No one loves dogs more than the attorneys at the Tarasenko law firm. However, we recognize that dog bites are a serious problem nationwide. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics show that over 500,000 people nationwide are injured from dog bites every year.
Over three-quarters of dog bites are from dogs belonging to friends and family members. Tens of thousands of people undergo reconstructive surgery every year due to dog bite injuries. Unfortunately, the victims of dog bites are frequently children, as they are obviously smaller than adults and poorly equipped to fend off an aggressive dog, which is usually right at their eye level.
In California, dog owners are “strictly liable” for injuries caused by their dogs. This means that in the event of a serious dog bite, there is no dispute as to fault – the dog owner is strictly liable and therefore responsible for paying damages to the injured party. They have virtually no defense, unless perhaps the person bitten was a trespasser on the dog owner’s property. The California strict liability statute was enacted by California legislators and codified as Cal Civ Code § 3342 in response to an outcry from voters who were injured in dog attacks.
This statute created an exception to the general rule that an owner is not strictly liable for harm caused by a domestic animal without knowledge of the animal’s vicious propensity. In other words, dogs in California do not get “one free bite.” Prior to the enactment of Section 3342, only those owners who had knowledge of their dog’s aggressiveness or propensity for biting humans could be held liable for a subsequent dog bite. This general rule was derisively referred to as the “one free bite” rule, because in order for an owner to have been aware of his or her dog’s dangerous propensity, that dog must have first bitten someone else. Section 3342, therefore, imposed a duty of care on every dog owner to take the necessary steps to prevent his or her dog from injuring others.
IF YOU HAVE BEEN THE VICTIM OF A DOG ATTACK CALL THE TARASENKO LAW FIRM. OUR ATTORNEYS ARE EXPERIENCED IN HANDLING DOG BITE CASES AND WILL TAKE EVERY MEASURE TO ENSURE THAT YOU ARE COMPENSATED FOR YOUR INJURIES.