California Dog Bite Law Holds Owners Liable For Bites

Posted By Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP || 5-Aug-2011

Dog bites can be terrifying, especially for children. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 800,000 Americans seek medical care for dog bites each year, and nearly half of these need emergency care. Children are far more likely to be bitten by a dog than adults, and bites to children frequently occur on the face or neck.

California law holds dog owners liable if their dog bites another person, as long as the person who was bitten was legally on public or private property when the bite occurred. For example, a dog owner is liable if his dog bites a jogger in a public park or a guest at the owner’s house party, since these people are legally allowed on the property when they are bitten. A dog owner may not, however, be liable for a dog’s bite if the dog bites a trespasser or burglar.

Like many other states, California is a “strict liability” state when it comes to dog bites. Strict liability means that the owner is responsible even if he did not know the dog would bite and even if the dog has never bitten or shown any signs of aggressiveness in the past. The owner may even be liable even if he took steps to prevent the bite, such as keeping the dog on a leash.

Although dog bites are rarely fatal, they can cause serious injury and even scarring. If you or someone you love has been injured by a dog bite in California, please don’t hesitate to call the experienced dog bite injury attorneys in San Jose at Van Der Walde & Associates. Call us today at (800) 900-0863 for a free and confidential consultation.

Categories: Dog Bites
Blog Home

We Can Help You Contact Us for a Free Case Review