Orange County Dog Bite Attorney
A person who keeps or has control of an animal may be liable for a personal injury or property damage with the help of an Orange County dog bite lawyer caused by the animal. A keeper of an animal is one that “harbors, protects, or shelters” the animal. It is not necessary that the person is the “owner.” However, an owner who retains some degree of control over an animal can be liable even if the animal is partly under the care of others. Normally, the owner of an animal is liable only for negligence if the animal causes injury or property damage. Negligence is the failure to use ordinary care in keeping or controlling the animal.
California Dog Bite Statute
California law provides that the owner of a dog is liable for the damages suffered by anyone who is bitten while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the dog owner’s property. The fact that a dog does not have prior attacks, or that the owner has no awareness of a dog’s viciousness is not determinative in California law. An owner is held to a strict liability standard of care to protect victims of dog bites and/or dog attacks.
The California dog bite statute can impute “strict liability” on the owners of vicious animals for dog bites and attacks. Strict liability means that a person is liable for damages even if the person used ordinary care, and therefore was not negligent in keeping or controlling the animal. The keeper’s liability is said to be absolute in the sense that the gist of the action is not how the animal was kept, but that it was kept at all in light of its dangerous propensities. A plaintiff who can prove the animal’s dangerous nature or trait and the keeper’s “knowledge” of it, need not prove negligence in failing to restrain or confine it. Actual notice is not required. An owner’s knowledge can be “constructive” wherein an owner can be liable if she could have learned of the propensity through reasonable inquiry. Additionally, an owner may be liable if his employees, agents, partners or family knew of the animal’s dangerous propensities.
The particular facts involved in an injury caused by an animal are very important. If an animal is provoked, or if the person injured is a trespasser, the rules of liability may change. Special rules usually apply if the person injured is a child. Please contact an attorney immediately if you are a victim of a dog bite or dog attack.
Contact an Orange County Dog Bite Lawyer Attorney
Aitken * Aitken * Cohn has successfully represented numerous victims of dog bites and dog attacks in Orange County, California, and Nationwide. The law firm has the compassion, resources and experience to consult the unfortunate victims of dog bites. For a free consultation from a nationally recognized dog bite lawyer, please contact (866) 434-1424 or fill out the contact form and a specialist will be in touch shortly.