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Looking at California's strict liability dog bite statute, P.1

When an individual is attacked by a dog, the first order of concern is always their safety and health. Once the medical consequences of the attack have begun to be addressed, most attack victims turn their attention to the question of compensation. In some cases, dog attacks can result in serious wounds with permanent scarring and loss of mobility or function. In such cases, seeking just compensation is all the more important.

There are a variety of ways a dog attack victim can seek justice against the attacking dog owner, but one particularly important avenue is to sue under California’s strict liability statute. Strict liability is different than negligence in that a plaintiff does not need to prove that the dog owner failed to exercise a reasonable degree of care in handling his or her dog. Liability attaches automatically, given the basic conditions.

In order to prove a claim under California’s strict liability dog bite statute, there are four conditions that must be proven. First, it must be shown that the defendant is the owner of the dog responsible for the attack. Second, the attack must have occurred either in a public place or while the victim was lawfully on private property. Third, there must have been harm to the plaintiff. Fourth, the dog attack must have been a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s harm.

In our next post, we’ll look at some other aspects of California’s strict liability dog bite statute, as well as the importance of working with an experienced personal injury attorney when seeking damages under this law.

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