Much like Uber and Postmates before them, dog-walking and pet-sitting apps like Wag and Rover aim to disrupt a multi-million dollar industry. Only this time, rather than offering delicious eats and easy transportation, the workers are asked to provide care for completely unknown canines.
By connecting prospective pet-sitters to busy dog owners in their area, these apps supposedly allow for “win-win” scenarios. But what happens if you’re bitten while walking an unfriendly dog? Can the company be held legally accountable for your injuries, or does the pet owner take on sole responsibility?
Because this business model is still so new, there are many questions that could arise if you’re injured during a Wag or Rover job. At the Law Offices of Jennie Levin, our skilled Los Angeles dog bite lawyer can help you navigate the difficulties of a case that involves Wag or Rover.
Who Is Liable for My Dog Bite Injuries?
In a conventional dog bite case, determining liability is fairly straightforward. Because California uses the principle of “strict liability,” you don’t need to demonstrate that the dog who bit you has a history of violence, or even that the dog owner was negligent. As long as you weren’t illegally trespassing on someone else’s private property, Section 3342 of the California Civil Code allows you to seek restitution from the owner for dog bite injuries.
In a Wag or Rover case, however, the nature of the business model can make things more complicated. Both companies claim that they are just “arranging referrals” for their dog walkers, considering them to be independent contractors. While Rover does have a guarantee that they’ll cover certain kinds of injuries and damages up to $1 million per incident, the website also states that “injuries to the pet care provider or pet owner” are not covered.
Although Wag and Rover attempt to waive all liability for dog walker injuries, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t hold them accountable. Because they offer extensive support, training, and profile help for walkers, it could be argued that they are doing more than simply “connecting” you with a dog owner. It also stands to reason that they should make a stronger effort to warn prospective walkers about dangerous dogs, and vet them in the same manner as walkers.
Dedicated Representation for Dog Bites in Los Angeles
As more people turn to services like Wag and Rover, these questions around liability will most likely be clarified in civil court actions. When you’ve been seriously injured, our Los Angeles injury lawyer Jennie Levin can help you decide whether you have grounds to sue the owner, the app company, or both parties. Ms. Levin is committed to your health and success, and with a proven track record of winning major settlements, you can rest assured your case will be in great hands.
Don’t hesitate to call Attorney Levin today at (323) 951-1188 for a free evaluation on your dog bite case!