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California Dog Bite Laws

California Dog Bite Laws concept A male German shepherd bites a man by the hand.

Dogs are man’s best friend, and for many they are considered a member of the family. However, not all dogs are friendly, and when dogs attack a person the results can be devastating for victims. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a dog bite attack, the experienced personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Andrew Ritholz are here to help. Call the office or contact us today in Pasadena to schedule a free consultation to learn more about your legal options. 

California is a Strict Liability State

When it comes to dog bite attacks, California is considered a strict liability state. Under the law, a pet owner is liable for dog bite injuries if actual damages were caused by a dog bite that occurs either on public property or when the victim was lawfully on private property. The only exceptions are for dog bites that result from police or military work. As a strict liability state, it does not matter whether the dog showed no prior propensity for viciousness or if the pet owner took reasonable steps to restrain their animal. This differs from states that operate under the “one bite” rule, which exempts dog owners from liability if they did not know, and should not have reasonably known, that their pet was likely to bite.

If a dog bite attack occurs, the victim has two years from the date of the incident to file a claim for damages. Known as the statute of limitations, if the lawsuit is filed later the court can throw out the suit and bar the victim from collecting any damages.

Other Injuries Caused by Dogs

Dog bites are not the only injuries that can be caused by this animal. Dogs can also cause considerable harm if they scratch, jump on, or run into a person. California law does not ascribe strict liability to these types of injuries. A victim must be able to prove negligence on the part of the owner in order to collect damages for this type of personal injury.

Compensation for Dog Bite Attacks

The most common victims of dog bite attacks are small children, but anyone can be victimized by an aggressive dog. Given the strong bite force, tearing motion, and infection risk of a dog bite the injuries reported can be severe, and rehabilitation from this type of injury can be significant. Compensation for dog bite attacks include economic and noneconomic damages, which can include damages for all medical bills, lost wages, and property damage in addition to payment for a victim’s pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, and more.

Talk to Our Office Now

Have you or a loved one been injured in a dog bite attack? If so, the knowledgeable personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Andrew Ritholz are here to help. Call the office or contact us today to schedule a free evaluation of your personal injury claims with our firm now.

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