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Does a Dog One Bite Rule Apply in California?

Oftentimes, especially in California, many have been injured by dog bites. The dog almost always belongs to another owner. This then raises the question as to whether you could file a lawsuit against the dog owner. Dog bites are very common in California and throughout the United States.

Our dog bite attorneys represent victims who have been injured by a dog bite Dog bite victims could collect compensation for their injuries, such as medical bills, lost wages, and the trauma that they had to endure from the dog bite. Each state handles dog-bite cases very differently. California has a dog bite statute called a one bite rule. It is important that you hire an experienced attorney that is well-informed about California’s dog bite rules since they differ from many other states. Our California dog bite attorneys have been practicing law for decades, and have been representing dog bite victims for many years. If you or a loved one has been injured by a dog bite in California, contact our attorneys today for a free consultation to determine if California’s dog bite statute applies to you.

What is California’s One Bite Rule?

Each state in the United States handles dog bites differently. Many states have very strict dog bite statutes, whereas others don’t even have any dog bite statutes protecting a dog bite victim at all. These dog bites statutes determine if you could collect compensation for your injuries.

California one bite rule states that when a person is injured by dog bites, they could only recover compensation from the dog’s owner if the plaintiff is able to show that the dog has bitten somebody before. If it is essentially the dogs first bite, then the victim will most likely not be able to collect any compensation from the dog owner.

If the injured victim is able to show that the dog has bit somebody in the past, then the injured victim will most likely be able to recover compensation, such as lost wages. California statute also allows compensation for dog bites victims who are able to show that the dog had signs of aggression. For example, if the dog had a propensity and history of aggression, but had not necessarily bite a victim in the past, then the dog bite victim could still potentially recover by showing the dangerousness of the dog.

This law could seem in favor of the dog owner. That’s why it is very important to contact an experienced dog bite attorney to pursue your claims for you and to determine if you’re claim could be potentially impacted by the dog bite rule.

California’s Strict Liability Dog Bite Rule

California also has strict liability rules when it comes to dog bite victims. This means that a dog’s owner will be held strictly liable for their dog’s injuries, whether or not their dog has bit somebody in the past. This is usually another alternative to California’s one bite rule. This affords dog bite victims an opportunity to recover compensation, and holds the dog owner strictly liable, despite taking any reasonable means to protect their dog. This law is more in favor of dog bite victims. However, in order for the dog by owner to be held strictly liable, the dog bite must have taken place in a public area.

California Strict Liability Rule

3342.The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.

What is the difference between California strict liability and one bite rule?

The strict liability will automatically holds dog owners liable, even if their dog has not bite someone in the past. Under California’s one bite rule, the dog owner could only be liable if your dog has bit someone in the past, and this is essentially the second bite.

When is the One Bite Rule Used?

Since California strict liability rules favor dog injury victims better than the one bite rule, the one bite rule is most likely used in situations where:

  • The victim was a trespasser
  • The defendant was not the owner of the dog
  • The victim works with dogs

Does Nevada Have a One Bite Rule?

Nevada is part of the minority of states that also follow the one bite rule. But Nevada does not have a strict liability dog injury statute.

Are There Specific Breeds That California Considers Dangerous?

Although California does not outlaw any specific dog breed under the strict liability statute, California mentions certain dangerous breeds in California breed-specific laws. For example, one of the most popular laws under California breed-specific laws include that a pit bull terrier should be neutered or spayed.

Who Could File a Lawsuit for Dog Bite Injuries in California?

In certain circumstances, you are unable to bring a lawsuit against the other party. This includes instances when:

  • the animal is a military or police dog
  • the plaintiff provoked the dog
  • the plaintiff was trespassing on another’s property
  • the animal was used for self-defense

What Are Common Dog Bite Injuries?

Dog bite accidents could lead to very serious injuries. Common dog bite injuries include:

  • Broken bones
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Neck injury
  • Wounds
  • Permanent scarring

How Can a Dog Bite Victim Collect Compensation?

Usually, dog bite injury claims are paid through a homeowners insurance settlement. Homeowners insurance accounts for dog bites in their policies. However, this could get very complicated since many homeowner insurance companies will try to downplay their liability as much as possible. Sometimes, many lawsuits could drag on for several years since insurance companies will fail to respond back in a timely manner. That is why it is important to hire an aggressive attorney that could fully investigate your dog bite claim, and deal with insurance companies to make sure you receive maximum compensation for your injuries. Our clients make sure that dog bite victims are constantly represented, and their rights are protected when dealing with insurance companies.

If you or a loved one have been injured from a dog bite injury, contact our attorneys to see how we could pursue your dog bite injury claims. We could either pursue your claim through the one bite rule or through California’s strict liability rule. Each case’s circumstance differs, and so is important to hire an attorney that provides individualized attention to your case.

During your free initial consultation, we will determine what type of legal claims we could potentially go after to seek compensation for your injuries. We believe that all injured victims should be able to seek compensation for their losses from the negligent party. Contact our dog bite attorneys today to get started on your claim.

***Disclaimer: This page is created by Heidari Law Group for educational purposes. This article provides a general understanding of the law. It does not provide specific advice. By using this site and reading through this page, there is no attorney-client relationship created between you and any member of Heidari Law. Further, due to the constant change of the law, some parts of the information above may no longer be good law.

Sam Heidari

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Sam Heidari

Sam Ryan Heidari

Sam Heidari is the founding principal of Heidari Law Group, a law firm specializing in personal injury, wrongful death, and employment law with offices in California and Nevada. Sam Heidari has been practicing law for over 11 years and handles a wide range of cases including car accidents, wrongful death, employment discrimination, and product liability. The Heidari Law Group legal firm is known for its comprehensive approach, handling cases from initial consultation through to final judgment. Sam Heidari is dedicated to community involvement and advocacy for civil liberties.

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