Very simply speaking, states take two different approaches to dog bite laws: strict liability, and the one bite rule. Under the one bite rule, dog owners are not held responsible for the actions of their pet unless the animal has a history of aggressive or harmful behavior. Under strict liability, a dog’s owner is always responsible for his or her pet’s actions, regardless of whether the dog has ever harmed another person or animal.
California is a strict liability state: it doesn’t matter if the dog has never bitten another person before. It doesn’t matter if the dog bite victim is on private property at the time of the attack. It doesn’t matter if owner didn’t know the dog was dangerous; the owner is generally responsible for damages.
Here are a few other California dog bite laws that are important for all pet owners and dog attack victims to know:
While strict liability dog bite law seems somewhat straightforward, there are complexities and exceptions to the rule. If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog in California, it is important to have your case reviewed by an experienced CA dog bite attorney so you can fully understand the implications of the attack and your best legal options. Call Russell & Lazarus at (949) 851-0222 to schedule a free case review today.