Dog Bites On the Rise in California
More and more East LA residents are being sent to emergency rooms for dog related bites. Indeed, the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development recently revealed that emergency room visits for dog bites have increased by 44% in the past ten years. California recorded the most dog bite claims in the nation with more than 1,934 reports of dog bites, more than any other state in the country.
More dogs means more dog bites?
Experts hypothesize that the uptake in bites is connected to the rise in dog ownership across the United States. Today more Americans are adopting pets, and keeping dogs and other animals in their homes and apartments. This increase in animal ownership has led to more contact between dogs and individuals, leading to more biting incidents. Several high profile incidents involving unleashed dogs attacking other dogs, children and adults were caught on video in San Francisco and Los Angeles, where police had to step in and shoot the animals on the street to prevent further harm.
Dog ownership and strict liability
In California, all dog owners should be aware that they are “Strictly Liable” for the harms that their dogs cause to other people. What this means in plain English is that an owner cannot escape liability for a dog bite’s harm to another individual by claiming that he or she had no idea the dog would act in such an aggressive way. In other words, the owner is responsible for all damages resulting from a dog bite, even if the dog has never bitten anyone before. Dog owners can be for medical expenses, pain and suffering damages, and any lost income caused by the harm.
Steps to take after a dog bite
If you or someone you care for happens to be bitten by a dog, what steps should you immediately take? First, seek medical attention. Depending on the dog owner’s care, the dog may or may not have had all his required veterinary shots. Take photos of the bite and the dog.
Next, call the police to report the incident, and to get detailed information of who the owner of the animal is. Many California counties require dogs to have a collar detailing their owner’s information, or implanted microchips where that information can be stored.
Monetary compensation after a dog bite
Finally, if you have suffered not only emotional, but financial harm due to your dog bite, and you wish to look into legal remedies against the owner of the dog for medical expenses and damages, you should also contact a Personal Injury Attorney.
If you are the victim of dog bites, know your rights. Contact the dog bite injury attorneys at Ghozland Law Firm today for a free consultation.