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California law provides protections for dog bite victims

Dog attacks are a serious concern in the United States and in California. Close to 5 million victims in the U.S. suffer dog bites each year and 800,000 of these victims require medical care as a result each year. In addition, California leads the nation in the number of fatal god bite attacks. In response, California has strict dog bite laws concerning owner liability for dog attacks.

In California, pet owners are strictly liable for the harm and injuries their pets cause. In practice, regardless of if a dog was on private or public property when it bites or otherwise injures a victim or whether or not the dog has bitten anyone previously, the dog owner is liable for the injuries suffered by the victim or the victim's family. Strict liability for dog bites provides that in most circumstances, with limited exceptions, pet owners are liable for the harm caused by their pets.

Damages for harm caused in a dog attack may be recovered through personal injury and wrongful death legal options. Damages can be extensive and may include physical, financial and emotional damages associated with the harm suffered in a dog attack. Victims may suffer medical expenses, permanent disfigurement and scarring and emotional trauma. The impact of a dog attack can be life-long for victims and their families and the recovery process may be slow and challenging.

Because of the serious nature of dog bites, it is important for victims and their families to be familiar with the legal protections available to them when harmed. Legal resources are available to help victims with the difficulties they may face following a dog attack immediately after and into the future.

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