Unfortunately, dog attacks occur frequently in California and the rest of the United States. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, approximately 4.5 million dog bite are reported each year in the United States, where nearly 90 million dogs reside. According to a San Luis Obispo Tribune article, California has the highest number of dog bites of any state.
The state of California has a law called “strict liability” that applies to dog bites. If a person is attacked by a dog in a public place or in a private place where the person is lawfully present, the owner of the dog is responsible for all damages regardless of whether the owner acted negligently. This holds true whether the attack occurred in a public place or in a private place. This is not like most other personal injury cases, which usually involve proving that the injured party was negligent.
In addition, unlike some other states, California does not have a policy known as the “one bite rule.” Under this policy, a dog owner is only held liable for injuries caused by their animal if it has previously bitten another person.
In the event of a dog bite in the state of California, the owner of the dog is held responsible regardless of whether they were aware of the dog’s propensity toward aggression. You do not need to provide evidence that the dog’s owner was negligent to receive compensation if you were bitten by a dog. You need only show that you were in a public place or that you were legally allowed to be in a private place, and there should be no evidence that you provoked the dog in any way.
To summarize, if you are the victim of a dog bite in the state of California, you are required to meet the following conditions:
- You were injured by a bite during the dog’s attack.
- If the dog bite occurred on private property, you were not trespassing.
- The dog caused your injury.
- The dog was owned by the defendant.
- You did not provoke the dog.
If you can show that these conditions were met, you will not be required to demonstrate that the owner of the dog was negligent in order to be awarded compensation.
Yes, most homeowner’s insurance policies do cover the costs associated with filing a claim for damages caused by a dog bite. In most cases, policyholders receive liability coverage ranging from $100,000 to $300,000 when they purchase a policy. If the claim is higher than the limits, the cost of any additional damages will be the responsibility of the dog’s owner.
It is important to be aware that certain dog breeds, such as pit bulls, Rottweilers, and Doberman pinschers, may be excluded from the coverage provided by a homeowner’s insurance policy due to the general public’s perception of them as having a propensity to be dangerous.
Garcia and Phan have worked with California dog bite victims for 25 years. Our dedication to providing our clients with skilled and strategic legal representation has earned us a reputation as one of the leading personal injury firms in California.
If you were attacked by a dog, you may be eligible to file a claim for damages. Call us today at (714) 586-8298 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our knowledgeable dog bite lawyers.