Beware of Dog: California State Dog Bite Laws

san jose dog bite lawyer

Dog Bites and Attacks Can Cause Major Personal Injury

Dogs are commonly known as “man’s best friend” but sometimes we forget that dogs are animals with normal animal instincts. Anyone can be a victim of a dog bite and any dog can be the cause of an attack. Most dog owners never stop to think about the consequences of their dog biting someone. Similarly, many people never imagine themselves being victims of a dog bite until it happens. Before seeking damages from a dog bite case, you should hire a dog bite lawyer to understand the laws in California regarding dog bites and attacks.

The California Dog Bite Laws

Dog bite laws always differ from one state to another. California statutes hold the dog owner strictly liable for bites caused by their dog. This means that every dog bite is subject to owner liability even if the dog had not committed any prior attacks. This eliminates the “one free bite rule” which gave dog owners leeway, where the dog accused had not committed any other offense in the past.

Dog Owners Defense

First, you will only be liable for the dog bite if you are the dog owner. In other cases such as the dog sitter or walker, you are not the insurer of the dog. You must admit to having knowledge of the dog’s behavior before you are held liable for the bite.

Secondly, the dog owner might not be liable for the bite if the victim is deemed a trespasser. Typically, you will only be compensated for a dog bite if you were on the private property lawfully or you were attacked on a public property. However, you may be able to sue the dog owner for negligence even if they argue a defense of trespassing.

According to the California Civil Code section 3342, the dog owner is not liable for the bite in cases where the victim provoked the dog, assumed the risk of a dog bite, or in anyway caused the attack.

Find Help With a San Jose Personal Injury Lawyer

The strict liability clause only applies to dog bites and not other forms of injuries related to household animals. It should be noted that dog injuries can occur to anyone at anytime. If you have been a victim of a dog injury you need to see a personal injury lawyer to discuss your options. Do not try to resolve the issue on your own. Whether you are the dog owner or the victim, you need to know your rights. Call our San Jose dog bite attorneys at The Law Office of Farling, Hecht & Davis by contacting us online here, or by phone at (408) 295-6100.