If a California dog owner knows their dog has a propensity to bite, they can be held liable for injuries. This is true regardless of whether the animal has previously bitten anyone. That reality has annually generated more than $11 million in liability.

For more than twenty years, the Salamati team of Los Angeles dog bite lawyers has helped victims recover the largest available damages awards for their injuries. If this has happened to you, and the owner is refusing to accept responsibility, a Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer from our firm can get you the compensation that you deserve.

What Is the One Bite Rule?

Some jurisdictions in the United States apply the “one bite rule” to excuse responsibility– if the dog has not previously bitten someone. Under this application of the rule, a dog gets one free bite before any liability attaches to its owner.

Why Does California Not Follow This Interpretation of the One Bite Rule?

The State of California presumes that conditions other than a previous bite will put an owner on notice– and those conditions include:

  • the dog is a breed that is known to have dangerous or aggressive tendencies;
  • the dog has been trained to fight or attack;
  • the dog has been mistreated in a manner that causes it to lash out with minimal provocation;
  • the dog is in circumstances that might cause it to show an aggressive response, such as protecting a litter of puppies or recovering from an injury.

California is not hostile to dog owners with its approach to the one-bite rule. Rather, the state’s laws assume that an owner is best able to know the characteristics of their dog. They should, therefore, use that knowledge to handle their animal—keeping it safe, and others as well, too.

Is California’s Application of the Dog Bite Rule the Same Thing as Strict Liability?  

Strict liability attaches to injuries that occur under inherently dangerous circumstances, such as the handling of explosive materials.

Section 3342(b) of the California Civil Code imposes a form of strict liability on dog owners. This is true particularly if the animal has previously bitten someone, or they’ve been trained to attack or kill. If the attack occurred outside of the scope of coverage of this statute, the victim has to show that the owner was negligent. In other words, they knew that there was a possibility that the dog might attack—but failed to take any precautions.

Call Us Today for a No-Fee Analysis of Your Dog Bite Liability Case

If you have suffered serious injuries after being attacked by a dog, please see our website or call our firm to speak with a skilled Los Angeles dog bite lawyer about your right to file a lawsuit. Your initial call is always free. If you retain us and we accept your case, we will fight to prove that the owner is liable for the full amount of the losses and injuries you experienced.