What's The California One Bite Rule?

Updated: Apr 21

What You Need To Know About Dog Bite Injury Claims In California

Are you suffering from a dog bite injury in California? You have several options to hold the owner accountable through compensation for damages. Dog bites fall under personal injury claims, where the liable party is held responsible for the victim's financial and emotional losses.

Let's talk about the dog bite law, personal injury, liability, and everything related to your dog bite injury in California.


california dog bite law

Who Can File Claims Under California Dog Bite Law?


Anyone bitten by a negligent liable party's dog can file dog bite injury claims in California.


Victims can file dog bite injury claims in California regardless of where the bite occurred, public or private. This includes individuals who have legal permission to be on the owner's property, including family, friends, postal service workers, plumbers, etc.

What Is The California One Bite Rule?

The California One Bite Rule specifies that any negligent dog owner can face claims regardless if their dog has had a history of biting or being aggressive in the past.

Even with no previous history, a victim can still file civil claims (personal injury claims) to get compensation for medical bills, hospital fees, lost wages, etc.


california one bite rule

What Are The Conditions For Filing Dog Bite Injury Claims In California?

As with any claim, you need to prove the following:

  • The defendant owns the dog. The first thing you need to prove is that the defendant owns the dog. This is how you'll specify the liable party responsible for paying the compensation.

  • The defendant was negligent. You need to prove that the defendant failed to train the dog, safeguard the property, or do other measures to ensure their dog doesn't hurt individuals who are legally on their property.

  • The defendant's negligence caused the injury. You need to show that you suffered injuries due to the defendant's negligence.

All the above conditions must be met for successful dog bite injury claims in California. All of which require proof that documents the three. You should hire prescreened Top Rated Personal Injury Attorneys In Los Angeles who can help you gather evidence, file the proper paperwork, and build a solid case that proves you deserve the compensation.

Is A Dog Bite Injury In California A Civil Claim?

In cases of negligent owners, one biting incident is enough to file civil claims in California. Hence, even with no prior history of biting and aggression, a negligent owner can be considered liable to pay the victim's damages.


However, the negligent party might face criminal liability, too. For dangerous dogs that have acted aggressively in at least 2 instances in a 36-month period, then the liable party might face a misdemeanor or a felony. It's considered a misdemeanor if the owner's dog causes injury, while it is regarded as a felony if the attack leads to death.


dog bite injury claims california

Are There Exceptions To Dog Bite Injury Claims In California?

As you might notice, filing claims against someone requires you and your California Dog Bite Attorney to prove that it's the defendant's fault and, therefore, should be considered liable. However, there might be some factors that could derail a California Personal Injury Claim:

  • Trespassing. If a victim was trespassing at the event of the bite, then they don't have enough grounds to file claims under California Dog Bite Law.

  • No proof of ownership. Again, you need to prove that the defendant was the dog owner. It may be a stray dog that entered their property.

  • Provoking the dog. Provoking or antagonizing the dog might negatively affect your personal injury claim. However, if the victim is a child, the owner can still be considered liable since children usually can't discern right or wrong or avoid possible hazards.

  • No dog bite. If the victim wasn't bitten, it can't be covered under California Dog Bite Law. However, other personal injury claims might apply depending on the cause and location of the injury.

  • Missed the deadline. You need to file claims within the statute of limitations, which is within 2 years of the incident. If you don't file claims within the California statute of limitations, you'll lose your chance of asserting your rights to get compensation from the liable party.

These factors could be used as defense by the liable party and their legal team. To preserve proof and viability of your claim, consult with a prescreened California Attorney for Personal Injury ASAP. An experienced lawyer will be able to help you find evidence, file paperwork, beat deadlines, and negotiate with the defendant and their legal team.

Get A Referral To Top Rated Personal Injury Attorneys In Los Angeles (and Across California)

1000Attorneys.com offers Lawyer Referral Services for clients looking for a fitting lawyer. 1000Attorneys is also a California Bar Association Certified agency that can refer you to a Top Rated Personal Injury Attorneys In Los Angeles best fit to handle your unique case.


You may contact us via our 24/7 live chat (or fulfill our case submission form) for a free initial consultation.

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