A dog may commonly be referred to as man’s best friend, but unfortunately there are times when this best friend can cause injury to others and even pose serious liability issues for dog owners. San Diego residents should be aware of the state’s laws governing dog bites and learn when they should seek legal help.
The Animal Legal and Historical Center website outlines some of the parameters that California law follows when determining the level of danger posed by a certain dog. The severity of any injury caused or alleged is one of the factors used in this determination. An injury that results from a dog attack can be deemed to be severe if victims experience any of the following:
- Cuts that cause disfiguration such as scarring.
- The need for more than one suture.
- Tearing of the muscle tissue.
- Required cosmetic or reconstructive surgery.
A dog bite injury falling into these categories or that causes the death of the victim can result in the dog being classified as vicious. The animal attack must have been unprovoked and must have happened on property other than that of the owner or other keeper.
When a person is bitten by a dog and the injury is not considered severe, the designation of potentially dangerous can be made about the dog. Once on the list of potentially dangerous dogs, if the aggressive behavior continues, a dog may be moved to the list of vicious dogs.
This information is not intended to provide legal advice but general information about dog bite laws in California.