Dog bite laws vary from state to state. California imposes Strict Liability in some dog bite matters. This means that, if certain requirements are met, the dog owner is liable for injuries caused by his or her dog biting someone.
California’s Dog Bite Strict Liability Law (California Civil Code section 3342) requires the following for strict liability to apply: (1) the dog must have bitten a person and (2) the bite must have occurred in a public place or while the victim was lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog. Even if the dog never acted violently before this bite, the dog owner is liable if the requirements of the Strict Liability Law are met.