California Dog Bite Law

Where can I find reliable sources of California dog bite law?

When lawyers research the law, they usually begin their research with "practice guides." Popular practice guides include Rutter Group Practice Guides and Matthew Bender Practice Guides, but there are many more types which can likely be found at your local library. Specifically, you can find California dog bite law by looking in the index of personal injury "practice guides." Aside from this, the most pressing laws regarding dog bites are found in California Statutes. For example, California Civil Code Sections §§ 3342, 3342.5, and California Health and Safety Code § 121690(b) all relate to dog bites. Other than this, the relevant laws for dog bites consist in case law.

What do I need to know about California dog bite law?

The single most important law that a dog bite victim should know is the deadline for filing a dog bite lawsuit (aka "Statute of Limitations"), which is usually two years from the date of the bite. See Pritchard v. Sharp (1974) 41 CA3d 530, 116 CR 9. Despite this, I always recommend that everyone consult with an attorney for advice regarding the statute of limitations because this deadline can be shortened or extended drastically based on the individual circumstances of each case. Another important California dog bite law is California Civil Code § 3342, which imposes liability on dog owners for dog bites even if the owner was not negligent; however, there are exceptions to this rule


Do I need a lawyer who specializes in California dog bite law?

No, you do not need to hire a lawyer who specializes in California dog bite law to proceed with your lawsuit. Dog bite cases are heard in the exact same courtrooms as other personal injury cases and proceed in much the same way. As long as the lawyer is familiar with the basic rules of California dog bite law I mentioned above then there would be no problem. When choosing an attorney for a dog bite case, it is wise to consider whether the attorney has personal injury experience, whether the attorney is easy to communicate with, and whether the lawyer is familiar with the basic dog bite laws.

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