A few weeks ago I was bitten by a dog, whilst in the back of a restaurant here in Costa Blanca. The restaurant owner says that he is not responsible, since there was a no trespassing sign on that particular area. Legally, can I can ask for compensation ? Do you advise on dog attacks?
Dear reader, thanks for your inquiry.
In principle and in relation to the damage caused by animals , the article 1905 of the Spanish Civil Code says : “The owner of an animal , or the person who uses it , is liable for damages caused by it, although it escapes or get lost. This responsibility shall only cease in the event that the damage is caused by a force majeure or fault of the person who suffered the damages “
Therefore, in principle it is owner or possessor of the animal who must take responsibility and compensate for damage caused by it. Such responsibilities are understood as objective, due to the inherent danger coming just from the act of having such an animal. However, according article 1905, the owner could waive his liability if the attack is caused by or the fault of, the person attacked.
I understand by what you say that the owner thinks you are solely responsible because you went to a restaurant area not open to the public, where there was a no trespassing sign, and therefore he thinks that your negligence absolves or waives his responsibility.
It is essential to determine if you have had or had not any fault in the attack. It could be considered that it is not your fault if the non-trespass sign was not visible, or did not inform of the real danger of being bitten by a dog, or that the area where the dog was, was easy to access, etc.
Dog attacks and court precedents.
We would like to highlight the court ruling 1000/2002 of the Provincial Court of Malaga, in a very similar case to your own, where the dog’s owner was responsible because ” the animal was in a easily accessible area for the restaurant customers , “ and also: ” … the non trespassing sign is insufficient as it does not warn of the presence of a dangerous dog, more over, even if in fact it did warn about the dog, it could still also be dangerous for children, the illiterate or foreign people “
If you have suffered any kind of animal attack, or an accident, or any damage, injuries, our firm can advise you. And if you have a pet, please make sure that you contract a insurance policy to cover possible liability, and provide the resources so your pet can not escape or bite anyone , its presence and danger must be warned by informative signs.
For expert advice, contact us.
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The information provided in this article is not intended to be legal advice, but merely conveys general information related to legal issues.
Carlos Baos (Lawyer)
White & Baos
Tel:+34 966 426 185
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