Dog bites are a very common form of injury for both adults and children. Every day, 1,000s people get bit by dogs and need medical attention. It is recommended that if you or someone you know has experienced an animal bite of any kind, you should seek medical attention immediately. Dog bites can be minor or they can have serious consequences, including permanent disfigurement, psychological trauma, and in rare instances, death.
Laws dealing with dog attacks vary in every state but typically states recognize a common law cause of action, creating liability for owners who know their dogs are dangers. Many states have passed dog bite statutes that can create liability in most dog bite cases, with limited defenses available to dog owners.
If you or your children are bitten by a dog contact an experienced attorney in animal bite cases because very often, people can get monetary compensation for their injury and the damage caused by it. Depending on the seriousness of your injury, you may receive compensation for: medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and even property damage.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Bites & Attacks
A dog is Man’s best friend, right? Well… not always! Just like a person’s, a dog’s personality is heavily affected by the way its raised. Some dogs are brought up with the intent of creating a mean and vicious animal for the purpose of protection, while others develop aggression issues as a result of repeated abuse or neglect.
Unfortunately, the end result is often the same.
Who Is Likely to Be the Victim?
Statistics show that children have an overwhelmingly higher chance of being attacked by a dog when compared to adults. Here are some startling statistics regarding dog attack frequency by age group:
- The CDC estimates 50% of children under 12 have been bitten/attacked by a dog
- 79% of fatal dog attacks involve children
- 50% of fatalities caused by dog bites involve children under 2
- 82% of dog bites treated involve children under 15
- Half of all dog bites happen to children under 8
- 65% of dog bites in children occur to the head and neck
- Newborns are 370 times more likely to be killed by a dog than an adult
- Over 87% of children who die from being bitten occur when the child was left unsupervised with a dog or wandered off unsupervised to the dog’s location
If you or a loved one has experienced the trauma of a dog bite or dog attack, contact a Sacramento injury attorney to discuss your options and appropriate action.
Why the Children?
Children have not yet learned the physical signs of danger that adults have, and as a result, do not understand the dangers a dog can pose. As an adult, we understand that if a dog is growling, or showing their teeth, we should probably stay away. A small child has absolutely no idea, and may inadvertently provoke an animal that otherwise wouldn’t have attacked. Adults also understand that sneaking up on any animal, even a person, can be met with dire consequences. Children are more likely to startle a sleeping dog or approach a dog while they are eating, increasing the frequency at which they are attacked.
Not only is the frequency of animal attack higher with children, but the severity of the injuries incurred is also often far more serious. Children are not strong or coordinated enough to fend off a small dog during an attack, let alone a large dog that would give adult issues. You can understand how severe the injuries could be to a small child who is unable to protect themselves.
Who Is Responsible?
A dog’s owner is responsible for their actions at all times – whether or not a case for injury liability can be made is a different story entirely.
In order for the dog’s owner to be liable for injury compensation, the following must be established:
- The person’s injury was incurred by the dog whose owner is the defendant
- The injury victim was on public property, or on private property with the permission of the property owner, at the time of the incident
In the most heinous of cases, criminal charges can be brought against the dog’s owner in addition to any civil cases filed. In order for criminal charges to be brought, the dog must be classified as “vicious”, or “dangerous”:
A Dog Is Considered “Vicious” When:
- A history of aggressive behavior resulting in defensive action by an attacked person on two or more separate occasions in the 36 months prior to the incident
- Has bitten another person, unprovoked, even if the injury was not severe
- Has bitten, injured, or killed a domestic animal at least twice within the past 36 months
A Dog Is Considered “Dangerous” When:
- Is owned by a person who has been convicted of an offense related to illegal dog-fighting
- Has aggressively injured or killed a human being
- Has been listed as a “dangerous” dog, but whose owner(s) did not adhere to the Food and Agriculture Code’s precautions on keeping dangerous dogs
Here’s a List of Dogs Classified as “Dangerous Dogs”
- Pit Bull
- American Pit Bull Terrier
- American Staffordshire Terrier
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- German Shepherd
Are You the Victim of a Dog Attack? Speak with a Sacramento Injury Attorney About Your Injury Case!
A dog attack can be a devastating experience that leaves the victim with long-term physical and psychological trauma. If the victim is a child, the consequences can be even more severe. Don’t go through this difficult process on your own. Call the dog bite experts at The Weinberger Law Firm and speak with our Sacramento injury attorney for a free consultation today!
