treating the wounds and then get that victim to a doctor so that the doctor can provide medical treatment.
Provide information. The final thing that I think they need to do is provide any insurance information to the victim so that the victim’s attorney can deal directly with any insurance carriers to see if there is coverage for the injuries.
If you’ve been injured due to a dog bite, contact an attorney whose practice focuses in this area of law to discuss your situation. Consultations are free, without obligation and are strictly confidential. To speak with an experienced attorney, please click here.
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