DOG BITE INJURIES
Dog bites present a serious problem in our country today, as about 1,000 people per day in the United States are treated for a dog bite attack. The problem become even more serious when our statistics reveal that most dog bite victims are children. In Woodland Hills, many people have a preference for big and aggressive dogs which only adds to this already existing problem, thereby increasing the potential for more serious injuries.
A national study done by the American Humane Association found that 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs per year, about 64% of which are children. The same study found that 304 children died from a dog bite in the United States from 1979 to 1996. Not surprisingly California was one of the biggest contributors to this number as 30 out of those 304 children were killed in our state alone. Additionally, in Los Angeles County alone, 20,000 people are bitten by dogs per year. Moreover, numbers show that vicious dogs that cause most of the dog bite accidents are favored by criminals. The Los Angeles Police Department has reported an at least a 10% jump in all police shootings involving dogs per year.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality showed that number of dog bite cases seem to be only increasing, as more people are owning dogs today than ever before.
DOG BREEDS INVOLVED IN MOST DOG BITE ACCIDENTS
The following list includes dogs that have shown to be more prone to attack humans than other dogs. During a 10 year period from 2005 to 2014 these dogs killed over 326 Americans.
- Pit Bull Terriers caused 203 deaths, which is a staggering 63.3% of all deaths in America from 2005 to 2014.
- Rottweiler caused 38 deaths, which is 11.7 % of all deaths in America from 2005 to 2014.
- Mastiff/Bull-mastiff caused 13 deaths, which is 4.0% of all deaths in America from 2005 to 2014.
- German Shepherd caused 12 deaths, which is 3.7% of all deaths in America from 2005 to 2014.
- Husky caused 11 deaths, which is 3.4% of all deaths in America from 2005 to 2014.
- Mixed breeds caused 10 deaths, which is 3.1% of all deaths in America from 2005 to 2014.
- American Bulldog caused 9 deaths, which is 2.8% of all deaths in America from 2005 to 2014.
HOW TO PREVENT A DOG BITE
Dogs can bite for many different reasons, such as improper training by the owners or their breed being more prone to attacking humans. Yet other reasons include the victims’ behavior right before the attack. We must all work together to avoid or at least decrease the number of dog bites. These are some of the ways to prevent dog bites:
- Do not approach a dog that is eating or sleeping.
- Do not approach an injured dog or one without an owner, as dogs that fear danger are more prone to attack humans.
- Do not punch, kick, pull or tease a dog, especially if you are not familiar with the animal, as dogs may attack fearing for their own safety.
- Be extra careful when dealing with dogs in the months of July and August, as American Humane Association study showed that dogs are more likely to attack during those months.
- Be extra careful when dealing with a Pit Bull, as studies have shown that those dogs are responsible for 63% of all dog bite related deaths in America from 2005 to 2014.
- Be careful when an unknown dog is near your child, as studies have shown that most dog attacks victims, a staggering 64% percent are children.
- Stay away from dogs whose ears are laid back and fur on the back standing up, as they are likely preparing for an attack. Likewise stay away from dogs that are snarling with their teeth showing.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR A DOG BITE
When a dog bite occurs, the victim or the victim’s family often asks: “Who is responsible for my injuries?” In California, which follows strict liability regarding dog bite cases, the owner would be liable. Under strict liability, the dog owner is responsible for the dog bite regardless of whether the owner did anything wrong which caused the dog attack. This is not the case in all states.
However, there are some cases in which the dog owner would not be held liable for the dog bite. These cases involve situations in which the dog owner adequately warned people that the dog is dangerous and took proper measures to keep the dog away from the potential victims. For example, if the dog owner put his dog on a leash inside his backyard and in addition placed “Beware of Dog” signs on his fence. Under this example, if a victim jumped over a fence and got bitten by a dog, the victim would be “assuming the risk,” as he assumed the danger of being bitten by the dog and in turn become “contributory negligent” to his own injuries.
HOW TO PREVAIL IN A DOG BITE CASE
Woodland Hills Accident Attorney will fight for his clients to get them the compensation they deserve from a dog bite attack. We will conduct a thorough investigation of the attack and early on in the case learn all of our strengths and weaknesses which will allow us to obtain the best settlement or verdict available. Many personal injury cases, such as dog bites resolve outside the court without the need for litigation. However, Woodland Hills Accident Lawyer will not hesitate to take any case all the way to trial and obtain the most favorable verdict possible for his clients. Do not hesitate to call today.