Unfortunately, dog attacks happen frequently in communities across California and the rest of the country. Nearly 90 million dogs live in homes in the U.S., and there are approximately 4.5 million dog bites reported each year, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. California has more dog bites than any other state, according to an article in the San Luis Obispo Tribune.
If you or a loved one has been bitten by someone else’s dog, you may be wondering what the laws are in California regarding dog bites. Demas Law Group is here to help. Contact us today with any questions you may have regarding dog bites in Sacramento and elsewhere in California.
California Dog Bite Laws
California has a strict liability statute for dog bites. This means that if a dog attacks a person in a public place or in a private place in which the person is there lawfully, the dog’s owner is liable for all damages regardless of whether they acted negligently. This is different from other injury cases, which typically require proof of negligence.
Also, California does not have a “one bite rule” like some other states where the dog owner is held liable only if the animal has bitten someone before.
Liability for Dog Bites in California
With dog bites in California, the dog’s owner is liable whether they knew their dog had aggressive tendencies or not. If you were bitten by a dog, you don’t have to prove negligence on the part of the dog owner. You just need to prove that you were in a public place or lawfully in a private place, and there is no evidence that you provoked the dog.
In summary, the following conditions need to be met if you are the victim of a dog bite in California:
- 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 meet those conditions, you do not need to prove that the dog’s owner was negligent in order to recover compensation.
Does Homeowners’ Insurance Cover Dog Bites?
Yes, most homeowners’ insurance policies do cover the damages associated with a dog bite claim. Policies generally provide policyholders with $100,000-$300,000 in liability coverage. If the claim exceeds the limits, the owner of the dog is responsible for all damages above the amount.
It’s worth noting that some dog breeds, such as pit bulls, Rottweilers, and Doberman pinschers, may be excluded from the homeowners’ insurance policy due to their perceived tendency for being dangerous.
How Can Demas Law Group Help Me?
Demas Law Group has 25 years of experience working with California dog bite victims. Our commitment to providing skilled and strategic legal representation for our clients has earned us the reputation as being one of Sacramento’s top personal injury firms.