San Diego is a city made for dog lovers. With an enjoyable climate year-round and numerous parks, trails and other places for dogs and their humans to enjoy, it is no wonder that so many San Diego residents often take their dogs with them almost everywhere they go. However, there is a potential downside to having so many dogs in one area, which is the fact that even good pets sometimes act badly. When a dog bites, jumps on or knocks over a person, serious injuries can occur, leaving the victim in a very difficult position.
Many people in California have household pets, and an overwhelming favorite in many homes is a dog. In fact, more than half of all households in the U.S. have a pet, totaling over 80 million homes across the nation. Though most people could never imagine their beloved dog ever attacking or biting a person, such incidents can and do happen. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have studied this common problem and concluded that some 4.5 million people are bitten by a dog every year.
Under California law, dog owners are strictly liable for the damages their pets cause, especially if the dog attacks, bites or otherwise injures another person. This means that the pet owner is absolutely liable for compensating the injured party, but it may not always be the owner herself who opens up the checkbook. Depending on the situation, the dog's owner may be covered by insurance.
People in California may have heard about a woman who recently filed a lawsuit against the United States House of Representatives after a dog in the office of California Representative Tom McClintock took a bite out of her hand. The woman was an invited guest in the Representative's office, who had come to speak about domestic violence issues. Unfortunately during her visit she suffered a violent encounter of her own at the hands of a free-roaming dog in McClintock's office.
Getting attacked by a dog can be an extremely traumatic experience, especially when the attack and the injuries are significant. After suffering such a frightening event, many people have difficulty keeping a clear head, but in order to fully document and address the situation, there are several basic steps a dog bite victim must take. The first step is obviously to get to a safe place and seek immediate medical attention, as an untreated dog bite can lead to infection, permanent scarring and other nasty consequences.
Imagine for a moment you are playing with your children at a public park or green space, when out of nowhere a vicious dog begins attacking yourself or your children. Such shocking and violent attacks have happened far too often in California, leaving adults and children with serious physical and emotional scars that can last a lifetime. The California Legislature has specifically recognized the serious problem these dangerous animal attacks pose to the public, and as such, they have gone to great lengths to establish a system of laws and regulations which attempt to curb the danger, but also adequately penalize those whose pet animals cause injury or death to others.
People in California know that dog bites are a fairly common problem in many parts of the state, as people in all types of neighborhoods often possess pets that have the propensity for violent or aggressive behavior. Some are trained attack dogs, some are dogs who are bred for violence and some are otherwise well-mannered pets who react unfortunately to stressful situations or people. Regardless of the type of dog, any owner of a dog who bites or otherwise inflicts injury on another person is probably going to be held liable for the damage the dog causes, unless the victim is trespassing on private property when the attack occurred.
Dogs can be a wonderful companions, protectors, and lifelong friends, but unfortunately in the hands of an irresponsible owner, a dog can also be a deadly menace. That is why California has laws specifically geared toward imposing liability upon dog owners when those dogs bite another person under certain circumstances.
San Diego residents love their dogs, often thinking of them as part of the family. It can be easy to forget about the possibility that a dog might bite a person, leading to serious injury.
The San Diego County Department of Animal Services is investigating at least three attacks by the same dog. Information about the first attack was not reported in the media, but it allegedly happened in early 2011, according to reporters. The second was in August, when the animal, a pit bull in Serra Mesa, broke free of its restraint and attacked another dog, a neighbor told reporters. The other dog's owner was hurt while trying to defend the dog. In the most recent incident, another dog and its owner were injured when the pit bull attacked them. The pit bull was on a leash, but its owner was unable to restrain the animal. The person injured in that attack was reportedly considering filing a personal injury lawsuit over the incident.