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California’s Dog Bite and Strict Liability Laws: What You Need to Know

Getting bit by a dog is an unpleasant and sometimes confusing situation. Most people aren’t sure what to do when a dog bites them, which can make legal action thereafter more difficult.

In most states in America, there are strict liability laws in regards to dog bites. These laws hold the pet owner as the responsible party in the event of a dog bite. These laws exist because up to 750,000 people receive medical attention due to a dog bite every year. If you’ve been bitten by a dog, or are a dog owner in a strict liability state, then you should know what the law means for you.

When are the owners liable?
Strict liability laws will hold the pet owner liable for any dog bites that occur, with a few exceptions. For the most part, when a victim sues the owner for compensation related to their injury, it won’t matter if the owner was unaware that their dog could be aggressive, or that they took steps to prevent any attacks. They’ll be held accountable for the incident under the following circumstances. The victim was bitten, and the victim was bitten in a public space or while lawfully on private property. That means if someone was trespassing on private property, it could technically be considered an exception to the statute, although someone such as a mailperson would be lawfully permitted on your property. Bites from police and military dogs aren’t covered under the statute, either.

Non-bite related injuries
Victims who aren’t bitten by a dog but still suffered an injury or damage usually won’t be helped by the statute. For instance, if a dog began to chase you down the street and you hopped a fence and broke your arm, the laws of strict liability would probably not apply. This doesn’t mean that people in a situation such as this can’t seek compensation. If they can prove their injury or damages were a result of the pet owner’s negligence, then they could sue for personal injury.

If you’re unsure of what to do when a dog bites you or a loved one, you should immediately seek medical attention. You should also find dog bite lawyers who can help you with compensation.

Need a San Diego dog bite attorney? Give us a call today.