Every year, thousands of innocent people are bitten, seriously injured and even killed as a result of dog bites or animal attacks. Over 850,000 instances of dog bites severe enough to necessitate medical attention occur each year – and there are over four million dog bites in total which cause bodily harm, ranging from minor cuts and lacerations to serious injury and even death.
In the United States alone, approximately 100 children are bitten by dogs every day and over 90% of these children will require medical attention. Statistics on dog bites show that having a history of biting increases the likelihood that the animal will bite again. Statistics further show that most dog bites occur in the victim’s own neighborhood. While dog bite fatalities are rare, statistically 15 to 20 people are killed in vicious, fatal dog attacks every year. Dog bites and dog attacks account for one third of all injury claims against homeowner liability policies.
Most dog bites are to the face, potentially bringing about infection, trauma and scarring. Wounds that are caused by dog bites include cuts, lacerations, abrasions, crushing wounds or punctures. These wounds can often result in fractured bones and/or disfiguring scars. Frequently, injuries must be addressed surgically and dog bites can even cause permanent damage to eyesight or hearing. Often, we find emotional and psychological trauma associated with dog bites and attacks to both the victim and to any witnesses of the attack.
If you or someone you know were injured or killed by any animal, you have a right to sue the person responsible for the animal. Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer Joseph Y. Avrahamy can help. A dog owner is required to control/restrain his or her animal in order to ensure public safety. The dog owner may be held responsible if you are on public property or if you are legally on private property. Dog owners may be held accountable for injuries sustained by their animals if the animal was not properly secured on their premises, on a leash, or the owner knew that the animal was prone to violence.
The owner of a dog is strictly liable when someone is injured or killed as a consequence of an attack by that dog. You do not have to prove that the owner was negligent, in most cases, but negligence can be claimed against the owner if you can show that he or she failed to exercise ordinary care in controlling the dog. Negligent behavior that results in injury can include failure to warn of the dog’s dangerous character, failing to restrain a malicious dog, or engaging in conduct likely to excite the dog causing him to knock down or injure someone. Additionally, if the dog was unleashed in a city with a leash law, there is a presumption that the owner was negligent. What are some recoverable damages for personal injuries caused by dog bites? If you have been injured following a dog bite or animal attack, the cost of treatment can be very high. Medical care to address dog bite injuries can include emergency room visits, hospitalization, psychological treatment and even plastic surgery. You will be entitled to damages for medical expenses arising from your dog bite injuries, in addition to reimbursement for lost wages, pain and suffering, and sometimes punitive damages.