It can be very frightening when an aggressive dog attacks you in a public area. The dog owner can be held legally responsible for any injuries the dog inflicts on you.
However, when you’re involved in a dog bite accident on private property, like in your apartment complex, sorting out who’s at fault may be difficult. The owner of that property may be liable.
If you were recently injured by a dog in your apartment complex, work with a dog bite attorney you can trust: Steinberg Injury Lawyers. Contact us today for your free initial consultation.
Learn more about how to avoid dog bites below.
Tips to Avoid Dog Bites in Apartment Complexes
Dogs can be loving companions, but sometimes they bite. Living together responsibly with dogs requires appropriate safety measures. The CDC recommends the following tips to avoid dog bites in apartment complexes:
Do not approach and avoid eye contact with unfamiliar dogs.
Do not run from a dog and scream.
If approached by an unfamiliar dog, stay as still as a tree.
If a dog knocks you over, roll into a ball and remain still.
Immediately report stray dogs, especially those displaying unusual behavior.
Do not disturb a dog while they are sleeping, eating, or caring for their puppies.
Do not pet a dog without allowing it to see you clearly and smell you beforehand.
Who Is Liable for Dog Bites?
California is a "strict liability" state for dog bites. This means that dog owners cannot escape liability for a dog bite by claiming they had no idea the dog would become aggressive. Los Angeles dog owners are responsible for all damages resulting from a dog bite, “regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness."
Dog Bite Liability for Owners
If you were bitten by someone’s dog in your apartment complex, you must demonstrate that the bite occurred while you were in a public place or lawfully in a private place. If a dog injures you without specifically biting you, you'll need to take extra steps to prove negligence.
According to California law, a landlord can only be held liable for an attack by a tenant’s dog if they knew the dog was dangerous and didn’t remove the animal. In other words, if a landlord doesn’t address the issue of having a known violent dog on the property, they are liable if the animal attacks someone.
However, if a landlord stipulates (either by lease or by law) that they cannot have their tenants’ dogs removed, then the courts typically can’t hold the landlord responsible.
Contact a Dog Bite Lawyer in Los Angeles Today
California's statute of limitations on personal injury cases allows two years to get dog bite cases started. Claims filed after the two-year deadline will most likely be dismissed.
With that in mind, don’t wait until it’s too late to pursue damages for your injuries.
The dog bite lawyers at the Steinberg Law Firm are committed, experienced, and determined. If you’ve recently suffered a dog bite in Los Angeles, call us today for your free initial consultation.