In California, am I liable if my dog was provoked to bite someone? 3 Answers as of November 25, 2010

My dog bit someone while we were going for a walk. He was on a leash, but this stupid kid came up and started throwing rocks at him. I tried to get the kid to stop, but he would not do it, and when he got too close, my dog bit him. It was a very small wound, but of course, his mother only saw the dog bite him, and now she is threatening to sue. Am I really liable for this? I am so worried about my dog, I do not want them to put him down!

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Dack Marasigan, LLP
Dack Marasigan, LLP | Martin E. Dack, Esq
Yes, you are liable even if the kid was stupid. Your dog has be labeled vicious in order for putting it to sleep.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/25/2010
Law Office of Marc K. Herbert
Law Office of Marc K. Herbert | Marc K. Herbert
A dog owner may be found liable for any injuries caused by their animal.

Usually, any settlement is paid out from a home-owner's policy, for any medical expenses and pain and suffering.

However, you may have several defenses in this case. How old was the child? Do you have any witnesses (such as neighbors) who saw the child throw rocks at the dog?

Because the mother is threatening a lawsuit, you should report this incident to your home-owner's insurance company. Since part of your insurance premium covers claims against you,the insurance lawyers will defend your case for no additional cost.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/6/2010
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