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California Dog Bite Law & Civil Code Section 3342

Dog bite injury lawsuits largest settlements awards

California dog bite law Civil Code Section 3342

California dog bite law, as outlined in Civil Code Section 3342, states that the owner of a dog is liable for any damages suffered by a person bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog. This law applies regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner's knowledge of such viciousness.


An example of a case where the law would apply is if a person is walking on the sidewalk and a dog, owned by someone in a nearby house, runs out and bites the person. In this scenario, the owner of the dog would be held liable for the victim's injuries and damages.


On the other hand, if a person is bitten while illegally on the property of the dog's owner, such as if they were trespassing, the owner would not be held liable for the victim's damages under California's dog bite law.


Biggest California dog bite injury settlement awards


In terms of settlements, some of the largest awards in California dog bite cases have been in the millions of dollars. For example, in 2016, a California woman was awarded $6.5 million after being attacked by a neighbor's dog, which resulted in severe injuries and multiple surgeries. In another case, a California man was awarded $1 million after being attacked by a dog while on a job site, causing him to suffer from permanent injuries.


It's important to note that these settlements are awarded on a case-by-case basis and take into consideration the specific circumstances of each incident, including the severity of the victim's injuries and the financial responsibility of the dog's owner.


In conclusion, California's dog bite law, as outlined in Civil Code Section 3342, holds the owner of a dog liable for any damages suffered by a person bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place. This law has resulted in large settlements for victims of dog attacks, with awards reaching millions of dollars in some cases.

Civil Code Section 3342

California dog bite law frequent questions


Q. Does the law apply to all dogs in California?

A. Yes, the law applies to all dogs in California, regardless of breed or size.


Q. Does the owner have to know their dog is vicious for them to be liable?

A. No, the owner is liable regardless of their knowledge of the dog's viciousness.


Q. What if the victim was on the owner's property illegally?

A. If the victim was on the owner's property illegally, such as if they were trespassing, the owner would not be held liable for the victim's damages under California's dog bite law.


Q. What kind of damages can the victim recover under this law?

A. The victim can recover damages for any physical injuries and financial losses they suffered as a result of the dog bite, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.


Q. Can the victim file a lawsuit against the dog's owner?

A. Yes, the victim can file a lawsuit against the dog's owner to recover damages for their injuries and losses.


Q. What is the statute of limitations for filing a dog bite lawsuit in California?

A. In California, the statute of limitations for filing a dog bite lawsuit is two years from the date of the attack.


Q. How is the settlement amount determined in a dog bite case?

A. The settlement amount is determined on a case-by-case basis and takes into consideration the specific circumstances of each incident, including the severity of the victim's injuries and the financial responsibility of the dog's owner.

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