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California Dog on Dog Attack Liability

Dog On Dog Attacks, Explained by the Best Dog Bite Injury Lawyers

If attacked by an angry dog, you have your rights. California’s dog bite law clearly dictates that in most cases the owner of the dog is responsible when their dog bites a human. However, these regulations do not apply when a dog bites another dog. So what do you do if your dog has been attacked by another canine?

West Coast Trial Lawyers practice personal injury law and can earn you maximum compensation in your dog bite case. In this article, we will be discussing what to do when your dog is bitten by another dog.   

Who Is Liable In A Dog Attack?

According to California’s dog bite law, “The owner of any dog is liable for 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, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.”

This rule explains that the owner of the dog is liable for the dog bite, despite prior knowledge of dog aggression. To successfully win a dog bite lawsuit the following criteria must be verified:

  • The bite victim was in a public place or a privately owned property when the bite happened
  • The owner of the aggressive dog 
  • The injuries suffered can be measured 

In California, pet parents are liable for all of their pet’s actions, even if they bite another dog. Owners will be held liable for damages, including vet bills. This is because, under California law, pets are considered property, and property owners are responsible for the damage that their equity inflicts.

Available Damages

Accidents happen. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Below is a brief explanation of damages. Damages are a type of monetary award that is determined by a court of law to help compensate an aggrieved individual for any losses or injuries sustained as a result of someone’s negligence.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to. Economic damages are calculated by determining the amount of out of pocket losses an aggrieved individual has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries. 

A few examples of economic losses include:

  • Loss of Earning Capacity
  • Medical Bills
  • Lost Wages

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are essentially intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out of pocket losses. Non-economic damages may include compensation for:

  • Emotional Distress
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Loss  of Enjoyment of Life
  • Other Non-Economic Damanges

Punitive Damages

The third type of damages a California court may award are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended as punishment and are only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful. Punitive damages are relatively rare and in fact are only incorporated in 5% of all verdicts.

Furthermore, there is no real set standard for calculating and awarding punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded at the court’s discretion and will vary depending on the specific circumstances of a case.

Limitations For Damages In California 

For the most part, there is no real cap on compensatory damages following a personal injury claim. This means that courts are able to award any amount they feel is appropriate and reasonable.

However, the only exception is regarding medical malpractice cases. In these cases, the limit for pain and suffering and other non economic losses is $250,000.

West Coast Trial Lawyers Will Help You Prove Liability in Your Dog Bite Lawsuit

Although California does not enforce the “one bite” rule, there are other defenses that can take to protect yourself from liability and your dog from euthanasia. However, in most cases, it is difficult to completely escape liability. If you have sustained injuries in the city of Los Angeles as a result of a dog bite, attack, or accident, a personal injury attorney at our firm can help you recover financial compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call West Coast Trial Lawyers today at (213) 927-3700 or email [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring, and compassionate legal team.


If you have been injured in an accident, you can count on the legal team at West Coast Trial Lawyers to fight for your rights every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney.
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