Whether you have been bitten by a dog, have a dog that has bitten someone else, or are simply curious, you will be glad to see the simple, straightforward answers we provide to questions about the California dog bite statute. If you need to talk to a personal injury attorney to find out what your legal options are, you can call The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000.
What Does the California Dog Bite Statute Say?
It says that dog owners are strictly liable if their dog bites someone. This is true as long as the bite happened in public or at a location where the victim was lawfully allowed to be. In order to win a dog bite personal injury case, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant was the owner of the dog, that the dog bit the plaintiff, and that the dog bite led to an injury.
What Does “Strict Liability” Mean?
It is a legal concept that is relevant to the case. It means that people are liable for the results of something, even if they did not act negligently. For example, if you are bitten by a dog and the owner has no prior knowledge that the dog may be dangerous, this does not matter. Strict liability means the owner is responsible simply by owning the dog.
Even if the owner of the dog took every precaution they could to prevent the accident, even if they took it to classes and worked with a trainer, even if they had the dog in a crate, if the dog bit someone who was there legally, then the owner is responsible for those damages.
What Is Meant by “Public Place or Lawfully on Private Property?”
The California dog bite statute says that in order for you to have a case, you must have either been on public property, or, if you were on private property, you must have been there lawfully. First, let us address that public property is any space accessible to the general public such as stores while they are open for business, parks, and sidewalks.
If you are lawfully on private property, that means that you have been invited by the owner or are there performing a legal duty, such as a mailperson or meter reader.
How Bad Must the Injury Be to File a Personal Injury Claim
In California, no matter how minor the injury is, dog owners are liable. There is no requirement that the skin is punctured by the bite. For example, consider a meter reader who was bitten on the leg by a dog. The dog may not have even bitten through the reader’s pants, let alone gotten their skin, but if it startled the meter reader and caused them to drop heavy equipment, the owner could be held liable.
If you believe you have a case, we encourage you to contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 to request a free legal consultation.