You may not be aware of the fact that between 2005 and 2012, more than 25 California residents lost their lives as a result of serious dog bites. This data is frightening enough and even more frightening when you realize that California deaths accounted for just slightly more than 10 percent of all dog attack deaths. That is why, as a dog bite lawyer, we want you to understand the dog bite laws in California.
What California law says
While some states have what is known as a “one bite free” rule, if you are a victim of an Irvine dog bite you should know that even if it is the first time the dog in question has ever been aggressive, the owner is responsible for your injury. The only exception to this would be if you were on their property illegally — specifically trespassing.
What is trespassing?
While technically trespassing is entering private property without permission, there are some instances where it may be perfectly logical (and reasonable) to enter a property without permission. For example
- Mail carriers – a mail carrier legally trespasses on property on a daily basis to deliver mail
- Utility workers – it is legal for a utility worker to enter property for reading meters, repairing lines, etc.
- Invited guests – any time you go on someone’s property legally, you are protected under the CA dog bite laws
Burden is (typically) on the owner
In order for an owner to not be liable for injuries suffered as a result of a dog attack, they would have to prove some of the following:
- You entered the property illegally – for example, if you broke into a home the owner could claim you were there illegally.
- There were warning signs – if the owner has posted a “beware of dog” sign and you went to fetch a child’s ball from their yard, the owner may use this as a defense.
- Provocation – if a dog attacks you and the owner can prove you harassed their dog by throwing things, teasing or other forms of provocation, they may have a solid defense against your claim.
Keep in mind, dog owners have a different level of responsibility when it comes to children, particularly those under the age of 5. If you or someone you love has suffered injuries or stress-related problems as a result of a dog attack or dog bite, you should call Silverthorne Attorneys immediately. We will thoroughly investigate your claim and determine whether you have a strong suit for negligence against the owner of the dog.