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Dog Bites And The Law: Questions And Answers

By Author: R. Klettke
Total Articles: 49

We all know that dogs are man’s best friend and it is true. But because of the sheer numbers of dogs sharing our homes and lives, the numbers of dog bites that occur and proportionately high. Dog bites can be very frightening and can cause both short and long-term physical and emotional injury.



When dog bites do occur, it is important to contact a personal injury attorney whose area of legal practice includes dog bites. All dog bite attorneys are personal injury attorneys but not all personal injury attorneys have experience in the tricky area of dog bites.



How common are dog bites?



It is estimated that nearly five million dog bites happen each year in the United States. It is possible that the real number is actually higher, because not all bites are reported to data collecting authorities such as The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP). The CDCP reports that of the millions of bites annually, approximately 850,000 are severe enough to warrant visits to hospital emergency rooms. These hundreds of thousands of dog bite victims who will end up in hospital emergency rooms and urgent care clinics this year, should seek counsel from a dog bite attorney who will advise them of their rights to compensation for injury, and for pain and suffering. The most common time of year for dog bites is in the summer when dogs and people are outside more frequently than in the other seasons.



Who gets bitten by dogs the most?



Men are more frequently bitten than women. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, young children are the most commonly bitten population of all.



Which dogs bite the most often?



Pit bulls, Rottweilers, and German Shepherds are frequently named in dog bite reports and in news stories. However, it is important to remember that any breed of dog can bite. In child dog bite cases, 75% of the time the biting dog was a family pet or belonged to a friend or relative.



What legal steps should one follow if they are bitten by a dog?



Photographs of the bite and any other injured sites on the body should be taken as soon as possible after the attack. Also photograph the location of the accident and even get a picture of the dog if you are able to safely do so. Report the bite to the local humane society or police department. And finally, seek the assistance of a personal injury attorney who is familiar with the latest California dog bite laws and how they apply to your situation.



How many people die from dog bites?



At least fifteen and up to twenty deaths have been reported annually in the United States as a result of dog bites. Of those who survive a vicious mauling, over 30,000 have extensive reconstructive and cosmetic surgeries in order to repair torn tendons and muscles, damaged blood vessels and nerves, and crushed and broken bones.



California law states that a dog’s owner is always responsible for the dog’s behavior. Therefore, if a dog bites someone, the owner must assume liability based simply on the basis of ownership, and circumstances can be largely irrelevant. California laws cover other types of injuries relating to dogs in addition to actual bites. For example, if a dog walker becomes injured when their dog is frightened by a passing unleashed dog, the dog walker would have the legal right to seek compensation under the auspices of personal injury law.



R. Klettke is a freelance writer. He writes about personal injury and medical malpractice law and other matters of jurisprudence.



Important Advisory: This article is not intended to provide legal advice upon which you or anyone else should rely in making any decisions regarding the instituting or prosecuting of a legal claim. Laws and rules relating to the bringing of a claim vary widely from state to state. You should always contact a personal injury attorney to obtain information as to the rules and the laws pertaining to any claim you might have.

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