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Sacramento Dog Bite Law is Complex

Sacramento Wrongful Death lawyer

Over the past decade sometimes-deadly dog bits have made headlines in California and in Sacramento. Dog bite lawyers at Sette Law reference the 2001 case in which a San Francisco woman was attacked and killed by two dogs. In 2013, four pit bulls killed a woman in Antelope Valley. High profile tragedies like these filter to neighborhoods in Sacramento. Injury attorneys here know dog bites can – and do – happen anywhere and it’s important for dog owners and the public to understand mutual responsibilities.

Our Sacramento dog bite lawyers cite a basic California code (section 3342(a)) that states, in part, that “The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place … regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner's knowledge of such viciousness." This also applies to private property in Sacramento. Injury attorneys explain a California civil code specifies that, if a person is lawfully on the dog owner’s property, the owner has liability for the actions of his dogs in Sacramento. Injury lawyers at Sette Law point out the statute does not treat trespassers on private property the same – individuals can’t claim damages suffered while trespassing on private property in Sacramento.

Dog bite lawyers know that laws vary from state-to-state. In most, dog owners are made liable when their dogs cause harm. Interestingly, these states also decree that owners need not be aware their dogs are dangerous. According to our Sacramento injury attorneys, a person harmed by a dog isn’t required to prove the owner of the pet was careless. The dog owner is responsible for the dog’s actions and damages it causes in most cities, including Sacramento.

A dog bite, our lawyers explain, that happens in the course of an individual’s job may not be looked at the same way in a Sacramento court. Our injury attorneys say dog bite statutes may specify that a contractual employee in a kennel, for example, might not be able to use a “strict liability cause of action” due to the inherent nature of the occupation.

According to our Sacramento dog bite lawyers “common law” often dictates that dogs, never shown to be vicious or dangerous, are generally assumed harmless. However, according to personal injury attorneys, the definition of ‘dangerous’ can be expansive. Individual dogs may be known as dangerous to people, or a particular breed can fall under this class. In Sacramento, our dog bite lawyers might point to pit bulls (mixed or pure bred) as just one breed falling in this category.

Dog owners also play an important role in the outcome of Sacramento dog bite litigation. Lawyers here reference several cases in which an owner was aware of a dog’s threatening behavior but did not take reasonable steps to protect the public in Sacramento. Personal injury attorneys at Sette Law say courts consider perception of an animal’s temperament, if a dog had suffered abuse, needed to be muzzled, or if an owner posted a warning sign about the animal in Sacramento. Dog bite lawyers further explain that, to sue under a common law statute, the injured person needs proof that an owner was aware of a dog’s propensity to bite or cause an injury.

But, our Sacramento personal injury attorneys add that dog owners are also protected. Common law and many state statutes specify that if the injured person was trespassing when the dog bite occurred, an owner can argue against responsibility. Our Sacramento dog bite lawyers explain that an owner may allege the injured person played an active role and assumed a risk when trespassing. This can even apply to a delivery person who enters property with knowledge of a possibly-threatening dog. Responsibility for a dog bite or injury may, in such cases, be shared in court in Sacramento. Dog bite lawyers working in defense of the pet owner will argue the injured party consciously placed himself or herself in danger. A jury, in a case like this, may assess a percentage of responsibility to both the dog owner and the plaintiff in Sacramento.

Dog bite attorneys at Sette Law point out that this niche of personal injury can be very complicated and requires a deep understanding of multiple facets of litigation and case histories.


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Sacramento Personal Injury Attorney Disclaimer

This website is for general information only about personal injury attorneys and does not constitute a client/lawyer relationship. If you believe that you are entitled to personal injury compensation contact Frederick Sette. He is an experienced Sacramento personal injury and car accident attorney who is devoted to protecting victims of personal injury in Fairfield, Modesto, Sacramento, Stockton, Napa and surrounding California cities.

Sacramento Office:

1700 I Street, Suite 120
Sacramento, CA 95811

Phone: (916) 442-0000
Fax: (916) 442-0001

Stockton Office:

4568 Feather River Dr, Ste C
Stockton, CA 95207

Phone: (209) 464-7700
Fax: (209) 833-1700