An Orange County Dog Bite Attorney That Doesn’t Roll Over

An owner of a dog is strictly liable for the dog’s bite. That means if the dog bites you, there’s really no defense unless you were trespassing and being in an area where you shouldn’t be, or you were antagonizing the animal. If your dog bites somebody, then yes, you can be sued. The law requires you to control your animal. And when the dog bites an individual, you’re automatically liable for that unless that person was trespassing or antagonizing your animal and caused the animal to bite them.

In California, your dog is not automatically put down if it bites someone. If the dog is deemed a vicious animal and dangerous to the community, then it could be put down and euthanized by animal control. In those cases, you’re given a hearing, you’re allowed to present evidence and show that the dog was not a dangerous animal. I often get asked, “What is the one bite rule?” One bite rule, which is not the law in California, basically gives your dog one free bite. If he bites somebody in other states, you cannot be sued for that particular bite. Thankfully in California, the dog does not get out of jail free pass because he’s never bitten somebody before.

The One Bite Rule

In California, the one bite rule does not apply. So does a Beware of Dog sign protect you? Oftentimes, no, and it could hurt you. If you put a sign up that says, “Beware of my dog,” and your dog escapes and bites somebody in the neighborhood, you’re going to be liable for that bite. And that sign could be used against you that maybe that dog was a dangerous dog. Also, landlords for a tenant that owns a dangerous dog could potentially be liable as well if the person that was bit could show that the landlord knew of the dog’s dangerous propensities and didn’t do anything about it.

In a lot of my dog bite cases, they’re not really bites at all. There are cases where the dog might get loose and knock somebody down and they injure themselves, the dog might chase somebody on a bike and make them crash, things like that. With those types of cases, it’s not strict liability because the dog didn’t bite. The case is a negligence case, and you must prove that the owner was negligent. In ways of doing that are the dog wasn’t restrained, the dog wasn’t on a leash. In most cities and counties in California, there are dog leash ordinances and dog leash rules that require that the dog be on a leash no more than six feet. If the dog was roaming free and running free, then you probably have a good negligence case to recover for your personal injuries.

Contact our experienced OC dog bite attorneys today.