Under California law, a dog owner is strictly liable for any injuries inflicted by his or her dog. But if the dog owner has no homeowner's or renter's insurance, you will probably have a difficult time recovering any money from him or her. Attorneys are generally reluctant to take a case if there is no insurance to go after because it is very difficult to successfully collect money from an individual. If they had assets, they probably would have purchased insurance. No insurance likely means no assets. There is always the option of hiring an investigator to do an asset check on the dog owner. An asset check will run a few hundred dollars.
It is possible that the dog owner is lying about being uninsured. The only way you can know for sure is to hire an attorney. Attorneys are able to use an insurance tracing company to track down whether the individual has any homeowner's or renter's insurance.
If you have been the victim of a dog attack, you should consult with a dog bite attorney to learn about your rights and options. At McGee, Lerer & Associates, we work on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay us nothing up front. Our fee is a percentage of what we collect for you. If it turns out that the dog owner is uninsured and we are able to collect nothing, you pay us nothing.