Walnut Creek news reports that suspected drunk driver suffered a police dog bite at the end of a California car chase that began in Pomona and ended in Fontana. Police had attempted to pull over Travion Lewis Wright for allegedly speeding, but when they put on their lights and sirens, Wright took off.
According to one account, Wright refused to show his hands, made aggressive movements and shouted obscenities. At this point police officers released their dog, who then bit the suspect.
Although the use of police dogs as an aid in law enforcement is an allowed practice, restrictions exist concerning their use. Further, where police dogs are unreasonably dangerous and cause harm, it may be possible to file a lawsuit for negligence.
If you have been attacked by a dog, either that is part of a police canine unit, or is owned by a private citizen, you know how frightening a dog bite can be. Whether you may be able to obtain compensation for your injuries is a complex questions and depends on a variety of factors. Consulting with an experienced Sacramento personal injury lawyer is important to ensure your dog bite questions are answered and to determine your next steps.
Factors that go into a determining whether the use of a police dog is negligent include whether police are able to control the dog – i.e. does the dog obey command to quit biting – and whether the dog was used against a person who posed no threat. The use of a police dog may be considered “excessive force” where the attack and injury are not justified based on the threat posed by the suspect.
Most dog bite statutes are not applicable in police dog bite actions, although exceptions exist. It is important to speak with a knowledgeable California dog bite attorney if you have questions.
Liability may be easier to establish in a private dog bite action. In private dog bite action, injuries are the responsibility of the dog owner and anybody might be liable who was negligent or had custody or control of the dog knowing that it was an animal that might bite. In cities with a leash law, violation of that constitutes a form of negligence. However, there is often no requirement to prove negligence. In almost every dog bite case the dog owner’s homeowners insurance pays for the settlement.
For more information or if you have questions about California dog bite laws, please contact the dedicated Sacramento personal injury lawyer at Sette Law Office for a free consultation.