Walnut Creek

Dog Bite Attorney

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Walnut Creek CA Dog Bite Injury Attorney

Most dog owners would agree with the old adage that dogs are man’s best friend. However, thousands of people are bitten or attacked by a dog, each year. When someone is bit or attacked by an animal, it is their best interest to consult with and hire a personal injury attorney that is experienced and knowledgeable in handling dog bite claims. California’s dog bite law is complex, and local ordinances are varied. The lawyers of Nadrich & Cohen, LLP have over two decades of experience successfully representing clients.

What Is The Dog Bite Law In California?

At one time California had a “one-bite” law on its books, but it has since been eliminated in favor of strict liability for dog bites. The distinction is significant, because now an owner can be held liable, even if the dog has never before bitten a person. In strict liability cases, no showing of negligence is required. Ownership and control of the dog is sufficient to establish liability for a dog bite.             

Exceptions to the Strict Liability Rule

There are a few instances in which an owner may not be liable for their animal’s attack. If the dog was provoked, or the victim was trespassing onto the land where the dog lives, then the victim may have limited or no grounds for a claim. If a person is employed by a business that provides animal-related services, such as veterinarians or groomers, they may be ineligible for making a personal injury claim for injuries sustained during the course and scope of their employment.

Statistics and Ordinances

The Centers for Disease Control reports that close to 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year, and 20% of the bites require medical treatment. Half of the victims requiring treatment are children, and the majority are between the ages of 5 and 9.  In 2013, 5 people were killed in dog bite attacks in California.

A growing problem is the popularity of certain breeds that are very strong and, as many would claim, have an innate propensity for violence. These include Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, and German Shepherds. While there is much debate among animal protection groups regarding whether such breeds are naturally more dangerous, the statistics clearly show that most dog attacks occur among a small group of breeds.

Does Contra Costa County Have A Dog Bite Ordinance?

Yes. Contra Costa County Ordinance Section 416-4.402, requires that dogs in a public place to be on a leash and in the control of their owner. The ordinance also defines “dangerous dogs” as those that on two separate occasions in a thirty-six month period attack a person off of the owner’s property. In such a case, a hearing will be held, and if the animal is deemed dangerous or potentially dangerous, then the owner will be required to possess a special dangerous animal permit, in accordance with Section 416-12.412.

What to Do if You Are Attacked or Bitten

If you are the victim of a dog bite attack it is important that you have legal representation. You may have grounds for a claim, but you will need an attorney who has the knowledge and experience in handling dog bite claims. Nadrich & Cohen has a history of success in representing dog bite victims. Contact us now for a free consultation.


Nadrich & Cohen, LLP
1701 N. California Blvd #161
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
(925) 478-2070

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