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Can You Sue A Dog Owner For Dog Bite Injuries In California?

California Dog Bite Laws And Personal Injury Claims

If you've been bitten by someone else's dog, you might have to face physical, emotional, and financial losses from the injury. You may have to pay for medical bills, lose some income, and deal with the emotional distress or trauma that comes with it.

Fortunately, you can file claims against a negligent dog owner. Here's a quick guide on dog bite laws, as our California personal injury lawyers often handle them.


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Because California is a strict liability state, owners cannot argue that they had no knowledge that their dog would be hostile or bite someone. In addition, the dog's owner is accountable for any damages caused by the dog biting another person, whether the dog has bitten other people many times or never.


To establish guilt, you just need to show that the bite happened in a public area or while you were lawfully on private property.


The dog bite statute does have several exceptions. Injured people who were trespassing on private property when they were attacked, for example, may not be entitled to recover damages. Similarly, those bitten by a dog when it is performing military or police activity are not entitled to compensation.


Individuals who are hurt by dogs that did not bite them, such as jumping or clawing, are not protected under California's strict liability laws. However, if you and your California dog bite lawyer need to prove that the dog owner's negligence caused their injuries, such as failing to keep the dog on a leash or in a fenced-in yard, plaintiffs may be entitled to recover compensation.

If you've been bitten by someone else's dog, consider contacting a prescreened California personal injury attorney to help you get compensation for your dog bite injuries.


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California's Dangerous Dog Laws

The strict liability provision in California applies regardless of an animal's aggression history. On the other hand, California has particular rules for dogs who have previously bitten or have been labelled potentially dangerous or violent.


In California, a dog is deemed potentially hazardous if it:

  • It has required people to defend themselves against hostile behavior at least twice during the last three years.

  • It has bitten someone without warning, resulting in minor injuries.

  • It has killed or injured at least two domestic animals over the previous three years.

A dog is said to be vicious if it:

  • It has killed or gravely harmed someone without provocation.

  • The dog was deemed potentially harmful by a court. Either the dog repeated the dangerous behavior, or the owner failed to comply with legal requirements.

  • Dangerous dog owners may be forced to take measures to avoid future attacks, such as removing the dog from the area or having it put down.

Additionally, if their unrestrained dogs injure or kill someone with knowledge of their aggressive tendencies, dog owners may be held criminally liable.


Dog Bite Injuries Can Be Compensated In California


Dog bites can result in severe and occasionally fatal injuries. California has one of the highest number of instances of dog bites of any state. Dog bite victims are entitled to compensation for incident-related expenses such as medical bills, lost wages resulting from the injury, pain and suffering, and other damages.

If a dog attack results in a person's death, the victim's surviving family members may be eligible to seek further compensation for their loved one's untimely death. The amount of damages is determined by the victim's age and the severity of the harm.

Dog bites can result in worrying injuries, such as:

  • Puncture wounds

  • Lacerations

  • Injuries to the face

  • Injuries caused by crushing

  • Sprains

  • Damage to the nerves

  • Infection

  • Emotional distress and severe trauma

If you've suffered any of these injuries, contact a California dog bite injury lawyer ASAP. They'll know how to find proof, file the correct paperwork, and negotiate with the right people to help you get the most out of your personal injury claim.


Limitations on Dog Bite Claims in California


Personal injury cases are subject to a statute of limitations in each state. In California, victims of dog bite injuries have two years to launch a lawsuit or forfeit their entitlement to compensation.

Our Top Personal Injury Lawyers In Los Angeles are ready to investigate your claim, acquire and preserve evidence, interview witnesses, and prepare your case.


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