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Dog Bites

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Dog Bites

California has dog leash laws in place that are meant to prevent dog attacks from happening. Unfortunately, the law doesn't always prevent us from aggressive dogs and negligent dog owners.

California dog bite law imposes strict liability on owners. This means the owner of a dog that bites someone faces liability in a civil lawsuit for the victim’s injuries even if the animal has never bitten before and the owner had no reason to believe the animal was dangerous.

Civil Code section 3342 is California's civil dog bite statute. Section 3342 makes canine owners liable for injuries to others if:


  • The person did not provoke the canine, and

  • The person was bitten in public or while lawfully on private property (i.e., not trespassing).

  • Trespassers bitten by canines in California generally are not able to recover damages.


After a dog bite you may be able to collect compensation for medical expenses, lost wages if you missed work, pain and suffering, and scars from the attack. We can help you figure out the exact compensation you're entitled to receive after calling our firm.

If you were bitten by a friend's or neighbor's dog, it may help you to know that dog bite claims are typically filed against the dog owner's renters or homeowners’ insurance company, not the individual dog owner. Dogs who don't have a history of aggression will very rarely need to be put down.

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