Who Is Liable for a Dog Bite Injury in California?

Dog bites are scary. They make you feel powerless as you attempt to fend off an attack from a vicious animal. Even if the bite doesn’t come from a full attack, it catches you by surprise and makes you worry for your safety.

Injuries can range from a little nick to a wound that requires surgery. Once you’ve received medical attention, you may be wondering what to do next. Medical bills could be piling up, and you might have missed work and lost some income. You can’t hold an animal legally accountable for its actions, but is there someone else who is responsible? In the state of California, a dog’s owner can be held liable for dog bite injuries.

California Dog Bite Law

In California, you have two years from the date that you were bitten to file a lawsuit. After that, you cannot sue the dog’s owner. When it comes to dog bites, California is a strict liability state. Owners are directly responsible if their dog bites someone. There are no grey areas. Regardless of whether the dog has a history of biting people, once it bites someone, the owner is responsible.

When you need to sue over a dog bite, there are certain criteria that must be met. First, you must prove to the court that, indeed, your injury was the direct result of the bite. Next, the bite must have happened in a place you were legally allowed to be. This means that if you were bitten by a dog while burgling a house, you have no legal grounds to sue the owner.

California’s dog bite liability is restricted to just that – a dog bite. If you are filing a strict liability suit for a dog attack, you must concentrate solely on the area where the dog’s teeth made contact with your body. Any legal claims must be concentrated on that alone. If you were scratched during the attack, it will not be a part of the strict liability. If you fell and hurt yourself on the sidewalk, this also will not be included. To sue for those elements, you must file for separate negligence charges.

If you’ve been bitten by a domesticated dog, call us today at (661) 441-3446, or contact us online. We are here to listen, and we can fight for the financial compensation you deserve.


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