Sit. Stay. Bite? California Dog Bite Reports on the Rise

Posted on in Premises Liability

Dogs are often referred to as "man's best friend". However, this may not be entirely accurate, as they often become more than just a mere friend and become members of the family. Even with all the love that we show our dogs, or they show us, one thing remains certain, they are still animals.

One of the most common reminders of the fact that these furry members of the family are still animals is when they or another dog bites a person. From small nibbles to severe maulings that leave both physical and mental scars, even the most loveable dogs may pose injury risks to people.

Growing Number of Dog Bite Cases

San Diego County, in the past four years, has seen the number of reported dog bites consistently increase. While pit bulls receive the most press about being potentially dangerous dogs and were responsible for the most reported bites in San Diego County last year (389 bites), a common breed of family dog, Labrador retrievers, were responsible for the second most bites (199 bites).

Under California law, the owners of dogs that bite are responsible for the injuries caused, regardless of whether the dogs have a history of biting or not. As long as the bite victims were legally in a place they should be - such as a public park or street or private residence - and not trespassers, the owners are responsible for the dogs' actions.

If the first time a dog bites is severe enough or after the second bite, government officials can move to have restrictions placed on the dog and/or owner - from muzzling the dog or constructing a fence to euthanizing the animal - in the name of public safety.

For the victims of dog bites, however, even the most severe actions in the name of public safety will not reverse the fact that they have been bitten. Severe bites may require medical care, rabies shots and possibly even plastic surgery to repair the damage.

If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, speak with an experienced personal injury attorney about receiving compensation for your medical bills and pain and suffering.

Source: Grappling with Dog Bites

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