In situations where your dog bit a child due to provocation, the age of the child is an important factor in determining liability. If the victim is a child who is below five years of age, by law he or she cannot be considered negligent. Therefore, the provocation defense will not be applicable. If this is the case, you as the dog owner may be sued.

Most states, including California, implement strict liability bite laws. Under the strict liability rule, the owner is responsible for any damages caused by the dog even if the dog hasn’t been involved in any biting incident in the past. Dog owners most likely get sued if the dog’s breed is classified as potentially dangerous because it is part of the dangerous dog breeds list.

However, if the victim was above 5 years of age but still a child and was provoking the dog, the value of their claim may be lower. But if the victim was an adult, then the owner is not liable for any injuries. Another exception to the strict liability rule is if the victim was fully aware of the risk of being bitten but still continued to touch, provoke, or make other actions that triggered the attack.

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