Learn what laws govern liability for dog bite injuries in California

The Three Types of Dog Bite Liability Law In honor of National Dog Bite Prevention Week earlier this month, many organizations put out lists of tips aimed at helping dog owners and the general public avoid or prevent dog bites. While preventing dog bites and attacks is of course a valuable effort, the fact of the matter is that some number of injuries are bound to happen regardless of everyone’s best efforts. So, it is also important to make sure everyone understands what their legal rights are after a dog bite, and how to exercise those rights.

Understanding Dog Bite Liability Laws

There are three main types of laws that give dog bite injury victims a recourse under the law for seeking compensation for their injuries:

Dog Bite Statutes: Many states have laws making dog owners automatically liable for any injury or property damage that their pet may cause without provocation. Examples of provocation might be teasing a dog or stepping on its tail accidentally.

One-Bite Laws: In other states, dog owners are only liable for dog bite injuries if the dog had a prior history of biting or was otherwise known to be dangerous. The burden of proof is on the dog bite victim to show that the owner knew the dog was dangerous.

Negligence Laws: The general principle of negligence can also apply to dog bite incidents, if the injury was caused by the dog owner—or handler—being negligent in controlling the dog.

So What Is the Law in California?

In California, we have a strict liability dog bite statute, meaning there is no obligation to prove that the dog was known to be dangerous in order to secure compensation for dog bite injuries and other types of injuries caused by dogs (such as trip and fall injuries). Californians also have the ability to pursue dog bite injury claims under the theory of general negligence when appropriate.

What Should I Do If I Am Attacked By a Dog?

If you or a loved one is bitten or otherwise injured by a dog, you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Identify the dog and owner
  2. Get medical care
  3. Report the incident to the authorities
  4. Consult an experienced dog bite injury attorney

Fernando D. Vargas makes an excellent choice of dog bite injury attorney. After many years of experience, he knows what needs to be done to prove the legal merit of your claim and maximize the compensation you can receive for your medical costs, pain and suffering, and other damages.

For a free initial consultation, call us at 909-982-0707.