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Are you a California resident who has suffered from a dog biting incident, or has worried about such an event in the past? Even if it was a one-time incident or from a dog with a history of behavior issues, it can be very scary and even traumatic for some individuals. Let’s look at the dog bite law in your state so that you can understand your rights as a victim.

Strict Liability

California takes dog biting attacks very seriously. On one hand, most states have a “one-bite rule”, which means that the owner can only face consequences if the dog has displayed vicious tendencies before. On the other hand, to California Civil Code Section 3342, in the event of a bite, the dog’s owner would be under “strict liability”. This means that they are completely responsible for the dogs actions and the injuries caused, regardless of the circumstances.

Damages Covered

In most cases, the victim will be entitled to compensation after the attack, with no limitations. This can include medical bills, psychological counseling, pain and suffering damages, and any physical or vocational therapy due to injuries from the incident. Indeed, a dog bite falls under the category of personal injury lawsuits. This means that the victim has two years to file their case and be entitled to their full rights.


In some instances, the victim may be unsuccessful in winning their lawsuit due to certain factors. For instance, if the event happened while the victim was trespassing, the owner of the dog has a reasonable defense. If the dog was provoked into attacking because the victim was physically threatening its owner, this would be justifiable under California’s self-defense laws. Further, police dogs acting in accordance with an officer’s orders are also usually justified.


You don’t have to go through this stressful experience alone – our professional attorneys will be in your corner every step of the way. Contact us now so that we can discuss your case. For more information about our experience with dog bite lawsuits, please read this webpage.

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