If a dog is not under its owner’s physical control, the owner may be held liable if their dog bites a child. California may hold the dog’s owner liable for the dog bite and resulting injuries.
The owner may be held fully liable for the attack. This is different from laws in other states, where victims may have to show proof that the owner of the dog knew the dog should have known their dog could be violent.
The law in California does not require dog bite victims to gather all of this proof. Instead, the state assigns full liability to the owner for the dog and the injuries it caused to someone’s child. Dog owners may want to speak to a professional who is able to educate them about ways they may be able to lower the risk to other people and their children.
Dogs should receive their annual immunizations and checkups The dog’s owner may want to take their dog to obedience school, which may help them respond better to other people
Medical care for a child after being bitten by a dog
The child’s parents may want to take their child to their pediatrician or the emergency room so the injury can be treated. Even if the dog bite looks minor, unseen injuries to the child’s nerves, muscle or bone may develop. The doctor may not stitch a cut from a dog bite because this may lead to an infection.
While this is rare, rabies may be another risk for the child. The more information the parents may be able to give to the doctor, the better.
“Strict liability” and its meaning in California
Dog owners in California hold strict liability” if their dog bites and hurts someone. This means the owner may be held strictly liable if their dog bit someone.