Can Victims Sue for Dog Bite Injuries in California?

dog attacks california

Dogs are one of the most common pets for families to have and are typically referred to as “man’s best friend.” Dogs can be extremely friendly, but don’t let that fool you. Not all canine companions behave in a friendly manner, some have aggressive tendencies. Dogs can inflict serious life-threatening injuries. In California, if you are attacked and bitten by a vicious dog, you may be able to recover reasonable compensation for your injuries. The laws and regulations cover not only dog bites but also injuries caused by other types of vicious dog behavior. If you or a loved one has sustained an injury from a dog-related incident, reach out to a dedicated Santa Clara County Dog Bite Accident Attorney who can help you recover reasonable damages for your injuries.

Does California Follow the Strict Liability Statute in Terms of Dog Bite Injuries?

California dog owners are strictly liable for any injury, death, or loss to a person or property that is caused by their dog. The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten while in a public place or lawfully private place, including the property of the owner. Dog owners can be held accountable for their dogs’ vicious behavior even if they took reasonable precautions to prevent the dog from causing harm. An injured person does not need to prove that the dog’s owner acted negligently to recover damages.

What Are Exceptions to Liability?

A dog owner may not be held accountable for any injuries sustained if the plaintiff was tormenting, teasing, provoking, or abusing the dog into attacking. If the plaintiff was trespassing or committing a crime, the dog owner may not be held liable. If the dog was acting in service of a law enforcement agent, it will not be held liable. If the dog was simply defending itself or its property, the dog owner may not be liable for any injuries inflicted.

What is the Statute of Limitations For a Dog Bite Injury Claim?

Under the statute of limitations in California, you have two years from the date the injury was inflicted to file a claim. If you fail to file a claim within this timeframe, you will be barred from ever doing so in the future. You can file your dog bite claim anytime within those two years, but it is always better to act quickly in these situations. If you wait, you might lose your opportunity to recover damages for your injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured by a dog-related incident, contact an experienced Santa Clara County Personal Injury Lawyer who can help you file a claim.


When someone is wrongly injured in an accident, they often require financial compensation to heal. Contact the Law Offices of Brian J. O’Grady today to learn how we can help.