Under California law, dog owners are strictly liable for the damages their pets cause, especially if the dog attacks, bites or otherwise injures another person. This means that the pet owner is absolutely liable for compensating the injured party, but it may not always be the owner herself who opens up the checkbook. Depending on the situation, the dog's owner may be covered by insurance.
Imagine for a moment you are playing with your children at a public park or green space, when out of nowhere a vicious dog begins attacking yourself or your children. Such shocking and violent attacks have happened far too often in California, leaving adults and children with serious physical and emotional scars that can last a lifetime. The California Legislature has specifically recognized the serious problem these dangerous animal attacks pose to the public, and as such, they have gone to great lengths to establish a system of laws and regulations which attempt to curb the danger, but also adequately penalize those whose pet animals cause injury or death to others.
People in California know that dog bites are a fairly common problem in many parts of the state, as people in all types of neighborhoods often possess pets that have the propensity for violent or aggressive behavior. Some are trained attack dogs, some are dogs who are bred for violence and some are otherwise well-mannered pets who react unfortunately to stressful situations or people. Regardless of the type of dog, any owner of a dog who bites or otherwise inflicts injury on another person is probably going to be held liable for the damage the dog causes, unless the victim is trespassing on private property when the attack occurred.
Earlier this month police were called to the scene of a pit bull attack at a Serra Mesa apartment complex. A pregnant woman was attacked and bit on the hand when two unleashed pit bulls knocked the woman over, causing her to panic and yell until help could arrive. The woman was not horribly injured, but was taken to the hospital for treatment for injuries sustained from the dog bites.