Ask an Attorney: How Do Leash Laws Affect Dog Bite Liability in California?Leash regulations, like many other laws meant to protect the public interest, aren’t universally acceptable. Increased enforcement of leash rules in La Canada Flintridge’s trail system has ruffled a few feathers in the neighborhood recently. Keep reading to learn more about it and then contact Law Offices of Michael A. Kahn at (310) 209-1600 if you are in need of a free legal consultation with a dog bite attorney in California.

The background to the situation

The city sought assistance from the Pasadena Humane Society after receiving reports of dogs running off leash in violation of the ordinance. The Humane Society, which handles animal management for the city, responded by beefing up patrols on the trails and elsewhere. Residents retaliated by filing further complaints with city officials. One local even complained that government funds were being squandered on enforcing a “poor rule.”

It’s difficult to see how anyone could regard a leash regulation to be a terrible law. Both dog owners and the general public are protected by leash restrictions.

How leash rules protect you

To begin with, leash rules protect dog owners from liability difficulties that may arise if their free-ranging dog becomes scared for whatever reason and bites or injures someone. It’s crucial to realize that each dog has the ability to bite in the right (or wrong) conditions, and no owner can guarantee that their dog won’t find itself in a scenario where it feels threatened enough to bite.

Also, under the law, dogs do not receive a “free pass” for the first bite, even if the dog has never bitten before, and the owner can be held liable for any harm the dog causes.

Second, leash rules protect the general population from unwelcome dog contacts. Many individuals dislike dogs and are unsure how to interact with them. They may approach a dog that is indicating that they should keep away and get bitten, or they may escape when they encounter a dog, causing the dog to follow them and maybe attack or trip them.

It is wise to keep your dog on a leash

While it is true that dog owners are not liable for injuries caused by those who purposefully provoke their dogs, this is a delicate line to walk. It’s far safer to err on the side of caution and keep dogs on a leash in any situations where they could come into contact with members of the public.

What to do if you are bitten by a dog

If you are bitten by a dog, you may face significant medical expenses, especially if the bite was to the face and you require scar treatment. You should consult with an expert dog bite injury lawyer to determine if you have a case against the dog’s owner, since this will allow you to recover compensation for your medical bills and pain and suffering. Law Offices of Michael A. Kahn provides free first consultations to help you determine the merits of your case.

Need Help? Call us anytime at (310) 209-1600