California legal codes hold the owners of dangerous or vicious dogs responsible for attacks and bites that cause you any harm or injuries. According to the Orange County Register, the OC area is considered a rabies zone and residents experience an average of four dog bites each day. The Schenck Law Firm understands how the serious effects of an animal’s teeth or claws puncturing through your skin may affect your ability to carry on your regular daily activities.
In Orange County, a dog requires a leash that is less than 6-feet long when its owner brings the animal to a public place. Some parks and beaches designed for dogs may not always require a leash. Unless specified, however, a dog’s walker, caretaker or owner has the duty to keep the dog on its leash. If the dog breaks free, the law views this as negligence on the part of the person who had the responsibility to control the animal.
Under most circumstances, the law allows dogs to run free and without a leash on their owner’s private property. A visitor to the property or a passerby who experiences an unprovoked attack by an aggressive dog may nonetheless seek relief from its owner. Not only is a dog bite painful, but the animal’s saliva may contain rabies, bacteria or other pathogens. For this reason, dog bites and attacks must be reported to animal control officials to determine if a quarantine and observation period is required.
If you or a family member have suffered a dog bite, you may file a civil action against the animal’s owner to recover for medical expenses, rehabilitation and loss of wages. My page on premises liability provides more information on seeking relief from dog bites.