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Is There Liability for Stray Dog Bite?

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Often when a person is bitten by a dog, the owner of the dog is held liable for their pet's actions. As such, lawsuits can be pressed against them to cover the extent of medical bills. However, not every dog has an owner. If you were attacked by a stray dog, what happens then? Is anyone held liable?

Those bitten by a stray dog may first look to the city as liable. After all, they are responsible for animal control. However, it is very rare that if you were bitten by a stray dog that anyone will be held responsible for the attack. There is one clause that states if the dog was already picked up and put in animal control, and it for some reason escapes, then the city can be held responsible for any injuries that occur. Yet, those circumstances are very rare. This means that if you are attacked by a stray, you will need to cover your own medical bills.

If you were attacked by a stray dog, your first priority is to get to safety. Afterwards, call emergency services in order to seek help for your injuries, and, if the dog is still present, be sure to contact animal control right away so they can prevent any more injuries from occurring. This is particularly important so they can arrive with or before emergency services to prevent the paramedics from becoming injured as well.

While there is not much we can do for you in the event of a stray attack, if it does turn out that the dog belonged to someone, even if they abandoned it somewhere, that dog's owners can still be held liable for the attack. If you were attacked by a dog, contact us today to see what we can do for you.


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From our offices in Woodland Hills, California, Freeman & Freeman, LLP, provides legal advice and representation for clients in communities throughout the state, including those in Burbank, Glendale, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, Tarzana, Santa Clarita, Agoura Hills, Reseda, Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Northridge, Granada Hills, Pacoima, Panorama City, North Hollywood, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Lancaster, Palmdale and Alhambra.