Dog Bite Owners Paying Big Bucks Injury Law
Dog Owners Often Pay Big Bucks in Bite Cases
Dog owners beware: If your dog bites someone, you could be liable for a great deal of money – even if your dog didn’t have any vicious tendencies or hurt anyone in the past. One California family was liable for nearly $1 million earlier this year after a gruesome incident that they never saw coming.
Santa Rosa, California
A Santa Rosa California mom was walking with her dog to pick up her children at a bus stop – just as she did everyday. However, this particular day would haunt her forever. As she was walking, a 90 pound American bull dog attacked her and marred her face. According to news reports, she spent four days in the hospital and has already had to have three plastic surgeries on her nose, lips and cheek to minimize the scars from the attack – and there may be more surgeries in her future.
She sued the dog’s owners, but they claimed that the dog had never bitten anyone or shown any aggression whatsoever. However, California’s strict liability dog bite law doesn’t take that into consideration. If your dog bites someone – as sweet as that dog might have been – you’re liable. In this case, the victim was awarded nearly $1 million in damages. In addition, the dog’s primary owner was sentenced to four months in jail, 100 hours of community service and the dog was euthanized. All in all, it was a terrible tragedy for everyone involved. But, could it have been prevented?
Common factors in dog bite cases
Steve Recordon, a California attorney with nearly 30 years of experience whose practice represents individuals who have been injured by dog bites, provided us with some of the common factors typically found in dog bite cases in the hope that this information may help to prevent attacks like the one described above:
Pack mentality. The chances of a serious injury or death are more than twice as likely when you have the pack mentality of two or more dogs.
Breed. Some dogs are more likely than others to be aggressive or bite. Most people are familiar with the Michael Vick case, the quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons. I think we all got a real close-up and personal look at Pit Bulls through that case. The news media was constantly running pictures of these dogs that are bred to attack and you actually got to see some really, really disturbing pictures of Pit Bulls fighting each other.
Gender. Male dogs are generally likely to be more aggressive than female dogs – and male dogs that haven’t been neutered are more likely to be aggressive.
Mistreatment. If a dog has been abused, the risk of biting goes way up. Keeping a dog on a chain also increases the likelihood of that dog being aggressive.
If you’ve been injured due to a dog bite, contact an attorney whose practice focuses in this area of law to discuss your situation. Consultations are free, without obligation and are strictly confidential. To speak with an experienced attorney, please click here. We may be able to help.
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