Can a Dog Owner be Liable if it Chases a Bicyclist and Causes them to Fall?
Bicyclists with any miles under their belts are well aware that they must keep their eyes and their minds constantly alert for unexpected surprises that await them on and around the roadway or path on which they happen to find themselves. Typical dangers they could encounter include road debris like sticks or large rocks, inattentive car drivers, and the hidden pothole that can appear from nowhere. If the cyclist notices a hazard in time, he or she can often safely maneuver around the gremlin without incident.
However, there is one danger for which a rider may have very little advance warning and potentially no way of escape. With the seeming speed of a bullet, a barking dog can suddenly dart directly into the path of a bicyclist and give no reaction time whatsoever for the rider to respond.
Even though most locales have ordinances of some type requiring dogs to be on leashes or contained in fences, as every Los Angeles bicycle accident attorney knows, the sad truth is that bicyclists all too often encounter dogs running loose. Granted, a dog may occasionally break free from a leash in spite of his owner’s best intentions, but this occurrence could become the catalyst for a dangerous bicycle crash. A fall from a bicycle can have catastrophic results like broken bones, concussion, back and neck trauma or dangerous brain injuries.
Even if a wreck does not take place, a dog chasing a moving bicycle often results in the rider being bitten. Because the dog is moving instead of stationary, there is ample time for the canine to sink his teeth into some part of the rider’s foot or leg. When such horrific incidents occur, bicyclists should immediately contact a qualified dog bite lawyer in Los Angeles for legal counsel.
Being outside in beautiful weather and enjoying a relaxing bike ride sounds like the perfect ending to a wonderful day, doesn’t it? Hopefully, all bicyclists will experience just such a great conclusion. If, however, a dog slips into the picture and creates any of the above scenarios, the rider should not hesitate to get in touch with an experienced personal injury attorney for assistance.