When man’s best friend attacks a person, the results can be devastating for the victim and his or her family. The injuries can be life-changing and recovery can take years. At Williams Iagmin, LLP we understand the trauma that is caused by a dog mauling and are here to help take on the stress of the legal process so that dog attack victims can focus on their physical, emotional, and psychological recovery.
In 2018, there are roughly 89.7 million dogs in the United States living in 60.2 million households. There are around 4.5 million dog bite victims every year, and about 20% require a trip to the hospital. Many of these attacks are serious, and in 2015, hospitals reported over 28,000 reconstructive surgeries that resulted from dog mauling. In California, there were over 38,000 emergency room visits for dog attacks in 2015. The three most common breeds of attacking dog in California are pit bulls, German shepherds, and Chihuahuas. Other breeds known for dog bites and attacks include:
Children are particularly at risk for dog attacks. Dog bites and mauling are the fifth most frequent cause of hospitalizations for children ages 5 years and younger. According to the California Department of Public Health, children are more than twice as likely as adults to be attacked by a dog.
Dog bites and mauling are considered personal injury cases, and therefore under California law have a two-year statute of limitations to bring a case for damages. California is considered a “strict liability” state when it comes to dog bites, and code section 3342 of the law states that an owner is liable for damages if a person is attacked and bitten by their dog, on private or public property, regardless of whether the dog has any prior history of viciousness or whether the owner knew of any history of viciousness towards other people. The only exception to this rule is for military or police dogs that attack a person in the course of their official duties.
In situations in which a dog attacks but does not bite a person or bites a person in addition to causing other injuries through scratching, etc. a person is also able to bring a personal injury lawsuit for negligence. If an owner did not take reasonable steps to control the dog and prevent injury, they can be held liable for damages. The victim must prove that the dog owner had a duty of care to control the animal, that the owner failed in that duty to take reasonable steps to control the dog, and that as a result of that failure, the dog attacked and caused injury or death.
If you, your child, or another loved one has been mauled by a dog and is seeking compensation, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Williams Iagmin today. Call us now at 619-238-0370 to schedule a free review of your case.