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{OLD – California’s Dog Bite Law – moved to draft 6/25/20}

California’s Dog Bite LawOur firm also has experience representing dog bite victims. Dog bites can lead to terrible injuries for the victim including puncture wounds, permanent scarring, nerve damage, and in extreme cases, even death. California is a “strict liability” state when it comes to dog bites. What this means is that liability is imposed on a dog owner without a finding that the owner was negligent or acted with intent. Under

dog chewing on stickCalifornia Dog Bite Law, Civil Code § 3342, the owner of any dog is liable for damages if:

  • the injury is caused by a dog bite; and
  • the bite occurs while the injured party is in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the dog owner

Contrary to popular belief, liability is imposed on the dog owner regardless of whether the dog has a history of viciousness or whether the owner has knowledge of such viciousness. This means that the dog owner may not avoid liability by claiming that his or her dog had never bitten anyone before.

There are, however, exceptions to California’s strict liability Dog Bite Statute. A government agency, such as the police and military, cannot be held liable for dog bites that occur when the agency uses a dog while carrying out duties. This exception only applies if the dog bite victim was a suspect or participant in acts that prompted the use of the dog in the police or military work. Our firm assists victims of dog bites by making sure that they are compensated for their injuries to the fullest extent possible, and if needed, we can find you quality medical providers with experience in treating dog bite related injuries. Contact us today at (310) 285-5353 and schedule a FREE consultation.