About 4.5 million dog bites are reported every year in the U.S., and many of these bites occur in the state of California. In fact, there are more dog bites in California than any other state in the U.S. As a Visalia resident, it’s important for you to know your rights in case you are ever injured by someone’s dog. Who is liable for dog bite injuries? Here’s what you need to know:
Strict Liability in California
California is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites. This means owners are held liable for dog bite injuries that occur while the victim was in a public place or lawfully in a private place. It doesn’t matter whether or not the owners knew that the dog was aggressive or if the dog had ever bitten anyone in the past. Even if this was the first bite, the dog’s owners are liable for bite-related injuries.
If you are bitten by a dog, there’s no need to prove fault. In strict liability cases, the victim simply has to prove that the bite occurred and that it took place on public property or while the victim was lawfully on private property.
Liability For Non-Bite Injuries
It’s important to note that the strict liability law only applies to bite injuries, not other injuries caused by the dog. For example, let’s say a dog jumps on you and scratches your face and neck while you are sitting in a public park. The dog did not bite you, so the strict liability law does not apply. In this case, the owner is not strictly liable for the scratch injuries on your face and neck since they were not caused by a bite.
Victims who are in this type of situation are not entitled to compensation under the strict liability law, but they may have other legal options. If you sustained non-bite injuries, you can recover compensation if you can prove you were injured as a result of the owner’s negligence. For example, the owners may be held liable if the injuries occurred as a result of their failure to keep the dog on a leash in a public place. This is not a strict liability case, so you cannot recover compensation unless you can prove fault.
Have you been bitten by a dog? If so, seek legal representation from experienced attorney Martin Gasparian right away. Mr. Gasparian understands the trauma that dog bite victims experience, which is why he is committed to helping them recover the compensation they deserve for their suffering.