Civil and Criminal Liability for Dog Bites—–Part 4

Posted by on Jul 4, 2019 in Questions and Answers | 0 comments

In order to file a civil suit against a dog owner, the victim has must do so in a timely manner. The statute of limitations in California for personal injury claims is two years. This means you have two years from the date the dog bite occurred to file a claim against the liable party.

In addition to civil liability, dog owner may face criminal liability as well. If a person owns a dog considered to be dangerous or vicious, he or she could be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. If the dog causes injury, then the charge may be a misdemeanor, but will rise to a felony in the event of the person’s death. Such charges could include manslaughter or murder.

A dog is considered dangerous if it acted aggressively in at least two separate incidents over a 36-month period. The incidents must have involved biting another person or injuring or killing a domestic pet. The incidents must have occurred while the dog was away from the dog owner’s property.

A dog is considered vicious if it has been used in illegal dog fighting or has severely injured or killed a person using aggressive force.

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