If you own a property and a visitor suffers a dog bite from one of your tenant’s dogs, are you responsible? In most cases, the responsibility for the dog bite will fall onto the shoulders of the tenant.  


However, there are specific cases that the landlord may be held liable for the dog bite, such as knowing the dog was dangerous, unable to remove the dog, or harboring the animal in some fashion. A dog bite victim could also sue the landlord if the tenant doesn’t have enough renters insurance to cover the damages. 


Learn more about landlord liabilities and dog bites below. 

When a Landlord Could Be Held Liable For a Dog Bite

If a landlord is aware of how dangerous a dog is but does not take any action to remove the animal, they may be held liable if a dog bite occurs. This typically requires a history of attacks. 


In some states, landlords may not be held liable if they knew the dog was dangerous but could not remove it from the property. This is especially true if a court has not given the landlord the authority to remove the dog. 


Nonetheless, landlords can potentially limit liabilities by placing a “beware of dog” sign or some other warning type to let visitors know about the threat the dog poses. Also, if a landlord harbors a dangerous dog (feeds it, walks it, etc.) in any manner, they may be held just as liable for a dog bite as the owner of the animal would. 

What to do if a Dog has Attacked you

Dog attacks can be severe and, in some cases, life-threatening. After suffering a dog bite, you should take the following steps. 

  1. Seek immediate medical attention

  2. Follow all doctor's orders 

  3. Report the incident to animal control 

  4. Identify potential witnesses 

  5. Document the dog bite (pictures, video, preserved ripped clothing, etc.)

  6. Contact a personal injury lawyer. 


What you do immediately after a dog attack will have a direct impact on your ability to seek compensation for injuries sustained. 

Contact Steinberg Injury Lawyers Today

Not all personal injury lawyers are equipped to handle dog bite cases. They must have the experience and knowledge to navigate the complex dog bite laws in San Diego and California to understand how the law applies to your lawsuit. 


Before speaking with the dog owner, landlord, or insurance representatives, seek a proven dog bite personal injury lawyer’s advice. It is especially crucial if the bite falls under the “One Free Bite Rule.” Your lawyer may need to conduct additional research and take statements to establish your case. 


If you have recently suffered a dog bite, don’t wait until it’s too late to pursue a personal injury case. You may be entitled to compensation. Contact Steinberg Injury Lawyers online or call us at 1-800-350-8888 today for an initial free, no-obligation, initial consultation.

Peter Steinberg
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Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Since 1982
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