Can I get sued if my dog bites someone who puts their hand through my fence?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I get sued if my dog bites someone who puts their hand through my fence?

I live on the corner of 2 roads, so my backyard goes along one of the roads chain link and people that walk by always try to pet my dogs, I have to run out and tell them to get away from my dogs and they never say anything just run away. My dogs aren’t aggressive but they do bark at everyone who walks by and people still try to pet them. I don’t know if my dogs will ever bite anyone but I say,

Asked on April 12, 2019 under Personal Injury, California


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You are liable if someone is bitten by your dog, even if they stick a hand through the fence to pet your dog.
As the property owner, you are liable if someone is injured on your property even if the person is a trespasser sticking a hand through the fence.
As a dog owner, you are liable for negligence if your dog bites someone. Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable dog owner would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).
Your liability will include the medical bills, pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills, and wage loss if applicable.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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