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What Every Victim Should Know About California Dog Bite Injury Laws

 Posted on October 29, 2020 in Personal Injury

Santa Clara County personal injury attorney dog bite

Dogs are often referred to as man’s best friend, but in some situations, they can be aggressive and attack. Being bitten by a dog can be a traumatizing experience. It can also lead to permanent disfigurement, lost time at work, and expensive medical bills. Thankfully, victims do have the right to pursue compensation for their losses and injuries. Learn more about the dog bite injury laws in California, including why it is important to seek assistance with your personal injury claim.

Dog Bite Law Overview

Dog bite injuries in California are covered under Civil Code Section 3342. It states that a dog’s owner can be held liable for injuries sustained by victims. However, there are few important stipulations that must be taken into consideration before pursuing a claim under this particular law. These include:

  • The injury must be related to a dog bite, not other dog behavior, such as jumping or scratching.

  • The injured person must have been in a public place, or lawfully on private property when the bite occurred.

  • The dog may not have been on-duty as a police or military dog.

It should also be noted that California is a strict liability state, which means an owner can be held liable, even if the owner was not aware of any aggressive tendencies in the dog. In other words, the dog owner cannot attempt to use ignorance of aggression as a defense. They also cannot try to defend themselves by saying they took “reasonable” precautions. In short, dog bite victims in California are often far more likely to receive compensation than those in negligence states, where such defenses may be considered viable.

Other Dog-Related Injury Claims

Dogs do not have to bite to cause injury. Jumping, scratching, and other unpleasant dog behaviors can also lead to injury in adults or children. Victims injured under these circumstances may not be able to seek compensation under the dog bite injury laws, but they may still have the right to pursue a negligence claim against the dog’s owner. However, there are some key elements that must be present in such cases, including:

  • The dog owner must have been negligent in his or her care for the dog (not having the dog leashed).

  • The injury must have been directly related to the dog’s behavior.

Contact Our San Jose, CA Dog Bite Injury Attorney

Although it is not necessary to hire an attorney for a dog bite injury claim, it is still recommended that victims do so—especially since there is a risk that the owner may try to say the dog was provoked, or that you were unlawfully on private property. The team at Fuller Law Office is prepared to help you protect your rights, including your right to pursue compensation for medical expenses, as well as pain and suffering. Learn more about how an experienced Santa Clara County personal injury lawyer can assist with your case by scheduling a free initial consultation. Call our office at 408-234-7563 today.




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