Articles Posted in Dog Bites

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While dogs traditionally are regarded as “man’s best friend,” the behavior of any animal can be unpredictable. Our Orange County personal injury lawyers recognize that many people never expect to be attacked and bitten by a dog, but dog bite incidents are more common than you might realize. There were over 16,550 homeowner’s insurance claims filed for dog bite injuries in the United States during the most recent year for which data is available from the Insurance Information Institute (III). California had the nation’s highest number of dog bite claims with over 1,867 dog bite claims during that period, amounting to 54 percent more dog bite claims than the next highest state. Overall, the enormous impact of dog attacks is reflected by the fact that they account for one-third of all homeowner’s insurance claims in an aggregate amount that exceeds $530 million per year.

California Imposes Strict Liability on Dog Owner’s for Bite Injuries

Because the risk of suffering a serious injury in a dog attack or mauling incident is an all too common scenario for many people, our Orange County personal injury lawyers have provided an overview of the legal basis for imposing liability in dog bite cases. The applicable law will vary depending on the location of your injury because many cities have leash laws and their own dog bite laws that can provide a basis for liability. However, the good news for dog bite victims is that state law in California imposes strict liability on dog owners whose canine bites others without being provoked subject to narrow exceptions. California Civil Code, Section 3342 provides in pertinent part:

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An ABC affiliate in Bakersfield reported that a record-breaking settlement worth $2 million was reached in a dog bite case, which was the largest award for a dog bite case against a public entity in California. The case revolves around an incident wherein a K-9 unit from the Kern County Sheriff’s Office in Bakersfield escaped from a patrol car in 2013 and bit 21-year old Erin Casey in a gas station parking lot. There was apparently a defect in the patrol car’s door which enabled the dog to escape, and according to the deputy, he was unable to get the German shepherd under control because it refused to obey his commands. The deputy needed to call for backup to get the dog off of Casey.

Dog bites can result in serious injury, and in some cases, death. If you have suffered injuries due to a dog bite in California, the attorneys at the law firm of Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie, Inc., can provide you with experienced counsel who may help you obtain compensation for your injuries.

Nationwide and California Dog Bite Statistics According to a report by the American Veterinary Medical Association cited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 4.5 million people get bitten by dogs each year, of which 20 percent require medical attention and 27 thousand undergo reconstructive surgery. There were 31 dog bite-related deaths in 2013. 359,223 children between the ages of 1 to 14 were bitten by dogs between 2010 and 2012, and 66 percent of injuries to children 4 years and younger were to the head and neck. Additionally, children between 5 and 9 years old are at the highest risk for dog bites.

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A family’s cat saved their boy from a dog attack in Bakersfield this week, reported the Los Angeles Times. The 4-year-old boy was riding his tricycle when the dog appeared from behind an SUV and attacked his ankle, pulling him from the bike. Seconds later, the family’s cat Tara charged the dog, chasing it away from the child. He suffered a deep bite wound to his leg, for which he received stitches.

Every year in the United States, 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs, and half of them are children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Kids between the ages of 5 and 9 suffer the highest rate of dog bite-related trauma. Nearly one in five of the victims, about 885,000 people, require medical attention. More than 27,000 dog bite victims had to undergo reconstructive surgery in 2012.

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At about 9 a.m. on Friday, June 28, a dog attacked and injured two men in Murrieta. The 90-pound dog, a mix of Neapolitan Mastiff and pit bull, attacked its owner’s 80-year-old father and an air-conditioning repairman at a residence located in the 39000 block of Salinas Drive. The father suffered injuries to his stomach, to the back of his knee, and to both arms, where arteries were punctured. The repairman suffered moderate trauma. Emergency responders transported them to area hospitals. Animal services received permission from the owner of the dog to euthanize it.

“Those who suffer trauma in a dog attack may hold the owner of the animal liable for the cost of their recoveries by filing civil claims,” explained California dog bite lawyer James Ballidis.

Dog attacks cause 800,000 people to seek medical attention in the United States each year, with children accounting for half of the victims. Emergency medical attention is necessary for 386,000 of those injured, and fatality results in about 16 cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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On Friday, May 10, a pit bull attacked and injured a teenage girl in Corona. The pit bull escaped from its owner’s back yard near the area of Morales Way and Honors Lane and attacked the 15-year-old girl as she walked her dog. She suffered trauma to her arms and ear and was taken to an area hospital. Corona animal control officers impounded the pit bull, which was unlicensed; its owner had no proof of vaccination. Authorities are investigating the mauling.

