Dog attacks in San Diego make headlines every year, and they are an unfortunate reality in our community. As a responsible pet owner, it’s the duty of the dog owner to ensure their animal is mentally, emotionally, and physically adept while handled in public. When dogs bite, it’s generally a result of a poorly-handled animal that has either been neglected, badly trained, or is mentally unstable due to some level of abuse either with the current owner or the previous owner. Regardless of the cause of the dog bite, dog owners in California are held responsible for any injury arising out of dog ownership – and those who are bitten are urged to review their legal rights immediately following the attack.
Call the Law Offices of Michael Pines, APC for a free consultation if you or a loved one was bitten or attacked by a dog: 1-858-551-2090 or click here to submit your information now.
Dog Bite Laws in California
The laws surrounding dog bites in San Diego are found in California Civil Code section 3342 – that is, a dog bite statute that helps protect the public against unsafe dogs in the community. The statute says that the burden of dog ownership and any consequential event arising from owning a dog falls on the shoulders of the dog owner. In other words, it is the dog owner’s full responsibility to ensure his or her animal is safe within the community. And if an accident does occur, and a dog attack ensues, the dog owner is held responsible.
The dog bite statute further explains that “the owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.” This means that an injured person has the right to seek damages following a San Diego dog attack.
Dog attacks are serious in nature and can cause a lifetime of pain and permanent damage including scaring, disfigurements, and even loss of enjoyment. Some dog attacks can even result in wrongful death. Dog bites can cause:
Catastrophic injury. Large breeds like Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, and German Shepherds have strong jaws that can produce serious bodily harm including catastrophic injury. Some dog bite accidents can even result in wrongful death depending on the severity of the attack and the age of the victim.
Loss of extremities. Unfortunately, the recovery from a dog bite attack can fluctuate drastically from person to person. Sometimes, if severe infection and deep bone damage occurs in wake of a dog bite, the injured person can lose their limb or permanently damage nerves, feeling, and use of their extremities.
Permanent scarring. Many Americans who are bitten by dogs are left with unwanted, permanent scarring that will last a lifetime. The state of California holds the owner of the dog responsible for such injuries, and it is your legal right to collect damages for your debilitating scars, nerve damage, or other disfigurements.
Breeds Most Likely to Cause Dog Bite Injuries
Although it is very difficult to track which breeds cause a dog bite injury, the CDC conducted a special report on fatal dog bite attacks to determine which breed was the most likely to cause wrongful death. Here are the dog breeds that caused the most wrongful deaths from 1979 until 1998 in dog bite attacks:
1. Pit Bulls
Pit Bulls have a deadly reputation and they proved it by accounting for 66 wrongful death dog bite attacks in the 20 year period of the CDC report.
Very aggressive with territorial instincts, Rottweilers accounted for 39 wrongful death dog bite attacks.
3. German Shepherds
German Shepherds killed 17 people in dog bite attacks from 1979 to 1998.
Huskies were responsible for 15 wrongful deaths due to dog attacks.
5. Alaskan Malamutes
A lesser known dog breed, Alaskan Malamutes accounted for 15 wrongful death dog bite attacks.
6. Doberman Pinschers
Doberman Pinschers are good guard dogs, but this breed attacked and killed nine people in the 20-year period of the CDC study.
In the United States, nearly 5 million Americans suffer from dog bite accidents. Only 16,000 dog bite victims receive damages as a result of their injury. But dog bite victims do not have to suffer silently. It is your right as an injured person to seek the damages and legal rights that you are entitled to. If you have been injured by a dog bite, call the San Diego personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Michael Pines at 1-858-551-2090 for a free legal review of your case.