Every year, several million people in the United States are bit by a
dog. Many of these bites requires medical attention by a physician.
Many pet owners believe that they are allowed “one bite” before they
are liable for the injuries their pet cause. While a first bite may
keep the dog from being put down, or euthanized, this is not true in
terms of liability to the injured party.
California law creates liability when the victim of a dog bite is
harmed even if the owner of the dog claims that he/she was unaware of
the dangerous propensities of the dog, and even if there have been no
previous bites by that dog. Further, even if the owner claims that
he/she maintained proper custody of that dog, liability still exists on
behalf of victims in California. Victims of dog bites often suffer both
physical and emotional injuries. Dog bites often result in significant,
and sometimes permanent, scarring, and those injuries generally require
evaluation by experts, such as plastic surgeons. Further, counseling by
licensed health care providers, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist,
may be required to deal with the traumatizing and lingering effects of
a vicious dog bite.