Preventing Dog Bites & Attacks
California law states that the owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten or attacked by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place. California is a “strict liability” state for dog bites. This means that an owner cannot escape liability for a dog bite by claiming that he or she had no idea the dog would act aggressively. If you are a dog owner, you must take certain precautions to prevent any attacks and avoid a lawsuit.
If you or someone you know has been attacked by a dog, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer at our Sacramento office for a free consultation. The dog owner could be held liable.
We consider dogs as friendly, fun and loyal pets. However, there are many situations that might lead to a dog attacking another person such as:
- The animal might have been abused
- The animal might be scared or confused by surroundings
- The animal might be trying to protect the owner or property
- The dog might have some type of illness like rabies
As a dog owner, you must take care of your dog both physically and mentally to ensure he is safe around other people. Dog bites can cause a lifetime of injury or even wrongful death. Some types of injuries that can be sustained after a dog attack include:
- A catastrophic injury like muscle or nerve damage
- Loss of extremities such as bone damage or loss of limbs
- Permanent scarring or facial disfigurement
Things You Can Do to Prevent a Dog Attack
Remember, the law requires dog owners to take care of their dog. Here are some things you can do to keep your dog physically and mentally healthy:
- Walk your dog regularly to get his or her energy out
- Never leave your dog tied up for a long period of time as this can result in unwanted aggression
- Have your pet evaluated by a veterinarian
- Don’t keep dogs in packs as this can result in attack behavior
What to Do If You Think a Dog May Attack
If you are approached by a dog who you feel might attack you, follow this advice:
- Resist the impulse to scream and run away
- Remain motionless, hands at your sides, and avoid eye contact with the dog
- Once the dog loses interest in you, slowly back away until he is out of sight
- If the dog does attack, “feed” him your jacket, purse, bicycle, or anything that you can put between yourself and the dog
- If you fall or are knocked to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands over your ears and remain motionless
Statistics of Dog Attacks
As a dog owner, it is your responsibility. Here are some statistics to remind you how important it is to take care of your dog to make sure he or she will never hurt anyone:
- 3.7 million people in this country are bitten by dogs every year
- Children are by far the most common victims
- 800,000 Americans receive medical attention for dog bites each year
- Children are far more likely to be severely injured, approximately 400,000 receive medical attention each year
- Most dog bites affecting young children occur during everyday activities
- Senior citizens are the second most dog bite victims
- Almost one-half of all dog bites involve an animal owned by the victim’s family or neighbors
Remember that dog owners have a responsibility to make sure their dogs are safe enough to be around other people. If you or someone you know has been attacked by a dog, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer at our Sacramento office for a free consultation. The dog owner could be held liable.
For the millions of dog owners in America, a dog serves not only as a companion but could also provide security and emotional support. Unfortunately, however, dog aggression could lead to serious injuries if a victim is bitten. Understanding dog aggression is important for both dog owners and non-dog owners. If you’ve been attacked by a dog, contact a personal injury attorney who can evaluate your case with you and determine your best course of action.
What Is Aggression?
There are several types of aggression such as:
- Resource guarding
- Social status
- Hormonally driven
- Learned behavior
Aggression is defined as the threat of harm to another individual involving snarling, growling, snapping, biting, barking, or lunging. The most common reason for the aggression is fear but other factors can contribute to it. Understanding what aggression is and what causes it can help treat it and make society safer for everyone.
It is important to understand how a combination of the environment and hormones can affect the behavior of a dog. Hormonally driven aggression is usually caused by a female dog being in season. It can involve males fighting due to the presence of a female in heat or the female herself fighting with other dogs of either sex. Aggression in female dogs during their heat is a common complaint and it’s important dog owners take every precaution possible to avoid aggression.
Keep in mind that female dogs go into heat for a few weeks twice a year which is a considerable length of time. Identify the triggers that induce aggression and isolate her from those triggers, especially if children are involved. If you don’t plan on breeding her, having her spayed will be helpful in eliminating the aggression.
Symptoms of Aggressive Dogs
Dog aggression should never be taken lightly. If you suspect your dog to be aggressive, keep an eye out for some of these symptoms:
- Excessive barking
- Overprotectiveness of possessions
- Fearfulness in new situations or around strangers
- Severe attacks on other animals such as cats
- Attempts to mount people’s legs
- Frequent attempts to chase moving objects such as bikes
- Repeated escapes from home
Remember that dog owners have a responsibility to make sure their dogs are safe enough to be around other people. If you or someone you know has been attacked by a dog, contact an experienced personal injury attorney as the dog owner could be held liable.