Dog ownership comes with a number of responsibilities. One of these is the responsibility to protect the public from the threat of a dog bite. Unfortunately, dog bites still happen. If you are hurt by someone’s dog in a public area or while you are legally on a dog owner’s property, you may be eligible for financial restitution by filing a premises liability insurance claim and/or lawsuit.
To boost your odds of filing a premises liability claim successfully, however, you’ll want to understand the state’s dog bite laws.
Understanding strict liability laws
California applies a strict liability doctrine when it comes to dog bite claims. Basically, this means that a dog owner is strictly liable for any injuries caused by their animal as long as the injuries in question did not result from provocation or trespass. In other words, you will not have to prove that a dog owner was negligent in any way to pursue rightful compensation. Rather, you’ll need to prove these three elements:
- That you were indeed attacked and hurt by the defendant’s dog
- That the attack happened in a public area or while you were lawfully on the defendant’s property
- That you sustained personal injuries as a result of the attack
Note also that if you’ve been attacked and hurt by someone’s dog, you’ll need to file your claim within the statute of limitations period. Basically, this is two years from the date of the dog attack. Your claim will most likely be thrown out of you let the statute of limitations run out before attempting to pursue compensation.
A dog attack can leave you hurt and traumatized. Learning more about California’s dog bite laws can help you protect your rights and interests when pursuing damages against a dog owner or their homeowner’s/renter’s policy.