Dog bites continue to be a common cause of personal injury or disability
in the state of California. When these types of injuries occur, it is
not uncommon for disputes to arise over things like liability, or if the
dog was in any way provoked. Luckily, states have specific laws on the
books that speak to this type of situation, and the injuries associated with it.
According to the state of California Civil Code, a dog owner may be considered
liable for another individual’s damages in a claim if:
- The individual was injured as a result of a dog bite, or
- The injured party was in a public place, or lawfully in a private place,
when the bite took place
Though these guidelines cover most situations where a dog may be present
or have the opportunity to bite, it’s important to note that the
California Civil Code does not include a statute for dogs performing military
or police work. In such cases, even if the individual was bitten while
lawfully in a public or private place, the victim is not eligible to sue
It is also important to note that California is a “strict liability”
state when it comes to dog bites or attacks. That means that the dog owner
can’t argue that they had no idea the dog could or would act aggressively.
It also means that dog owners can’t claim that they exercised reasonable
care to prevent the dog from harming another.