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What are the dog bite laws in California?

Dogs are generally playful and friendly. As man's best friend, we consider our canines as part of the family. However, when they attack it can result in serious injuries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that millions of people in the United States will be victim to a dog bite each year. Many of which, involve a trusted family companion.

A dog bite can happen to anyone. Animals are unpredictable by nature and can attack when we least expect it. It is important to know the dog bite laws in your state in the event you are bitten by a dog. 

The state of California supports statutory strict liability which applies rigorous responsibility to the dog's owners, who are liable for any injuries sustained no matter if they are negligent or not. This law aims to protect other potential victims from the same fate due to an irresponsible animal owner.

Strict liability statute

According to the statute, the dog's owner is liable for the damages suffered by a person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, regardless of the dog's history of viciousness.

California legal code allows the victim to recover damages in full for the injury due to the dog bite. The victim will not only get compensation for medical expenses, but also emotional distress due to the injury. After two years pass, you will lose your right to obtain any compensation for the injuries. You'll want to file a dog bite claim as soon as possible after the bite.

Dog bites can be traumatic experiences. As the victim, you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the dog's owner(s). An attorney can help you through the process and assist you with collecting evidence, finding out dangerous habits of the dog, interviewing eye-witnesses and answering legal questions you may have.

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