Learn how California state law applies to dog bite injury claims

Understanding California’s Dog Bite Law

In California, we have a specific law regarding dog bite injuries, found in section 3342 of the Civil Code. Here are some of the key points to understand about this law and how it applies to personal injury claims for dog bites and other dog-related injuries.

California Imposes Strict Liability for Dog Bites

In some states, you need to show that an owner was negligent in order to secure compensation for a dog bite injury. This is not the case in California. Our dog bite statute makes owners strictly liable for dog bite injuries, regardless of whether the dog was previously known to bite, to be aggressive, or to be dangerous.

Exceptions to Dog Bite Liability

California’s dog bite statute does include some exceptions. For example, the law requires victims to be in a public place or lawfully on private property in order to secure compensation. This means owners are not liable if their pet bites an individual who is trespassing unlawfully on their property. Another exception involves police dogs. Police departments are not liable for injuries that police dogs may cause while carrying out their duties, so long as they have a written policy for handling their dogs and this policy was followed.

Other Types of Dog Attacks May Also Be Actionable

The dog bite statute only applies to injuries caused by dog bites. However, it may be possible to recover damages for other types of injuries caused by a dog under California’s negligence rules. To do so, you would have to prove that the owner was negligent in that they should have known that their dog was likely to cause an injury, yet failed to take reasonable steps to secure the dog. Examples of injuries that could lead to negligence claims include broken bones or bruises from being knocked down or tripped by a dog, or facial wounds from being scratched by a dog.

You Have a Limited Amount of Time to File a Claim

Dog bite injury claims, as well as other types of personal injury actions in California, are subject to a two-year statute of limitations. This means you must file your claim no more than two years after sustaining a dog bite injury, or the court will almost certainly refuse to hear it.

Need Help With a Dog Bite Injury Claim?

If you have been bitten by a dog, it is in your best interests to hire an experienced dog bite injury attorney such as The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker to represent you. We can help ensure the dog’s owner does not unfairly avoid liability and fight for you to receive maximum compensation for your injuries and suffering. Call 800-333-0000 now for a free consultation.