Dog Bite Injuries
California had the dubious distinction in 2012 of being tied with North Carolina as the state with the most deaths from dog attacks. Fortunately, death by dog bite is a rare occurrence, but injury is not.
Dog Bite Statistics
These are some statistics on dog bite injuries in the United States:
- Dogs bite approximately 5 million people every year in the United States.
- 800,000 people are injured badly enough to need medical treatment.
- Between 15 and 20 people die from dog bites annually.
- Half of those bitten by dogs are children.
- Nearly 6,000 dog bite victims are mail carriers.
While the vast majority of the nation’s 65 million dogs are loving, gentle, well-behaved pets, the number of injuries overall is high. The Insurance Information Institute (III) tells us that more than a third of all liability claims filed against homeowners’ insurance policies are for dog bites. One homeowner’s insurance carrier claims to have paid out more than $136 million dollars for almost 4,500 dog bite claims in a single year.
Strict Liability for California Dog Bites
Unlike in many other states, California is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites. This means that if a dog bites you, the owner of the dog or the owner of the property is automatically liable for your damages if you were lawfully on the property, even if the dog has never bitten anyone or shown signs of viciousness.
Steps to Take if a Dog Bites You
If you are bitten by a dog, these are the steps you should take:
- Report the bite to animal services. They will send an animal control officer to determine if the dog has been vaccinated for rabies, notify the animal’s owner of the bite, and file a dog bite report. If the dog has not had a rabies shot, it will be quarantined to determine that it is free of the disease.
- Get immediate medical treatment.
- Contact a San Diego dog bite attorney to find out if you have a valid case against the owner of the dog or the property where you were bitten.
San Diego Area Dog Bite Attorneys
A dog bite can be extremely traumatic and can cause long-term psychological disturbance in addition to the physical injury. If you or a member of your family has been bitten by a dog, the dog bite injury lawyers at the Singleton Law Firm may be able to help. We have many years of experience handling dog bite and other bodily injury claims. We provide a free case review and will let you know what options you may have for recovering damages after your injury. Call us today to learn more.