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Dog Bites / Domestic Animal Attacks
California leads the nation in fatal dog attacks, many of which involve children. In fact, approximately 70% of fatal dog attacks involve children under the age of 12. Senior citizens and postal workers are also frequent victims of dog bites and attacks. It is estimated that roughly one third of all homeowner insurance claims paid are for injuries related to dog bites. Unfortunately, this is a problem that is getting worse in California.
Protecting yourself or your children from dog bites can be difficult. While it is important to stay away from unknown dogs, the statistics show that nearly 80% of dog bite injuries are caused by dogs known to the person. Parents must remain vigilant when their children are near dogs, especially breeds known to have a potentially vicious nature. However, the main responsibility for preventing dog attacks falls on the dog owner.
The first thing a dog bite victim should do is get medical attention immediately. Many animals carry diseases which can be transmitted to humans, especially when the skin is punctured. Animal control should be contacted right away in order to determine if the dog has any diseases and to help establish a record of the incident. As in any accident, it is important to gather and secure evidence as soon as possible. Immediately notify the police so a report can be made and the identity of the dog and its owner can be recorded. It is also important to obtain the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all witnesses and get photographs of the injuries and attack location. Consult with a qualified dog bite attorney as soon as possible to protect your legal rights.
The injuries that are most commonly associated with dog attacks are puncture wounds, lacerations, loss of fingers, and infections. Depending on the severity of the attack and the age and health of the victim, long term scarring and disfigurement are possible. Since many dog attack victims are children, it may take considerable time to determine the extent of permanent scarring.
California law does provide protection for the victims of dog bites and attacks. It imposes liability on dog owners for damages suffered by any person bitten by the dog in a public place, or while lawfully in a private place, including the property of the dog’s owner. This liability is imposed regardless of the former viciousness of the dog, or the owner’s knowledge of that viciousness. However, it is very important to note that dog attack cases are subject to a Statutes Of Limitations which limits the amount of time you have to file a claim. In order to protect your rights and get the compensation you deserve, contact an attorney experienced in dog attack cases right away.
For more information, call The Scranton Law Firm and speak with one of our experienced trial lawyers for free at 1 (800) 400-8742.