Am I responsible if my dog bites someone who puts their hands over my fence while my dog is in my yard?
Generally, the “dog bite statute” of California would hold the owner of the dog “liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog.” However, a person is only “lawfully” in the private property of the owner if the person is performing his duties, e.g. a police investigating a crime in the premises, or the mailman delivering a mail, or when that person was there upon the invitation of the owner [CC § 3342(a)]. If the person bitten was not lawfully in the premises, or a trespasser, the owner may not be held liable for the victim’s injuries [CC § 3342.5 (d)].
To understand the rights of dog owners and how to deal with biting incidents, it is best to consult with a lawyer who is an expert in personal injury and dog bite cases.