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In the state of California, dog bites are clearly defined in California Civil Code Section 3342. Injuries that hold a dog owner liable include damage caused to a person or property by a dog bite and the injured person is in public, or lawfully in a private place.

The only exception is when a dog bite injury occurs when the dog in question is performing police or military work.

The most important part of California Dog Bite law is  “strict Liability” dog owners carry. If you are bitten by a dog the owner cannot claim they “didn’t know their dog would act like that” or “my dog has never bitten anyone before”. It is also not a defense in the state of California when the owner claims they took “reasonable care” to prevent a bite from happening. If you were bitten by a non-police/military dog in the state of California and you were not trespassing on private property the owner of the dog in question is liable.

Dog Bite Laws Continued

Furthermore, criminal charges may also be filed if the victim of the bite believes the owner is purposefully keeping a vicious or dangerous dog. A claim like this requires a history of aggressive behaviors. These behaviors include a dog biting a person unprovoked,  a dog killing or injuring a domestic animal twice in the past 36 months, or a dog attacking an individual that causes that individual to defend him or herself twice in the past 36 months. Criminal charges may also be filed in cases of dogfighting.

Oakland Dog Owners are responsible for keeping their animals under control. It doesn’t matter if you’re at Grover-Shafter, Jefferson Square, or shopping for a new rawhide chew at a store. In most cases, if your dog attacks another person, you’re legally responsible for that attack. Read on to learn more about the law surrounding dog bites in Oaktown.

The best way to describe California Dog Bite Laws  is

In California, the state law is found in the Cal. Civil Code section 3342. Check out Section 16.

“Animal attacks or injuries. If a dog or other animal, without provocation, attacks, attempts to attack, or injures any person who is peaceably conducting himself or herself in any place where he or she may lawfully be, the owner of such dog or another animal is liable in civil damages to such person for the full amount of the injury proximately caused thereby.”

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Common Missconseptions:

One-Bite Law

In many states, there is a law that is referred to as the "one-bite law" that states a dog owner isn't liable for the first bite. In some states for a dog bite to be considered actionable you have to be bitten two or more times. This is not the case in California due to the "Strict Liability Law". Owners are responsible for any damages caused by their animal with few exceptions.