Who is Liable When a Police Service Dog Bites you?

Dog Bite Claim
Dog Bite Liability

California makes dog owners responsible for their dog’s actions, regardless of whether they knew about its aggressive behavior. That is to say, you are legally responsible for the damages arising from your dog’s bite, albeit it has not bitten anybody previously.

The victim could just recover compensation for non-monetary damages even if that private dog did not break their skin. However, whenever a police dog attacks and bites people, getting damages amount is not easy always. The police tend to use the dog to apprehend supposedly dangerous suspects. When this dog bites, you usually have no basis for a claim against your local police.

When Law Enforcement Are Not Responsible

California’s law allows a police dog to bite someone without penalty or responsibility in some specific situations. Firstly, it may bite one in reaction to the harassing, provoking or annoying behavior which he or she directs at it. Secondly, it may bite when it is assisting in police work, like the following.

  • Holding or apprehending a person suspected of an offense or crime;
  • Looking into a crime;
  • Defending its handler or someone else; and,
  • Executing a police warrant.

When the Police Department Might Be Legally Responsible

As per the state law, police dogs have to be used only to apprehend those reasonably thought to be involved in the specific actions that caused the police’s actions. This is to say, the dog cannot bite an innocent bystander. If it bites such a person, the department would have to take liability for his or her injuries caused by the police dog.

They might be responsible for damages when the dog’s use constituted too much force. For instance, it would be inappropriate to use this dog to hold someone in relation to a passive crime when that suspect made no effort to escape arrest and carried no weapon. Police could be responsible if they allowed the animal to keep attacking beyond the point at which the suspected person is subdued.

You Can Bring Claims against Every Concerned Police Department

It is possible to bring a dog bite claim against any city, and the police officers who were part of this incident. If your family member gets injured because of a police dog’s bite, do not think that you cannot do anything about it. Rather, visit an expert lawyer for a case evaluation and to discover your legal rights.

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