Who is at fault when one dog bites another dog?
A very common scenario to occur when someone is walking their dog is that their dog attacks or bites another dog or is attacked or bitten by another dog while the owner tries to break the two dogs apart. Invariably, the question that arises is whether the owner of the attacking dog will be liable for the injuries sustained to the other dog. Under California law, the owner of a dog that attacks another dog will be responsible for all damages stemming from that attack if there are no applicable defenses successfully argued by the at-fault-dog's owner. If the damages encompass medical bills related to treat the injured dog (e.g., X-rays, medications, stitching, casts, etc.), the owner of the at-fault dog will be responsible for those bills. Typically, the owner of the attacking dog will have the claim paid by his/her homeowner's insurance policy which is in place to cover damages stemming from such a situation. Homeowner's coverage often times provides coverage even if the dog attacked another dog at some place other than the at-fault-dog owner's residence.
What Strict Liability Doesn't Cover
California's Dog Bite Laws are more strict than many other states, but there are still exceptions to the "Strict Liability" laws. Any injuries caused by a military or police animal are looked at differently when these service animals are in the line of duty. Also if there is proof the animal was provoked to attack the "Strict Liability" laws no longer apply.In the state of California, dog owners carry a strict liability. This means that you are entitled to compensation when you fall victim to a dog bite. There are misconceptions about dog bite laws that are commonly believed among Californians. These include the belief in a law that states dog owners are only liable if you as the victim are bitten more than one time. This is commonly referred to as a "one bite" law. Although this is a real law in other states, California does not observe this law.