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Dog Bite Liability

Dog Bite Attorneys - OC > Dog Bite Liability

Our Personal Approach

Your dog may be your best friend, but he can also become a financial liability if he bites someone.  Dog bite claims account for more than a third of homeowners insurance liability claims paid out.  According to the Insurance Information Institute, the number of claims annually is around 15,000 to 16,000 over the last 10 years.  But the average cost per claim was more than $29,000 in 2011, an increase of 25 percent in eight years, mostly because of increases in medical costs. California imposes strict liability to dog owners for any damages suffered by any person as the result of a dog bite.  The main feature of this statute is that liability is assigned regardless of the dogs former showing of vicious tendencies or the owners knowledge of the dogs viciousness. The strict liability rule does offer some protection to dog owners. The strict liability rule does offer some protection to dog owners.  A dog owner cannot be held responsible if his dog bites someone, if any of the following conditions exist:



  • The person who the dog bit was a trespasser.  The law states that if any person was on the property of another without permission, express or implied, then such a person is a trespasser.  If a dog bites a trespasser, the owner is not held liable under the strict liability rule.


  • If the dog bites the vet who is treating him, the owner is not held liable for the dog bite.


  • If a dog bites someone who provoked the dog, then the owner may not be held liable for the dog bite.  In many cases where a dog owner has told people to stay away from his dog, but the person has still advanced towards the dog and got bitten, the dog owner is not usually held responsible because it is deemed that the victim unnecessarily provoked the dog in spite of being told not to.


  • If a dog has bitten someone while helping the police or during a military operation, the owner will not be held responsible.
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At Dog Bite Attorneys of Orange County, We strive to set ourselves apart from other boutique law firms with no focus in mind. We are a group of Personal Injury Attorneys and paralegals with over 30 years of combined litigation experience handling Personal Injury matters in California.

I am an attorney and I often refer clients to them. They are talented, reliable, and aggressive. This firm has gotten each and every one of my referrals excellent results.

Our clients expect results and we have the confidence to deliver. As a client of Dog Bite Attorneys of California, you will not only receive highly-skilled legal representation, you will also be given first-class treatment. Our results, spanning over three decades, are well recognized and most of our clients come from client referrals. Further, numerous law firms, many of them accident law firms, refer their injured clients to us because of our reputation. Our goal is to do everything for you, so you can focus on your recovery.

Providing Winning Results for Our Clients:

Homeowners and renters insurance policies typically cover dog bite liability.  Most standard homeowners policies provide policyholders with anywhere from $100,000 to $300,000 in liability coverage.  If the claim exceeds those limits, the dog owner is personally responsible for all damages above the amount, including legal expenses.  A liability policy also provides no-fault medical coverage in the event a dog bites a friend or neighbor.  This enables them to submit their medical bills directly to the homeowners insurance company.  Homeowners can generally get $1,000 to $5,000 worth of this coverage. A single lawsuit even if won by the dog owner who has been sued can end up costing hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and lost wages.  The greater a persons assets, the more potential there is for risk.  The personal liability coverage available through a standard homeowners or automobile policy simply may not be enough.  Homeowners with significant assets to protect may want to consider purchasing a personal excess liability policy, or umbrella policy which provides additional liability.

Need help with any Dog Bite Injury issues? Contact us now.


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