Dog Bite Laws As They Apply To The State Of California

By Prev Info - February 17, 2022

If you reside in the state of California and have been bitten by a dog, then you may want to contact a personal injury lawyer Los Angeles. LA area hospital staff alone deal with up to 1000 dog bites annually and it is estimated that 10-15 of these are fatal bites. Unfortunately it is a sad fact that the majority of people who do get bitten are children. So with this in mind what are the dog bite laws and how do they pertain to the state of California?

Strict laws

It may be good to know that when it comes to dog bites, the state of California has some of the strictest laws in any of the states. Many states operate under what is known as the 'one bite law'. This means that if the dog hasn't bitten before depending upon the circumstances and of course the severity of the injuries, then the owners cannot be held responsible. However California and several other states operate what is known as a strict liability law. This means that the person who owns the dog is liable if the dog has bitten. 

It is irrelevant as to whether the incident occurred on public or private property and even if the dog was not with the owner at the time, they can still be held responsible for their actions. California also has very strict dog registering laws, so that dogs can be traced to their owners pretty quickly should the need arise.

A Los Angeles personal injury lawyer explains that we are a nation of dog lovers and in the city of LA and the surrounding areas, around 37% of families own dogs. This is commensurate with the rest of the US as there are somewhere around 55 million canines. However there are also many dogs that are either stray or unregistered. Although in the whole of the US, there are around 230,000 reported cases of dog bites every year, many more go unreported. This could be because of a number of reasons and some of these are as follows.

Family or neighborly pet

In most instances, people fail to report dog bite incidents because the dog in question is often owned by a close family member or friend. They don't want to 'rock the boat' and as a result never contact an attorney. They may think that it will cause a lot of friction between close friends and family because of the situation. In these instances a skilled LA personal injury lawyer would handle the situation very delicately and would stress that the money paid in compensation would not come directly out of the dog owners pocket. Instead the money would more than likely come from the pet insurance policy.

Fear that the dog will be destroyed

For many people it is an understandable reaction that if they reported a serious injury then the dog would later be destroyed. On the contrary this only happens as an absolute last resort. Instead the owner is obliged to make sure that the dog is properly restrained in future.

So why do dogs bite?

The issue is that dogs can never fully be trusted and this is where many people let themselves down. For example if you leave your neighbor's 2 year old child alone in a room with your dog you may be asking for trouble. He may be the most placid pooch in the world but if the child wants to poke and prod the dog, the dog might not understand that it's only a game. In essence, dogs bite when they are being provoked, when they are protecting someone or something such as a person or food, or when they are ill or unwell.

If you have been bitten by a dog it really does pay to speak a personal injury lawyer. Los Angeles and the surrounding areas have some of the best dog bite attorneys in the country and can give you advice on where you stand from a legal viewpoint. It is worth knowing that the majority of lawyers are also dog lovers and therefore would always act in the best interests of the dog, so with this in mind, any dog bite victim should feel safe in coming forward.



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