DOG BITE – Who is Liable and What should I do?

DOG BITE –  Who is Liable and What should I do?  

February 05, 2019


A dog bite is a traumatic event and often results in physical injuries as well as psychological scarring. If you were bit you may be entitled to compensation for any damages that you endured.  Such damages may include:

  • Past Medical Expenses
  • Expected Future Medical Costs
  • Lost Wages
  • Permanent Scarring
  • Rehabilitation
  • Permanent Disability


Approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur each year in the United States. Almost 1 out of 5 bites become infected.”

– Center for Disease Control and Prevention.


Animal Owner’s may be liable for Your Injuries:


If you were harmed by a dog, the dog owner can often be held liable for the resulting injuries.  In California the law generally states that an animal owner is strictly liable if the owner knew or should have known that the animal had a dangerous propensity. (See Thomas v. Stenberg(2012) 206 Cal.App.4th 654, 665 [142 Cal.Rptr.3d 24].) There is also strict liability for injuries caused by animals of a type that are inherently dangerous without the need to show the owner’s knowledge of dangerousness. (Baugh v. Beatty(1949) 91 Cal.App.2d 786, 791–792 [205 P.2d 671].  Often time pit bulls and rottweilers fall in the latter category.


If You were Bit seek out Medical Treatment and Keep track of your Injuries:

If you or someone you know was bit by a dog, the question that often arises: is what to do next.  These are the typical steps dog bite victims are often advised to take:

  1. Seek out Medical Treatment: Immediately following a dog bite you must first and foremost seek out medical treatment.
  2. File a Dog Bit Report: Secondly you should got to your local police department and complete a dog bite report.
  3. Request a Rabies Certificate: In light of the high risk of infection resulting from a dog bite you should reach out to the animal owner and ask for a valid rabies certificate.
  4. Keep track of Your Damages: Once you things have stabilized you should begin to keep track of your damages, so that you are fairly compensated for your injuries.  This includes:
  • Taking pictures of the bit, stiches, scarring
  • Keep a journal as to how this incident has affected you
  • Keeping all medical bills, expenses and records
  • Keep a record of all time missed from work


If you or a loved one has been bit or injured by an animal, or have questions as to whom will by liable for your injuries, we invite you to call us today at 619-432-5145 for a free consultation with one of our experienced San Diego Dog Bit Attorneys.

Diana Legal