9 Jan 2019,

What Is Strict Liability In California Dog Bite Injuries?

A dog bite can cause significant injuries for the victim including disfigurement, nerve damage, scarring, severe infections, and permanent disability. Dog owners have a duty under strict liability laws to ensure that their dog does not cause injury to another person but some owners fail in this duty. Have you or a loved one been bitten by a dog? Are you wondering who will pay your medical bills and expenses? If so, you need a support system to handle the red tape, the insurance adjusters, the police, the hospital, and the many other parties and entities of interest associated with a personal injury case.

The Levinson Law Group (personal injury lawyers) has both the experience and the legal knowledge to provide you with the support system you need as you recover from your injuries. Our office takes care of the legal aspects of getting you the compensation you deserve for your injuries while you focus on the healing process. We accept cases on a contingent fee. That means that if there is no recovery in your case you pay no fee. In most cases, we even advance the costs. For your free consultation, call (760) 642-5475 today.

California’s Strict Liability Laws for Dog Bite Cases

Under California Civil Code section 3342, a dog owner 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 property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog.” This duty of care is referred to as strict liability. Strict liability means the dog owner is responsible for any injuries caused by the dog even if the dog has never bitten or attacked a person before this incident.

Prior to the enactment of California’s strict liability law regarding dog bites, the victim of a dog bite was required to prove the dog owner knew or should have known the dog was dangerous. In order to recover damages for injuries, the dog must have had a vicious nature, which typically meant the dog had bitten a person before this incident. As a result, victims of dog bites, where the dog had never bitten another person, rarely received compensation for his or her injuries. Fortunately, California lawmakers changed this injustice with strict liability.

Damages Available to Dog Bite Victims in California

The current California dog bite laws now make it possible for dog bite victims to receive the compensation they deserve by holding the dog owner responsible under strict liability. Examples of damages available to dog bite victims include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Compensation for future medical treatments
  • Lost wages
  • Future lost wages or loss of earning capacity
  • Physical pain
  • Emotional suffering
  • Compensation for scars, disfigurement, and permanent disabilities
  • Reimbursement for expenses related to the injury