CALIFORNIA Dog Bite Attorney

How You Can Build a Claim and Win Your Lawsuit

Dog bites are no laughing matter. A single bite from the wrong dog can easily cause trauma, pain and suffering, permanent disfigurement, and ongoing medical issues. Here’s how you can ensure the dog owner is brought to justice
Dog Bite Lawyer

California Dog Bite Lawyer

California is (and always has been) a state that imposes strict liability with many civil and criminal issues. Dog bites are no exception.

In California, so long as the dog bite occurred on public land or lawfully on private land (meaning you can’t have been trespassing or breaking and entering), you’re able to hold the dog owner liable for any injuries. This includes if the dog has never bitten anyone in the past and there were no warning signs for either you or the owner that predicted the dog would bite.

Regardless, even if there were clear warning signs, you may be eligible to receive financial compensation for your pain and suffering, as well as a host of other things.

What Are California’s Dog Bite Laws?

California’s Civil Code Section 3342 dictates that a dog owner will be held liable for a dog bite when:
Keep in mind that this statute probably won’t apply if the dog was actively engaged in working for the police or fire department. This statute also won’t apply to any injuries received from a dog that isn’t caused by a bite (such as scratches, or being pushed over when the dog jumps on you).
Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog Bite Liability in California

California is exceptionally strict when it comes to dog bite liability. While many states abide by a “one bite rule” (meaning the owner is not held liable the first time their dog bites someone), California imposes liability from the very first altercation.

So, what does this mean for you?

Well, it essentially means that you have no need to prove that the owner was being negligent or didn’t take reasonable care so long as you can prove the dog bit you on public property or lawfully on private property.

When Can I Not Sue for a Dog Bite?

Regardless of California’s strict liability, there are times when you won’t be able to sue the dog’s owner.

Some of these are things we’ve already mentioned, such as:
Other reasons you may not be able to sue for a dog bite include:

What Do I Need to Know About Suing for a Dog Bite in California?

If you are planning on filing a civil suit for a dog bite in the state of California, there are several things you should know before you get started.
First and foremost, it is not necessary to file or obtain a police report when suing for putative damages in regards to a dog bite. However, doing so would increase the chances that you’re rewarded those damages.

Additionally, many people hold off on filing any sort of criminal or civil suit in regards to dog bites because they’re concerned about what might happen to the dog if they do so. Rest assured that, in California, the dog will be quarantined afterword to ensure it doesn’t have rabies, but it will not be euthanized unless very specific circumstances apply.

These circumstances include:

You should keep in mind, however, that there is a statute of limitations on how long you have to seek out a dog bite. In California, this timeline is two years. The timer on this statute begins ticking from the moment the bite occurs.

After this period, the victim cannot recover damages regardless of circumstances, including if the victim failed to identify the owner of the dog during that period of time and then later is able to do so.

Can I Press Criminal Charges for a Dog Bite in California?

Ultimately, this decision is not up to the victim. The District Attorney is the one who is responsible for filing criminal charges in the event of a dog bite, but you can still request for them to do so.

Reasons that a DA might file criminal charges for a dog bite are:

If any of the above occur and result in a dog bite, you have the right to both sue for damages and request that the owner be charged criminal. However, if the dog is determined to be a dangerous animal under some of the above, it can result in the dog’s euthanasia.

The Bottom Line

Dog bites can cause serious trauma and nearly always require medical attention due to the various bacteria and diseases they can introduce. Because of this, it is important that you understand the monetary compensation you are eligible to receive so you can seek medical care and recuperate without worry.

At Alpha Law Firm, we have experts in dog bite lawyer in the state of California and we are ready to serve and assist you in getting the compensatory relief you deserve.

Call Alpha Law Firm today to get started.

Dog bites should be taken seriously, no matter how severe. If you’ve been bitten, call our dog bite lawyer for a free initial consultation.