Your canine companion requires a lot of care to lead a safe, healthy life, including regular bathing and grooming. Some dog owners in California turn to professional groomers to handle this task to simplify their lives. However, things can grow very complicated if your dog bites a groomer during the process.
You may wonder if a groomer in California can sue you if your dog bites them? The short answers is: sometimes. You can review the long answer, as well as California’s laws on dog bites, right here with the Simmrin Law Group. You can also speak directly with a legal professional by calling us at (310) 997-4688.
Liability and Dog Bites in California
A dog’s owner is strictly liable for most injuries caused by their pet in the state of California. Strict liability means that you will almost always be held responsible if your dog bites someone. This liability applies even if your dog was never violent before and even if your dog is not a “dangerous” breed.
You may face charges under California Civil Code 3342 if:
- You own a dog and
- Your dog bit someone else while in a public location OR
- Your dog bit someone else while the person was on private property legally AND
- The dog bite caused injuries to the victim
A criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles can help you if your dog is accused of biting someone else. The team at the Simmrin Law Group can even help if a groomer claims that your dog bit them while they were working.
Exceptions to Civil Code 3342 in California
As you can see, most of the time a dog’s owner will be held responsible for dog bites in California. However, there are some major exceptions to Civil Code 3342. Many of these exceptions are associated with “Veterinarian’s Rule.”
The “Veterinarian’s Rule” in California states that some professionals assume a level of risk when choosing to work with dogs. Handling dogs is legally held to be a risky activity in California. Therefore, people who voluntarily choose to engage in this activity are accepting this risk when they work.
Note that the “Veterinarian’s Rule” does not apply only to veterinarians. In fact, you may not be liable for damage if your dog bit a:
- Veterinary technician
- Dog walker
- Dog trainer
- Dog groomer
This means that a dog groomer in California may not be able to sue you if your dog bites them. By working with canines willingly, groomers accept the risk that they may be bitten. Call (310) 997-4688 to learn more about the “Veterinarian’s Rule.”
The “Veterinarian’s Rule” Does Not Always Apply
The “Veterinarian’s Rule” means that, in many cases, you will not be held liable if your dog bites a groomer. However, this is not always the case. In fact, you can still be forced to pay damages if:
- You knew or suspected that your dog was aggressive AND
- You did not warn the groomer that your dog was dangerous
You will not be protected by the “Veterinarian’s Rule” if your dog had a history of biting people. This means that, in some situations, you can be sued by a dog groomer in California. Make sure that you thoroughly inform any individuals about the risks of working with your dog.
Outcomes of a Dog Bite Case in California
A dog groomer may try to sue you to obtain compensation for their medical bills after a dog bite. As we mentioned, you may not be liable for a groomer’s injuries if your dog had no past history of aggressive behavior.
Note that you may not have to fully compensate a groomer after a dog bite, even if you knew your dog was aggressive. California uses comparative fault laws to govern dog bite cases. This means that you may not be completely liable if the groomer did something to provoke your dog.
If your dog was hurt, struck, or harassed by the groomer before the bite, you may not be required to pay full compensation. Get specific help addressing your unique situation by contacting the Simmrin Law Group right now.
Speak to a Lawyer if Your Dog Bites a Groomer in California
A groomer in California can sue you if your dog bites them, but only in some circumstances. If your dog had no history of aggressive behavior, you could be safe from legal action by a groomer. Find out more by reaching out to the Simmrin Law Group. Just complete our online contact form or call (310) 997-4688.
Learn more about dog bite cases with a FREE case evaluation.