Ordaz Law, APC is the law office of San Diego dog bite attorney Juan J. Ordaz Jr. Known throughout the legal community for his dedication and perseverance, Juan J. Ordaz Jr. prides himself on the devotion he dedicates towards the representation of his clients’ injury cases. He is a personal injury lawyer focused on excellence and client satisfaction.
Continue to read and learn about California’s dog bite statute.
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California’s Dog Bite Statute
Dog owners (as well as though who are charged with the care of a dog) are strictly liable for any harm suffered by a plaintiff from a dog bite. Strict liability attaches to the owner of the dog for injuries from a dog bite no matter how careful the owner was in guarding or restraining their dog from biting anyone.
Strict Liability | California’s Dog Bite Statute
Cal. Code Sect. 3342. (a): The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness […].
Dog Bite Lawsuit | Elements
To establish strict liability against a defendant in a dog bite injury lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove all of the following elements:
- That the defendant owned (or cared) for the dog that harmed the plaintiff;
- That the plaintiff was harmed;
- That the plaintiff was harmed when the defendant’s dog bit the plaintiff; and
- That the dog bit the plaintiff while the plaintiff was in a public place or lawfully on private property.
Dog Bite Statute | “Dog Bite” Defined
It is not necessary for the bite of the alleged dog to break the skin of the plaintiff for strict liability to attach per California’s strict liability dog bite statute. It is enough for the dog to have any part of the plaintiff’s body in its mouth.
Example Scenario 1: Ben is walking past Miguel’s house on Elm Street in San Diego. Miguel owns a German Shepard named Buddy and keeps him fenced up in his yard. As Ben was walking past Miguel’s house, Buddy barks at him and reaches for his leg through the fence. Buddy gets a chance to slightly put the lower part of Ben’s leg in its mouth before Ben hurriedly moves his leg away. In the process of moving from being fully bitten, Ben falls of the sidewalk, tearing his right (knee) ACL in the process. Miguel would be held strictly liable in this case for Ben’s knee injury.
Dog Bite Statute | “Lawfully on Private Property” Explained
A plaintiff is considered to be lawfully on private property of the owner if they were performing any duty required by law or were on the property at the invitation, express or implied, of the owner.
Example Scenario 2: Miguel orders cable to be installed at his house. Ben works for Cox cable. He goes to Miguel’s home to install new service but Miguel is not home. Still, Ben enters Miguel’s yard to start the installation. Miguel’s German Shepard, Buddy runs toward Ben and bite hims. Miguel would be held strictly liable in this case for Ben’s bite injury.
Ordaz Law, APC | Dog Bite Attorney
Juan J. Ordaz Jr. provides candid, hardworking and personal legal representation to individuals seeking a dog bite attorney in San Diego County. We help victims suffering from a variety of injuries, who have sustained their injuries through dog bite injury producing incidents. We believe that it is a necessity to represent people who have sustained these traumatic and debilitating injuries.
Call (619) 550-3617 today so that we may schedule your free and discreet consultation with a premier San Diego dog bite attorney.
We are for Justice no Matter Who it’s for or Against.
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Premises Liability | Personal Injury
Strict Liability | Personal Injury
Blog: Personal Injury
Blog: Dog Bites
Dog Bite Liability | Explained
Sources and Useful Links:
Cal. Civil Code Sect. 3342(a).
County of San Diego, County Code of Regulatory Ordinances, Chap. 6 Animal Control.
City of San Diego Municipal Code Article 4, Division 3: Animals Section 44.03000.
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