California Dog And Animal Bite Lawyer

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Dog bites in the United States are on the rise. Nearly five million people are bitten by dogs each year, and half of dog bite fatalities are children under the age of 10. Statistically, rottweilers are the dogs whose bites are most likely to be fatal, with pit bulls also ranking high in bite-related fatalities. Other dog breeds that are statistically likely to bite include but are not limited to wolf hybrids, Chow Chows, Akitas and German Shepherds.

In California, nearly 2% of the population is nipped or bitten by dogs each year. Sometimes these dog are vicious or dangerous, and other times they are merely undisciplined. If you are a Californian who has been bitten by a dog, the first thing you should do is to seek medical attention. Even if a dog bite does not appear to be severe, it can still lead to a serious bacterial infection which may require treatment. Staph and MRSA infections are two of the most common infections that may affect a dog bite wound.

You should also notify your local authorities, such as the Animal Control unit in your area, that a dog bite has occurred. They may need to launch an investigation. Additionally, it's in your best interests to secure the services of a qualified California personal injury lawyer who specializes in dog bites.

California's dog bite laws are strict and dog owners are liable to the injured in the event that it was their dog that bit the injured individual. This means that no matter what occurred, the owner of the dog is always liable even if that same dog has bitten no one else. The so called 'first-bite' rule, which says that a dog owner can only be held liable for bites if the dog has previously bitten someone, does not apply in this state.

In recent California dog bite news, a 91-year-old woman was attacked and mauled by her great grandson's pit bull. She was in critical condition, and both of her arms had to be amputated at the elbow. She and her granddaughter had been putting groceries away when the dog growled and then attacked. The dog ended up being euthanized.

Under the California liability statute, the owner of the dog is liable to the plaintiff regardless if the dog has been vicious before or if the owner had knowledge of this. The liability statute permits the individual bitten by the dog to recover monetary damages without having to prove any fault by the owner of the dog. In California it does not matter if the dog bite occurred at the owner's property, another public place or a private location. A dog owner can defend a lawsuit only by proving that the victim assumed the risk of the bite.

California statutes distinguish between a 'potentially dangerous dog' and a 'vicious dog,' and establishes the liability for owners of each. A 'potentially dangerous dog' is a dog which, when unprovoked, has on two separate occasions within a 36-month period engaged in behavior which requires a defensive action by a person to prevent bodily injury, when not on the dog owner's property, or which has bitten a person when unprovoked, causing a less-than-severe injury. The meaning of a 'vicious dog' is one which has, when unprovoked, aggressively kills or inflicts upon a person a severe injury one which results in muscle tears or disfiguring lacerations or requires multiple sutures or corrective cosmetic surgery.

California dog owners must abide by a set of regulations regarding potentially dangerous and vicious dogs, with respect to their confinement, leashes and other specifications. Cities and counties in the state may also prohibit ownership of these dogs.

If you, or your child, have been attacked by a dog, you may have a chance to recover medical expenses and other damages. Contact a qualified California dog bite attorney today.


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