While dogs traditionally are regarded as “man’s best friend,” the behavior of any animal can be unpredictable. Our Orange County personal injury lawyers recognize that many people never expect to be attacked and bitten by a dog, but dog bite incidents are more common than you might realize. There were over 16,550 homeowner’s insurance claims filed for dog bite injuries in the United States during the most recent year for which data is available from the Insurance Information Institute (III). California had the nation’s highest number of dog bite claims with over 1,867 dog bite claims during that period, amounting to 54 percent more dog bite claims than the next highest state. Overall, the enormous impact of dog attacks is reflected by the fact that they account for one-third of all homeowner’s insurance claims in an aggregate amount that exceeds $530 million per year.
California Imposes Strict Liability on Dog Owner’s for Bite Injuries
Because the risk of suffering a serious injury in a dog attack or mauling incident is an all too common scenario for many people, our Orange County personal injury lawyers have provided an overview of the legal basis for imposing liability in dog bite cases. The applicable law will vary depending on the location of your injury because many cities have leash laws and their own dog bite laws that can provide a basis for liability. However, the good news for dog bite victims is that state law in California imposes strict liability on dog owners whose canine bites others without being provoked subject to narrow exceptions. California Civil Code, Section 3342 provides in pertinent part: