Dog Bites

In some states, dog owners are only liable for dog bites if they know that an animal may be dangerous. That means that if a dog acts entirely out of character when they bite someone, their owner may not be held liable.

Fortunately, this is not true in California. California abides by the strict liability rule. It states that a dog owner is entirely responsible for the animal’s behavior, regardless of whether or not they were aware of aggressive tendencies. The only exception to this rule is when the victim of the dog bite is trespassing on private property. If the victim was lawfully on private property, then the liability rule applies. For example, if the victim was attending a dinner party to which they were invited and the host’s dog bites them, the dog owner is liable for the injury. If someone was breaking into a home to steal from the property and a dog on premises bit them, the dog owner is not liable for the injury.

When it comes to establishing liability, the owner’s negligence will also be taken into consideration. For example, if a dog owner loses control of their dog on a public street and the dog winds up biting someone, the owner will be considered negligent for losing control.

Most Dangerous Dog Breeds:

Just because a dog is of an aggressive breed does not mean that the individual dog will be violent. Still, it is prudent to know which dogs are most likely to cause injury to hopefully prevent a situation in which a dog may be able to bite you:
  • Pitbull
  • Rottweiler
  • German Shepherd
  • American Bulldog
  • Mastiff/Bullmastiff 
  • Huskey
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Boxer
  • Mixed-Breed (based on their genetic make-ups and socialization, mixed-breed dogs can be quite aggressive)