California Dog Bite Law
Under California law, dog owners are usually “strictly liable” for bite-related injuries. This means that if a dog bites someone in a public place, or who is lawfully in a private place, the pet owner may be liable for the victim’s injuries even if the dog had never before shown signs of aggressiveness.
There are exceptions to this strict liability rule and the same law does not apply to other types of injuries caused by pets. It is important to consult with an experienced dog bite lawyer to determine your rights, the availability of insurance and what type of compensation may be available.
Types of Injury Seen in Dog Bite Cases
- Puncture wounds: Dogs have strong jaws and bites can break bones in addition to puncturing flesh.
- Severe Scratches: Dogs, cats and other animals often have sharp claws that can easily tear skin or tissue. Severe scratches may require hospitalization and can cause serious infections.
- Scars: When skin is severely damaged by a dog bite or scratch, long term scarring is common.
- Rabies: Rabies is a viral infection spread by the saliva of an infected animal. When an infected dog bites a person, their saliva is introduced into their bloodstream, causing a rabies infection.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder: Stress disorders may result from a severely frightening event. In the case of a dog or animal attack, a victim may develop a fear of dogs that lasts a lifetime.
- Infection: Bacterial infections are a common complication related to dog bites and other injuries inflicted by animals. Such infections can be very serious and even life threatening.