Being attacked by a dog is a scary experience. It also can leave behind serious injuries that cause you to have extensive medical bills, lost wages and other expenses. You may even suffer mental trauma due to an attack. Luckily, you have rights under California law to fight in this situation and hold the dog’s owner responsible.

California Legislative Information explains that under the law, a dog owner is liable for the actions of his or her pet. As long as the attack occurred in a public area or due to the dog not being constrained on its own property, then the owner is liable for any damages. This includes having to pay for medical bills and anguish as the court sees fit.

You should note, though, that if the attack occurs when you are on private property illegally, then you may not have any recourse. The law only allows for liability in a situation where you are legally on the property.

It is also important to understand that this law does not cover dogs used by law enforcement or in the military when the dog is working if you were a party to a crime or involved in whatever prompted the use of the dog.

Finally, if a dog does attack you and cause injury, there does not have to be a prior acknowledgment that the dog was dangerous for you to be able to hold the owner liable. So, even if this is the first and only time the dog has acted in this way, the owner is still liable. This information is for education and is not legal advice.