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Understanding dog bite liability

Like many people in Newport Beach, you may not view dogs as a serious threat to your safety (you might even own one yourself). Yet centuries of domestication effort have yet to fully eliminate the danger that dogs can pose to others.

Yet how much damage can a dog actually do? Such were the thoughts of many of our past clients here at the Law Offices of John Rapillo prior to seeking our assistance. Just as they did, you are likely now discovering that no matter the size, a dog can truly cause damage to your body.

Defining the “one bite rule”

Such damage can be costly, even to the point of requiring you to seek compensation from the owner of the dog that bit you. Yet per the Cornell Law School, many dog owners may respond to accusations made against their pets by saying that the “one bite rule” protects them and absolves them of any liability in your case. An owner may cite this rule simply by saying the animal had given no indication in the past of having any violent tendencies. This supposedly puts the burden of proof on you to show the owner has cause to suspect their animal might be a threat.

Understanding statutory strict liability

There is only one problem with the owner of the dog that bit you citing the “one bite rule:” California does not follow it. Rather, the state looks at dog bite cases from another potential perspective: statutory strict liability. What this means is that local courts do not require that a dog that attacks you has no previous examples of aggression. Instead, liability for injuries sustained in a dog attack automatically falls to the animal’s owner.

You can learn more about your options in a dog bite case by continuing to explore our site.

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