Is California a “Strict Liability” State for Dog Bites?

In many situations following a severe injury, the plaintiff must show multiple factors of negligence to seek compensation. When it comes to dog bites, though, California follows a strict liability law that helps plaintiffs hold dog owners accountable for any damages that occur.

If you suffer a dog bite and the subsequent injuries that arise because of an attack, it’s vital for you to recognize what rights you have to pursue compensation. Below, we will explain what strict liability is and how it’s different from negligence. We’ll also detail an extra duty of care in dog bite cases.

Strict Liability vs. Negligence

California follows strict liability laws in dog bite cases. As such, the dog owner would be responsible for compensation. You would not need to show if the owner knew if their dog had previously bitten someone. The defendant would not be able to say they didn’t know their dog was dangerous to avoid paying compensation.

In a strict liability state, you can hold the owner accountable under the following circumstances:

  • You were bitten.
  • You were injured.
  • You were in a public space or on private property lawfully.

The only way a dog owner could remove liability from themselves is if you provoked the bite or if you were trespassing on the property where the dog was.

Extra Duty of Care

Many states follow a one-bite rule. California is not one of these states because it imposes a strict liability law. However, if there’s an attack history and the dog has bitten someone before, the law works to ensure the dog owner provides an extra duty of care. The dog owner must take action to prevent their dog from biting someone else.

Our Sacramento dog bite attorneys are here to help you. Rely on Kershaw Talley Barlow to safeguard your rights after a dog bite and to pursue maximum compensation on your behalf. We’ll be your advocates to seek justice when you need it most.

Call our firm today at (916) 520-6639.