San Diego Dog Bite Laws

December 30, 2019

Dog attacks are a leading cause of serious, permanent injuries in San Diego County. In fact, California has one of the highest rates of lethal dog attacks in the nation. These attacks can have lasting physical and emotional effects, causing emotional trauma, physical scarring, disfigurement, and infection. Not to mention, serious and lasting injuries can impact your ability to work, interact with others, and enjoy your life.

San Diego County Code and Leash Laws

California law provides little leeway to dog owners when their animals attack others. In particular, the San Diego County code mandates that owners have a duty to prevent their dogs from biting. If a dog does bite someone, the owners face fines and even misdemeanor criminal charges. 

Specifically, the Code requires the following:

  • At home, dog owners must control their animals by voice, an electronic containment system, leash, fence, or enclosure.
  • In public, owners must restrain their dogs with a hand-held leash no longer than six feet. The person holding the leash must be capable of controlling the animal.

Who is Responsible for a Dog Bite Injury in San Diego?

In California, dog owners are “strictly liable” for an injury their animals cause. This means that if a dog bites you, you do not need to prove that the dog owner was at fault: The attack and injury alone are enough to help you build a case for compensation. The dog’s breed, vicious tendencies, and history of attacks are irrelevant factors.

What To Do If You Have Been Injured in a San Diego Dog Attack

First and foremost, attend to your injuries. You will not know how serious your injuries are until a medical professional evaluates them. For instance, what appears to be a minor laceration can result in substantial loss of blood, infection, or permanent scarring.

Second, take photographs of your injuries, the dog that attacked you, and the incident scene, and ask the police to record an incident report. This type of evidence will prove valuable down the road as you pursue your claim. 

Additionally, track down the dog’s owner and gather his or her contact and insurance information. Do the same for any eyewitnesses to the attack. Their accounts will serve as valuable evidence to bolster your claim, so be sure to ask them for a brief statement of what they saw before time passes and their memories of the incident start to fade.

San Diego Dog Bite Attorney

If you have been injured in a dog attack, call San Diego dog bite attorney Anthony Laureti for a free consultation. It is critical to act quickly to protect your rights, to avoid your case being barred by the statute of limitations, and to ensure that you are treated fairly by any liable parties and their insurance carriers.

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