We consider dogs to be man’s best friend, but unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Sometimes dogs bite and when they do it can result in extremely serious – sometimes even life-threatening – injuries. While some breeds of dogs are more likely to bite and cause a severe injury, California’s state and local laws are not specific to any one breed.
California takes dog bites very seriously and has implemented some of the strictest liability laws for dog owners in the country. Essentially, if a dog bites you in California, the owner is liable. However, there are still some exceptions to this presumed liability.
No “One-Bite Rule” Requirement
While many states require that a dog owner is aware of its dog’s dangerous proclivity prior to the bite (the “one-bite rule”), California holds dog owners liable even if the animal has never bitten anyone before. In fact, dog owners may be held responsible if a person was bitten in a public area or was bitten in a private area (while there lawfully).
The dog’s bite need not break the skin or draw any blood for its owner to be held liable for the injuries it induces. In other words, if a dog bites a person who is on his bike and doesn’t break the skin, but that person is subsequently involved in an accident, the owner of the dog could still be held liable. This isn’t the case for the police or military if the dog bites while acting according to its duties.
Additionally, a dog may not even have to bite you at all for its owner to be held liable. For instance, if a dog chases you (but doesn’t bite you) and the chase results in an accident, you may still have a case for owner negligence.
Defending Against Dog Bites
While California takes dog bites seriously, there are still legal defenses available to dog owners when their animal causes injuries to another person. Some of these defenses include the following:
- The injured person was totally or partially at fault for the attack
- The injured person voluntarily risked the injury
- The injured person was trespassing on property at the time of the attack
Contact a Qualified Personal Injury Attorney
There are a variety of reasons as to why it’s not in your best interest to handle your dog bite claim by yourself. Consulting with a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorney can make a big difference in the outcome of your case – and on your life.
At the Law Offices of David P. Kashani, our experienced California dog bite lawyers work strategically to help our clients obtain just compensation. When you become our client, you will have peace of mind knowing that our legal team is on your side. We will guide you through all aspects of your personal injury claim and make sure that your interests are protected. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, call us today!