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How to Report A Dog Bite in California

Updated: Dec 16, 2022

There are millions of dog attacks each year in the U.S., many of which result in serious injuries such as scarring, disfigurement, infections, and sometimes even death. If a dog bit you or another family member, you must report the dog attack and file a personal injury case against the dog owner or another party, depending on the circumstances.

Certain breeds of dogs can be very aggressive and are more likely to attack people. Dog bite injuries are very common in California. Unfortunately, most victims of dog bite injuries aren't aware of their rights and the steps they need to take.

So, let's talk about dog bites and the legal aspects handled by a California Dog Bite Lawyer.

What Is California Dog Bite Law?

Some states carry a “one-bite” rule to protect dog owners from liability in certain situations if the dog has not previously engaged in any attacks. The approach here is that the dog owner might claim that he or she did not have a reason to believe that the dog posed a threat at the time of the attack.

In the state of California, though, the dog owner is liable for an injury even if the dog had never attacked anyone in the past. This is known as “strict liability.” Even if the dog owner did not know the animal was aggressive and posed a threat, he or she could still be held responsible for any injuries caused by a bite.

That said, if you're a little unclear on these laws, consider contacting a California Dog Bite Lawyer to help you go over your case.

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How Long Do You Have To Report A Dog Bite In California?

The ideal scenario is to that a dog bite report is made as soon as possible.

The deadline for dog bite claims in California is two years, essentially the statute of limitation for dog bite injury claims. However, it would be best if you didn't wait to do your dog bite reporting until the very end.

Remember, an investigation, dog bite police report, and settlement negotiation can happen after the report is made. Not to mention, your injuries might have healed in two years, and accused defendants will try to use that to trivialize your injuries.

Instead, you should contact a California Dog Bite Lawyer as soon as possible.

What Happens After A Dog Bite Is Reported In California?

After the report is made, local health agencies or law enforcement will look into the case. When a dog attack happens, health and safety issues could need to be addressed ASAP.

These officials are likely to interview you, the owner of the dog, and possible witnesses. Depending on the circumstances, they might also take potentially dangerous animals into custody.

Dog attacks are under strict liability laws, meaning owners are instantly liable, regardless of taking precautions to avoid the incident. So the only things you need to prove are the following:

  • You were on the property legally

  • You were bitten or attacked by someone else's dog

dog bite injury lawyer california

Do Police Investigate Dog Bites In California?

Dog bite reporting in California often involves the health commissioner or law enforcement. As with any injury claim in California, the best way to preserve your case would be to put things into writing.

If you get a dog bite police report, that document could be used as evidence to support a potential dog bite claim.

How to Boost Your Personal Injury Claim To Maximize Your Compensation?

For a successful personal injury claim, you must prove that:

  • The defendant is the owner of the dog;

  • The dog bite occurred when you were lawfully on private property or on public property; and

  • That the dog bit you, and as a result, you now have an injury.

  • Find the right California Dog Bite Lawyer to assist you in the initial phase of your personal injury claim.

Contact a prescreened Los Angeles Dog Bite Lawyer to help you find evidence and build a solid case.

Who is Liable After a Dog Bite in California?

After a dog bite injury, the responsible party, in most cases, is the dog's owner, but there are some exceptions to this rule. Depending on the facts surrounding the attack, the following parties may also be held liable for all damages:

  • The Landlord of the property: The landlord of the property where the dog bite occurred might be held liable if he or she knew that the tenant’s dog was a threat and the landlord was negligent in not removing the dog from the property.

  • The Caretaker at the time of the attack: If the dog was under the care of another party or business when the injury occurred, that party might be liable for your personal injury damages.

    • However, the caretaker may only be liable if he or she had “prior knowledge” that the dog was a threat to people. The caretaker might also be liable for your injuries if the dog was negligently handled.

  • The landlord of a Commercial Property: Landlords of commercial properties in California have a duty to inspect their premises for potential hazards and dangerous conditions, including animals.

    • If a landlord of a commercial building allows a dog on the property and it bites a customer, the landlord might be held liable — even if he or she wasn't aware that the dog was actually on the property.

  • Property Owners: A residential property owner can be held liable if a dog escapes and it's not under proper supervision.

If someone else's dog has bitten you, consider contacting a prescreened California Dog Bite Lawyer.

Important Steps to Take After a Dog Bite in California

Recovering the maximum compensation after a dog bite injury depends on how the personal injury claim is handled from the start. Here are steps you can take for a strong personal injury claim:

  • Take photos of all your injuries and the dog that attacked you;

  • Visit a doctor or a hospital immediately; your medical treatment must be documented;

  • Locate the owner of the dog;

  • Report the dog attack to your local police department or the nearest animal control agency; this will also serve as evidence for your personal injury claim

  • Find a good and experienced California Dog Bite Lawyer, make sure their license to practice law is current and that he or she doesn't have any history of unethical practices.

Don't speak to the insurance company or sign any documents without your Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer. Remember, anything you say can be used against you! Your California Dog Bite Lawyer will guide you through the process, they have a vested interest in the success of your case.

Insurance companies will only be concerned with minimizing costs and not about your well-being or injuries.

There are many great California Dog Bite Lawyer experienced in dog bite injury cases, don't pick the first one you come across, make an informed decision by researching client reviews, license status, disciplinary records, and verifying all the credentials they claim to have.

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Why Should You Hire A Prescreened California Dog Bite Lawyer? is one of the very few private Lawyer Referral Services certified by the California State Bar. You will be matched with an experienced California Dog Bite Lawyer best fit to handle your unique claim.

We only refer clients to trusted, experienced, and discipline-free attorneys in California. You can fill up the submission form or contact us through our 24/7 live chat for a FREE CASE REVIEW!


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