In California, people who own dogs can be held strictly liable for the harm from a dog bite, no matter how carefully they restrain or guard their dogs. California Civil Code Section 3342 is the dog bite statute, which outlines when dog owners can be held responsible for injuries caused by their dog.
According to CACI 463, in case the plaintiff claims that the defendant’s dog bit him and that the defendant is responsible for the harm, he must be able to prove all of the following elements to establish the claim:
Under strict liability, an individual is liable for his conduct, even if he was not acting negligently. Generally, to prove the claim the victims are required to show that the defendant’s conduct was negligent. However, under strict liability, the victims do not have to prove the defendant’s negligence.
Factors the court considers regarding dog bite include:
California’s statute imposes strict liability only on the dog’s owner. However, under the statute, other persons, such as a keeper or handler, can also be deemed an “owner.” They can also be responsible for a victim’s injuries, but not under the strict liability statute. To be found guilty, a handler or a keeper must have prior knowledge of the dog’s aggressive acts, such as a prior bite.
When a person enters the property of another one he has a reasonable expectation that he won’t be injured or hurt. A property owner of the property or the occupier owes a due of care to third parties. Thus, it is the owner’s obligation to maintain a safe environment for all individuals entering his premises. This includes keeping potentially dangerous animals away from people or put up warning signs.
Some exceptions to California Civil Code Section 3342 include:
In California, the statute of limitations for a dog bite is two years from the time of the incident.
Are you a victim of a dog bite in California? Our experienced dog bite lawyers at KAASS Law may be able to provide you with the legal assistance that you need. We invite you to contact our office at (310) 943-1171 for a free consultation.
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