I was jogging when I was attacked and bitten by a pitbull. I had bites on my hands and legs, but not very serious injuries. However, I am now very terrified of going out to jog after the attack. The owner gave up the ownership of the dog. Can I still hold him responsible?
March 7th, 2013 by Patrick Hogan
The laws of the state of California state that generally, the owner of the dog is responsible for the damages or injury that his/her pet might cause if the attack happens in a public place, regardless of the former viciousness or the owner’s knowledge of his or her pet’s viciousness [CC § 3342(a)].
However, if the owner relinquishes care, custody or control of the dog to a trained professional, such as a veterinarian, kennel worker, groomer or dog-walker, in exchange for compensation he/she is not liable for the damages or injuries his pet might cause during the time the dog is under the care of the professional [Priebe v. Nelson (2006)].
If the dog was under the care and supervision of the owner during the attack, then the victim may claim damages from the owner or his/her insurance. If the attack happens while the dog is in the care or control of a professional, the liability could be on the said professional.
To better understand dog bite liabilities and possible recovery for damages, consult with a lawyer who is an expert in personal injury.