California Dog Bite Lawyers

The California dog bite lawyers at Nadrich & Cohen have been successfully obtaining recoveries for clients in dog bite claims for three decades. Our team of committed lawyers, paralegals, insurance adjusters, mediators and other legal staff have recovered over $350 million for our clients. We are devoted to making California a safer place and want to help you recover from your injuries.

You should talk to a California dog bite attorney to determine if you’re entitled to compensation for your medical bills and more if you’ve been bitten or attacked by a dog.

Dog bites don’t just involved scarring or broken bones; they can involve emotional trauma which can persist for your entire life.

The injury lawyers at Nadrich & Cohen have represented thousands of dog bite victims with an exceptional rate of success. Our battle-tested, aggressive attorneys have the experience and know-how to obtain full and fair compensation for your trauma, injuries and losses, and they’ll do it without ever charging you any money out of pocket!

Call us today at 1-800-718-4658 for a free consultation if you or a loved one was bitten by a dog. You may be eligible for financial compensation.

Dog Bite Claim Causes Of Action

Dog running with mouth open - dog bite claims in CA

Dog bite claims in California will often involve two causes of action: strict liability and negligence.

Negligence in California is as follows: “Everyone is responsible, not only for the result of his or her willful acts, but also for an injury occasioned to another by his or her want of ordinary care or skill in the management of his or her property or person, except so far as the latter has, willfully or by want of ordinary care, brought the injury upon himself or herself.”

In other words, one is negligent when they do what a reasonable person wouldn’t, or don’t do what a reasonable person would, and someone gets hurt because of it. Walking your pit bull, who has a history of aggressive behavior, in public without a leash could be an example of negligence which can lead to a dog bite.

California is a strict liability state regarding dog bites. This means that negligence is not necessary for a dog owner to be liable for damages their dog creates. However, dog bite claims in California often pursue strict liability and negligence causes of action anyways, since dog bites are often the result of someone’s negligence.

California civil code 3342 establishes strict liability in California for dog bites. It essentially means dog owners are liable for dog bite victims’ injuries even when the owner is not at fault for the dog bite.

Some other states, including Nevada, New Mexico and Wyoming, have a “one bite rule” meaning dog owners are only liable for the injuries their dogs cause when they’re aware of their dog’s dangerous tendencies.

There are exceptions to California’s strict liability rules regarding dog bites:

Trespassers: Dog owners in California are only strictly liable for dog bites when the victim was lawfully on their property. People who are bitten while trespassing can still pursue claims based on negligence. For example, if a dog owner witnesses his dog attacking a trespasser and does not attempt to get his dog to stop attacking him, the trespasser can sue for negligence to recover for his life-threatening injuries if owner was negligent for letting the attack continue.

Law enforcement dogs: The government can’t be held strictly liable when military or police dogs bite people while working. An exception to this involves innocent bystanders, who can recover compensation under strict liability rules.

Caretakers: Caretakers cannot be held strictly liable for dog bites. Only the dog’s owner can.

People in certain professions: The “veterinarian’s rule” establishes that some people assume the risk of a dog bite, such as veterinarians and kennel workers, and these people therefore cannot pursue dog bite claims based on strict liability. They can, however, pursue dog bite claims based on negligence.

Dog bite owners who are partially at fault for the dog bite, because they kicked or provoked the dog, for example, can see their awards diminished by their own percentage of fault for the dog bite.

Dog Bite Injuries

Dog bites can involve many injuries, including:

  • Puncture wounds
  • Fractures
  • Deep bruising
  • Serious face and head injuries
  • Long-term emotional scarring
  • Amputations
  • Disfigurement

Dog Bite Compensation

Dog bite victims in California can pursue compensation for many damages, including:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Rehabilitation
  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability or permanent disfigurement

Dog Bite Statistics

Statistics and graphs in colors

California is a leading state in terms of dog bites. USPS statistics show that Los Angeles saw the second most dog attacks on postal workers in the nation in 2018.

48 dog bite-related fatalities happened in 2019 in the U.S. 33 of them, or 69 percent, involved pit bulls, who represent around eight percent of the total U.S. dog population.

Homeowners Insurance

Dog bites are usually covered by homeowners’ insurance policies, which typically provide from $100,000 to $300,000 of coverage. Victims can try to hold property owners liable because they let a dangerous dog live on their premises when dog owners are renters.

Farmers Group has told its policyholders that it won’t cover pit bull, Rottweiler and wolf hybrid bites anymore under homeowner insurance policies, saying these breeds represented over 25 percent of their dog bite claims, and that these breeds cause more harm with their bites than other breeds.

Dog Bite Lawsuit


Accomplished, experienced attorneys will be the difference between winning and losing your dog bite case. Our lawyers have been handling dog bite claims since 1990 with an astonishingly high success rate.

We offer our clients a no fee promise. This means that we do not charge a fee if we do not obtain a recovery for you. You are only charged in the event we obtain a recovery for you and, in this event, our only fee will be a small percentage of your recovery. You cannot lose money by hiring us. You can only gain money.

Call us today at 1-800-718-4658 for a free consultation if you or a loved one suffered a dog bite. You can also chat with one of our live chat specialists, email us at or fill out the free “Do I Have A Case?” case evaluation form on the right. Office Locations