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5 California Dog Bite Laws Every Dog Owner Should Know

If you own a dog in California, there are a few laws that you need to follow to prevent bites from occurring. These laws are in place to protect you, your pet, and anyone who happens to be in your yard or at your home. Visitors could be delivery drivers, friends, family members, or even someone who is stopping to try to sell something.

  1. As an owner, you are responsible for any bites that occur. These are bites that occur on public property or in a private location. This includes your home if your dog bites someone on your property. Any former temperament that the dog has exhibited is not taken into consideration if a bite occurs.
  2. You should know that there is a two-year statute of limitations. This means that a victim has two years from the time the bite takes place to file a claim against you. However, if it has been more than two years since the bite, then a court will likely dismiss the case.
  3. You cannot claim that you did not know how your dog would act around other people as a defense to a bite that happens since California is a strict liability state. Your dog might have a clean history of not biting people. However, if your dog has a bad day and bites someone, even without a specific intention, then you are liable for the damages. The only thing that a victim needs to do is show the court that the bite happened in a public place or in a private location that was lawful at the time.
  4. There are situations where a victim cannot sue you for a dog bite. These situations include someone trespassing on your property or if the person provoked the dog in some way. You would then need to show that someone was on your property without your permission, such as a police report after a break-in or attempted break-in.
  5. If your dog is protecting you or your family, then a victim cannot sue for damages. The owner of a military or police dog acting in a legal manner cannot be sued by the victim as long as the dog was abiding by the proper protocols in the agency’s description.

If you are facing a lawsuit because your dog bit someone, then contact Banafshe Law Firm for your legal representation. An attorney will examine the evidence presented and offer the best legal advice for how to proceed in court for the best outcome for you and your pet.