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Dog Bites

Each year, millions of innocent children and adults are seriously injured or even suffer wrongful death as a result of dog bite attacks. If you or a loved one has suffered a dog bite and don’t know what to do, we urge you to contact a lawyer for dog bite injuries as soon as possible.

The attorneys at United Attorney Group will help guide you through the necessary steps and provide you with the answers and direction you need. Do not hesitate. Please call us at (844) 960-9800, or contact a lawyer for dog bite legal advice.

We know you have many questions and at this moment are scared about your future or the future of your child. As dog bite injury attorneys, we have represented hundreds of dog bite injury victims and understand your pain and suffering. We are here to help you.

It is our goal to educate you on what to expect when you are a victim of a dog bite injury and what to do after you’ve been bitten.

If you or a loved one has suffered a dog bite injury or you have a question that has not been answered, call United Attorney Group now at (844) 960-9800.

Child Safety

Children are the most frequent victims of dog bites.  There are a number of precautions parents can take to promote dog bite child safety. Most importantly, teach young children, including toddlers, to be careful around pets.

They should not:

Hug or approach a dog from behind;
Touch his food bowl;
Pull parts of his body;
Stare directly into his eyes; or
Try to kiss him on the face.

Children should always ask permission from a dog’s owner before touching or petting a dog and when doing so, they should always put their hand out first so the dog can sniff them.

Another important child safety tip is to educate children on what to do if threatened by a dog. Tell them to:

Remain calm and do not scream;
Speak calmly and firmly;
Avoid making eye contact with the dog;
Try to stay still until the dog leaves or back away slowly until the dog is out of sight;
Do not turn and run away; and
If the child falls or is knocked to the ground, tell them to curl into a ball with their hands over their head and neck, protecting their face.

Our children are precious and we need to do whatever is necessary to promote dog bite child safety. We do not have control over whether a dog decides to attack, but we can arm our children with the knowledge of what to do if they ever come face to face with a vicious dog.

Dangerous Breeds

According to the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”) the most dangerous dog breeds include:

  • Pit bulls
  • Rottweilers
  • German shepherds
  • Huskies
  • Alaskan malamutes
  • Doberman pinschers
  • Chows
  • Great Danes
  • Saint Bernards
  • Akitas

Many small dog owners ignore their dog’s behavior because they are small and think they cannot hurt anyone. The truth is, little dogs bite more than big dogs.

Although there is no way to predict when a dangerous dog will bite, we recommend taking the following into consideration:

If a dog has been treated harshly or trained to attack, there may be a tendency to bite a person. A dog owner can turn any dog into a dangerous dog. In most cases, the owner is responsible for the aggression, not the breed and not the dog.
If an infant or toddler is left alone with a dog, a dangerous situation can occur. Young children tend to grab onto dogs without understanding how easily they can hurt the animal. Many dogs bite to protect themselves from the pain they feel and to get the child to stop. 95% of all child fatalities occur when a child is left alone with a dog.

Any dog can be a good, loving pet, even if its considered a dangerous dog and likely to bite. A responsible owner will win a dog’s respect by showing the dog love and respect, no matter its breed. You cannot determine, by breed alone, whether or not it is going to attack.

Dog Bite Statistics

The statistics surrounding dog bites are astonishing and show just how common dog bite injuries are.

It has been estimated for every animal attack reported, three go unreported.
As many as one million people nationwide require medical treatment for dog bites every year.
More than 334,000 victims end up in the emergency room.
More than 4 million people are bitten by dogs each year.
More than half of all the animal attack victims are children.
National figures estimate that 60% of dog bite injuries happen in the home, either by the family or a friend’s dog.
It is estimated that about 12-15 people die each year, because of various problems and infections from dog bites.
Overwhelmingly, male dogs that have not been fixed are more likely to bite.

Where do dogs attack?

25% chained dogs
25% dogs loose in their yard
23% occurred inside the home
17% dogs roaming off their property
10% leashed dogs or miscellaneous circumstances

Who is attacked?

79% of all fatal attacks – children under the age of 12
12% elderly, aged 65 – 94
9% 13 – 64 years old

Who is Liable for a Dog Bite Injury?

While the dog owner is the primary party responsible for canine aggression, there are certain circumstances in which other people may be found responsible for the dog harming another person.

This includes the following additional parties:

Someone who has assumed care of the dog and is keeping it in his or her custody - They can be liable for any injuries that occur as the owner would be. Keeping or harboring a stray dog, or even dog sitting for a friend, means you are responsible for its actions while the pet is in your care. Therefore, regardless of what past incidents may have led the dog to bite, the fact that it attacked while you’re in charge means you may have to compensate any injured parties.
Owner of the property -Much as with dog keepers, those with a canine on the property they own assume some responsibility for that dog’s behavior. The mere act of a dog on the premises biting someone does not open the property owner to liability. However, if the property owner has not taken sufficient measures to keep the people in and around the property reasonably safe from the dog, it is likely that some liability may fall on the property owner’s shoulders.

Children, including anyone under the age of 18, are more or less immune from liability when it comes to a dog attack. Even if they are technically the primary caregiver, a minor is unable to be sued for damages. In a case like this, the parents of the minor would be held accountable for the actions of their child’s dog.

California’s Dog Bite Statute

In California, the pet owner is responsible for any damage a pet does through the act of biting in a public or private place. Damages suffered as a result of the bite will likely be the responsibility of the dog owner, and the former behavior of the dog will likely be deemed irrelevant.

The owner may escape liability if he or she can prove the dog was provoked in some way by the recipient of the bite. However, proving provocation is an extensive and sometimes fruitless process. If you have been affected by a dog bite, contact United Attorney Group to speak to one of our lawyers today.