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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
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in sacramento, ca. is there any type of law evolving around

Customer Question

in sacramento, ca. is there any type of law evolving around personal injury resulting of
a dog bite of person handling leash incorrectly. example: walking your dog with leash in hand but wrapped around your body waist.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Personal Injury Law
Expert:  Brandon, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Dog bites in California are a strict liability tort. This means that unless someone is trespassing on your property, you are liable for any injury caused by your dog no matter what. Even if your’e dog doesn't have a history of biting or vicious behavior, or if you handle a leash properly, you can still be held liable. The statutes which discusses this in length are:

Calif. Civil Code § 3342.

  1. The owner of any dog is 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, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner's knowledge of such viciousness. A person is lawfully upon the private property of such owner within the meaning of this section when he is on such property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him by the laws of this state or by the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or when he is on such property upon the invitation, express or implied, of the owner.

  2. Nothing in this section shall authorize the bringing of an action pursuant to subdivision (a) against any governmental agency using a dog in military or police work if the bite or bites occurred while the dog was defending itself from an annoying, harassing, or provoking act, or assisting an employee of the agency in any of the following:
        1. In the apprehension or holding of a suspect where the employee has a reasonable suspicion of the suspect's involvement in criminal activity.


        2. In the investigation of a crime or possible crime.


        3. In the execution of a warrant.


        4. In the defense of a peace officer or another person.
  3. Subdivision (b) shall not apply in any case where the victim of the bite or bites was not a party to, nor a participant in, nor suspected to be a party to or a participant in, the act or acts that prompted the use of the dog in the military or police work.

  4. Subdivision (b) shall apply only where a governmental agency using a dog in military or police work has adopted a written policy on the necessary and appropriate use of a dog for the police or military work enumerated in subdivision (b).

 

Calif. Civil Code § 3342.5

  1. The owner of any dog that has bitten a human being shall have the duty to take such reasonable steps as are necessary to remove any danger presented to other persons from bites by the animal.

  2. Whenever a dog has bitten a human being on at least two separate occasions, any person, the district attorney, or city attorney may bring an action against the owner of the animal to determine whether conditions of the treatment or confinement of the dog or other circumstances existing at the time of the bites have been changed so as to remove the danger to other persons presented by the animal. This action shall be brought in the county where a bite occurred. The court, after hearing, may make any order it deems appropriate to prevent the recurrence of such an incident, including, but not limited to, the removal of the animal from the area or its destruction if necessary.

  3. Whenever a dog trained to fight, attack, or kill has bitten a human being, causing substantial physical injury, any person, including the district attorney, or city attorney may bring an action against the owner of the animal to determine whether conditions of the treatment or confinement of the dog or other circumstances existing at the time of the bites have been changed so as to remove the danger to other persons presented by the animal. This action shall be brought in the county where a bite occurred. The court, after hearing, may make any order it deems appropriate to prevent the recurrence of such an incident, including, but not limited to, the removal of the animal from the area or its destruction if necessary.

  4. Nothing in this section shall authorize the bringing of an action pursuant to subdivision (b) based on a bite or bites inflicted upon a trespasser, or by a dog used in military or police work if the bite or bites occurred while the dog was actually performing in that capacity.

  5. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent legislation in the field of dog control by any city, county, or city and county.

  6. Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the liability of the owner of a dog under Section 3342 or any other provision of the law.

  7. A proceeding under this section is a limited civil case.

Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further. If you do not require any further assistance, I would be most grateful if you would remember to provide my service a positive rating, as this is the only way I will receive credit for assisting you.

Have a wonderful rest of your day.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I don't thinkl you understood my question. I will tell you briefly. in sacramento if a person is walking there dog on the sidewalk in front of your house and the dogs accidently get through the front door come running up to your dog but the owner is scared out of there mind and you keep yelling at them to let go of the leash and stop kicking and pushing the dog away because you know your dog won't bite he just ran out to sniff the person that's walking there dog but in the inturn that person was scared straight and you yourself are disabled but trying to tell the person to let go of the leash but they can't let go because instead of walking there dog with the leash in there hand they have the leash wrapped around the body so if anything did occurred which obviously something they wouldn't be able to let go of the leash because the dog would end up dragging them down the street. now had that person held the leash and this were to happen then there wouldn't be any personal injury because there dog would of took off and the other dog would of followed. she in this case that person with the leash kind of I would say provoked the dog in nipping them not a bit persay or puncture wound but just a nipp. now they find out you don't have insurance and the property is on a trust what is the worst that could take place. and being that i'm a disabled person with a fixed income what is the legality that would happened. isn't there a leash law of some sort pertaining to this. or what rights do I have being that i'm disabled. this person didn't have any sitched just a clean wash and bandage. but in the inturn of all this I ended up losing 2 very good dogs that animal control took when they should of taken only one that nipped the person and then this put a great strain on me because they were both euthanizerd isn't there anything I can do regarding this. because I told them they were wrong in taking both when only one was at fault but other witnesses stated otherwise and now the findings of the medical report show that the witnesses statement where wrong what can I do

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

My name is Lucy and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I am very sorry to hear that both of your dogs were taken from you.

Unfortunately, there are no special laws in this situation that shift the blame to the owner holding the leash. Because a person's ability to pay is not considered in determining liability, it also is not relevant whether one of the owners is disabled. What the judge looks at in this situation was whether the dogs bit someone, causing injury. That is unfortunately the only fact that is relevant. Strict liability means that a person whose dog bites someone is responsible, no matter what facts may arise that make it seem unfair. There is no cause of action against the other dog owner in this scenario.

I apologize that this was probably not the Answer you were hoping to receive. However, it would be unfair to you and unprofessional of me were I to provide you with anything less than truthful and honest information. I hope you understand.

Good luck.

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