I just moved into a new apartment and the management never notified me that my downstairs neighbor had 2 service dogs. During the process of moving, my brother and I met the downstairs neighbor as she was walking her dogs. She said they were her therapy dogs and asked us if we want to pet them. So we did. But without warning, the dog bit me on my arm. When I went to the management, they said they had prior knowledge that the dogs were dangerous, but never did anything about it until now. Can I hold the apartment complex liable for damages due to their negligence of not warning me about the dogs and injuries I sustained while on their premises?
The “dog bite statute” of California mainly puts the responsibility on the owners of dogs that injure others [CC § 3342(a)]. For example, if a victim was bitten by a dog owned by another tenant in an apartment complex, generally, the owner, and NOT the apartment complex management, will be held liable for the injuries sustained.
If one becomes a victim, he/she should get immediate medical attention, and preserve evidence (e.g. torn clothing), and work with a lawyer who is an expert in animal law and personal injury to know about the rights of the dog-bite victim, and possible damages that may be claimed, if applicable.