The California Strict Liability Law for Dog Bites, Section 3342, is important because it creates what is known as "strict liability". Dog owners are liable for their dog's actions even for first time bites. It does not matter that the dog was very nice before the California dog bite incident. It does not matter if the dog was restrained or not, or if the dog was on or off its owner's property. For example, a plaintiff was wrapping a dog found lying in the road that had apparently been hit by a car when the dog bit her. The court found that the dog owners owed a duty to the plaintiff because the dog bit her in a public place. (Davis v. Gaschler (1992) 11 Cal.App.4th 1392.) If the dog bites, the owner is automatically liable. As noted later, the owner may still have defenses to reduce their liability. Also, there is immunity in certain situations for military and police dogs.
Mark C. Blane is a San Dog Bite Injury Attorney and the managing lawyer of the Law Offices of Mark C. Blane, a San Diego, California Personal Injury Law Firm dedicated to representing families of people injured by a California dog bite. If you or a loved one has been killed or injured in a dog bite injury or attack accident in California, please order your free copy of Mr. Blane's book, The 10 Secrets You Need To Know About Your Injury Case, BEFORE You Call A Lawyer. It is full of helpful information that will help you protect your legal rights and it normally sells for $16.95. However, it is free to all California residents, or those injured in a California accident.