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California Dog Bite Liability

California Dog Bite Liability

A dog is a man’s best friend. Unfortunately, dogs still have certain instincts, whether they’re protecting themselves, their puppies, or their owners. Even worse is when the dog owner trains an animal to act aggressively, even when there is no threat.

Dog bites are some of the worst injuries you can sustain because they often result in physical pain, as well as mental trauma. Because of this, you must recognize what legal options exist. It starts with understanding who California deems liable for injuries resulting from a dog bite.

California’s Strict Liability

Unlike most other personal injury cases, dog bite lawsuits are considered to be “strict liability” under California law. Strict liability means that the dog owner is responsible for injuries caused by their dog irrespective of negligence. Stated another was, the dog owner cannot escape responsibility if he or she tries to claim that their animal has never harmed someone before, or claims no knowledge of aggressive behavior.

While some states look at the history of dog bites, under California’s statutes, it doesn’t matter if the dog has never attacked anyone in the past. Once the dog bites you, the owner of the dog is liable for your injuries.

To prove liability, you only need to show the attack happened in a public location or while you were on someone’s property lawfully. If you have a dog bite injury, the owner of the dog cannot claim past good behavior as a defense.

Defenses to Recognize

The defendant may try to claim that you were trespassing on his or her property; thus the dog had a reasonable reaction when he or she bit you. The burden of proof falls on you to show that you were on the property because the owner invited you, or it was a public place, making your presence lawful.

After a dog bite, you need to speak with a lawyer who can help you understand your rights to file a lawsuit against the dog’s owner.

At Caputo & Van Der Walde, our San Jose dog bite attorneys are ready to stand by your side and pursue the compensation you deserve. Trust in our team to be in your corner every step of the way.

Call us at (800) 900-0863 today.