If you live in Orange County, you undoubtedly know the area has a long history of being friendly to dogs and their owners. In fact, according to reporting from CBS News, the county has had off-leash dog parks for more than two decades. These parks are great places for dogs to socialize and exercise.
Wherever there are dogs, though, there is also some risk of attacks. If a dog attacks or bites you at a dog park, you might wonder who is legally responsible for your injuries. Luckily, California law is clear on the matter.
The dog’s owner is legally responsible
All dog owners have a duty to control their animals, regardless of where the animals might be. As long as you do not provoke a dog, the animal’s owner is responsible for any injuries the dog inflicts on you.
You should seek medical care
Many dog bites appear to be minor. Still, even if you feel mostly fine, it is advisable to seek immediate medical care for a couple of reasons.
First, some bite-associated injuries can be slow to appear. This means you might not realize you have suffered a major injury until hours or even days after an attack. Second, any dog bite that breaks your skin exposes you to a potential infection. Because bite-related infections can turn deadly quickly, you want to have a doctor examine you and recommend a treatment plan.
Ultimately, even though seeking medical treatment is expensive, knowing the dog’s owner is likely to be responsible for your medical bills should put your mind at ease.