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Can you sue an owner if their dog bites you?

On Behalf of | Aug 5, 2022 | Catastrophic Personal Injuries

People have been domesticating dogs for thousands of years, and they are notoriously man’s best friend. Most dog owners consider their dogs part of the family, and would never dream that their pet could hurt anyone.

However, no matter how wonderful a dog is, they are still an animal. And animals who feel provoked or threatened can lash out.

What happens if your dog bites someone?

In California, if a dog bites someone the owner is strictly liable. The owner is liable even if this was the first time the dog bit someone, and even if they had no reason to suspect their dog might be vicious. There is no one-bite rule in California.

What is a one-bite rule?

A one-bite rule deems that an owner is only liable in a dog bite case if they knew that the animal might act in a dangerous or harmful way. Essentially, this rule allows an animal one free bite. This bite makes the owner aware of their animal’s vicious propensity, making them liable for future incidents.

California does not have a one-bite rule. Owners are strictly liable, even for a first incident.

Can you sue an owner if their dog bites you?

In California, you can sue the owner if their dog bites you, even if the dog has never bitten anyone before. You deserve compensation for medical expenses, rehabilitation costs and continued treatments. You can also seek damages for any psychological trauma that you suffered.

If you experienced an injury from a dog bite, the law allows you to recoup your expenses from the animal’s owner in court.