“When a dog attacks and harms others, its owner may be held liable for the expense of the victims’ recoveries,” explained California dog bite lawyer James Ballidis, “such as for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.”

California Civil Code Section 3342 indicates that the owner of any dog that bites a person while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, may be held liable for the victim’s damages, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.

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At about 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 11, a pit bull fatally attacked a woman in Stockton. Authorities found the woman unresponsive in the driveway of a residence on North Lillian Avenue near East Fremont Street. According to the neighbor, the dog had a history of aggressive behavior. Officials with the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department are investigating the mauling.

“When a dog fatally harms a person, the family of the victim may pursue a wrongful death claim against the owner of the animal,” according to California dog bite lawyer James Ballidis.

Every year, more than 4.7 million people become the victims of dog attacks in the United States. These incidents cause 800,000 people to seek medical attention, with half of the victims being children. Of those requiring medical treatment, 386,000 visit an emergency department and 16 die, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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On the afternoon of Monday, July 16th, two dogs attacked and injured three people in Whittier. The pit bull and pitbull-husky mix escaped from their yard in the 7600 block of Greenleaf Avenue, biting an 11-year-old boy, a 62-year-old woman, and a 22-year-old man. Authorities impounded the dogs and cited their owners for several violations. The fate of the animals has not yet been determined.

“California law protects the rights of residents who are attacked by dogs,” explained personal injury lawyer James Ballidis, “providing them with legal recourse to seek compensation from the owner of the animal for injury-related expenses.”

Every year, dogs bite more than 4.7 million people in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Such attacks result in 386,000 emergency room visits and about 16 fatalities, with children accounting for the age group with the highest incidence of dog bite-related trauma.

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At about 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 12th, a woman was injured in a pit bull attack in Gilroy. The incident occurred in the parking lot of a Starbucks when a pit bull attacked a smaller dog and its owner attempted to intervene. She was bitten on the arm and transported to a local hospital to receive medical attention. Due to the severity of the smaller dog’s injuries, it was euthanized. The owner of the pit bull fled the scene. Authorities impounded the dog, which has a microchip, and are searching for its owner.

“Under California law, the owner of a dog that causes harm to others may be held liable for the cost of their recovery,” explained California personal injury lawyer James Ballidis, “including for medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.”

Every year, dogs bite more than 4.7 million people in the United States, 800,000 of whom seek medical attention. Of those hurt in attacks, 386,000 are admitted to emergency rooms and 16 do not survive their injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A study cited by the Gilroy Dispatch indicates that about 33 percent of dog bite-related fatalities are attributable to pit bulls.

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On the morning of Thursday, June 14th, a pit bull bit an elderly man multiple times in Hemet. The man, who is reportedly in his 70s, was on his way to Hemet Valley Mall when a group of pit bulls left their yard and surrounded him. One of the dogs attacked him when he fell to the ground. Fortunately, a good Samaritan stopped the attack and transported the man to a local hospital. Officers with the Ramona Humane Society responding to the scene discovered seven pit bulls at the home of the dog owners; no more than three dogs are permitted per residence in the city. They impounded the pit bull that attacked the elderly man and have yet to determine its fate or cite the owners.

“When dogs attack and cause harm to others in California, the owner may be held liable for expenses associated with the victim’s injuries,” explained a personal injury lawyer in the state.

Under California Civil Code Section 3342, the owner of a dog is liable for any damages resulting from an attack that occurred in a public place or while the victim was lawfully in a private place, including the property of the dog owner. Such liability may be imposed regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.

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At about 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 23rd, a child was injured when two dogs attacked her while she was walking to school in Lakeside. A chocolate Labrador retriever and a German Shepherd bit the third-grade girl near Lakeview Elementary School until a good Samaritan intervened. She was transported to a hospital to receive treatment for her injuries. Animal control impounded the dogs, and officers were in the process of contacting their owner.

“Owners are responsible for restraining and properly housing their dogs,” explained California personal injury lawyer James Ballidis, “and may be held liable if their dogs cause harm to others.”

According to Section 3342 of the California Civil Code, when a dog injures a person who is in a public place or lawfully in a private one, the animal’s owner may be held liable for any damages the person suffers, regardless of the dog’s history of aggression. Damages may include the cost of treating the injury, lost income while in recovery, and pain and suffering.

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