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California Dog Bite Statute

In California, there is no “one free bite” rule. Civil Code §3342(a) [known as the Dog Bite Statute] the Plaintiff does not have to prove “the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.” Instead, liability is established by proving that the defendant owned the dog; that the dog bit plaintiff while he or she was in a public place or lawfully on private property; that the plaintiff was harmed; and that the dog was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s harm. CACI 463  It is not necessary that the skin be broken for the Dog Bite Statute to apply.

If you or someone you love was injured by being knocked to the ground, and was not bitten,  it must be proven that the dog owner was negligent.

Most dog attacks are the result of insufficient control of the dog or poor training, Hence, California Civil Code places responsibility for dog bites upon dog owners. Moreover, the owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the dog owner’s property. In such cases, the victim of a dog attack has a right to seek compensation for both his mental and physical trauma.

Legal concerns also make immediate action important. According to the statute of limitations, you only have a limited amount of time to file a claim before it’s too late.

If you or someone you love has been bitten by a dog, contact us at Los Angeles Dog Bite Attorneys for a free consultation.

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