An animal could attack you when you least expect such an attack. Dogs vary a lot in build and temperament, and there are big chances that you will encounter or own a vicious dog at some point or the other in life. If you are attacked by a dog and suffered injury as a result of it, the legal processes connected to it can be really daunting.
As per the California dog bite law (Section 3342), strict liability is imposed on the owner of the dog that bit a person. This simply means that you will be held liable even if the dog has no history of vicious behavior or biting. Keep in mind that in the state of California, not every dog gets the advantage of the “One Bite Rule”.
The strict liability rule seems very straightforward; however, you need to understand some of the technicalities of the rule.
- The strict liability rule applies only when the person attacked by the dog was in a public place or lawfully inside a private setting. This means that the rule does not offer protection to trespassing.
- The rule does not apply to police or military dogs that were performing their duties.
- The rule only applies to bites and not any property damages or other injuries.
- The law applies to the owner of the dog only.
What Will Happen to the Dog?
The Section 3342.5 offers potential corrective measures to be taken after your dog attacks someone. Specified government agencies or any individual can take action against the owner of the dog to find out if the treatment conditions or the confinement of the dog has been changed since the bite to avoid or remove the danger that is presented by the animal.
The actions can be started only after the dog has bitten a person on two different occasions, or if the dog has been trained to attack, fight, and kill, and has bitten a person once. After the hearing of the dog bite case, the court can issue any orders that it deems appropriate to prevent such incidents from repeating. This can include removing the animal from the area or euthanizing it.
Vicious Propensities and the One Bite Rule
The injured individual can bring a lawsuit under the law of “One Bite Rule” as well. As per the rule, the keeper of the animal is the person liable for damages that the animal causes when the person is aware of the dangerous and vicious habits of the animal. However, there should be prior dangerous behaviors shown by the dog, and the defendant should know about this behavior of the dog.