San Bernardino Dog Bite Attorney
Dog Bite Claims
Dog bites take place every day and they can often result from negligence. Who is responsible for a dog? The owner takes on this position and it means that in addition to caring for the animal, they will also make sure that it is able to be around people or will make the necessary arrangements if it is unable to get along with others in a safe manner. This may mean keeping it inside or on a leash and away for other people when walking.
Dog bites occur about 4.7 million times each year. Many victims are left suffering the effects. They can lead to a number of personal injuries, as well as the emotional trauma of going through the attack. In these events, it is best to have the case reviewed by a San Bernardino injury lawyer to determine if there are grounds for a case.
Dog Bite Injuries
Dogs can be man's best friend, as long as they are trained, socialized and a close eye is kept on them. They do have wild tendencies by nature and some dogs can come with a more aggressive personality. While dogs can make great pets, for any number of reasons, some dogs are unable to interact with others. Other dogs may normally not have an aggressive personality but in an instant they can change. They may feel threatened and want to defend, but it is necessary to never feel to at ease with them. Out of the 4.7 million bites that take place each year, around 800,000 of them need medical attention. Damage can come from a bite, being pushed over by a dog that jumps up, scratches from their claws and more. This will often lead to lacerations, fractures, puncturing of the skin, amputation, dislocations and abrasions.
A bite can penetrate the skin deeply and may be severe enough that it requires a skin graft. Around 386 people will need to be treated in the emergency room after an attack because the damage is so severe. About 44,000 injuries occur to the place each year and this is the area that endures the highest rate of damage. On top of the outward signs and damage to the skin, the dog can be carrying and infection, such as rabies and this may be passed to the victim. This can further their illness and their need for medical treatment. Some of the damage that is faced by an attack victim can be more long term and they may need ongoing treatment. In more serious cases, a wrongful death can occur and about 16 people die from attacks each year. Emotional trauma can be faced as well and many people suffer with stress or continually repeating the events in their head.
Those at Risk
The most common age group for dog bites is amongst children. And within this, children age five to nine suffer the highest rate of bites. Instances are significantly higher amongst boys than girls and this may be because boys are more likely to be hands on. Children four and under suffer around two thirds of injuries to the head or neck area. Children do not always recognize if they are hurting a dog or making it feel threatened so it is important that an adult is with them and lets them know if they are doing something that may cause the animal to lash out. They may not pick up on the dog's aggressive stance or its growling. Children can also suffer bites when they go to pet a strangers dog that is out walking. Without knowing the owner or the dog, it is important to be on guard. Many owners say that their dogs are fine to pet when they are actually dangerous.
One of the main things that can be done to prevent against dog bites is education. The government and many organizations have taken out efforts to warn against this potential danger. Many attacks that take place could have been prevented. Prevention tactics can be taken on by dog owners and those that come into contact with the dog. Owners should research the characteristics of the types of dog that they are getting and see if it fits with their lifestyle. Some dogs have temperaments that are more suited if they are going to be around children or a lot of people. Before taking the dog home, an owner should visit with them to see how they interact. When they do take the dog home, they should be careful about how they play with the dog and avoid games that could increase its aggressive nature. It is also smart for an owner to talk with specialists about the type of dog that they are considering.
For a person that comes into contact with a dog, try to remain calm if they seem aggressive. Screaming or running from it may sometimes cause it to become more hostile. If you do not know the dog, do not go up to it or try to play with it. Do not make eye contact with them and let is sniff you before you pet it. If a dog is sleeping or is with its puppies, it is recommended that they are left alone. If knocked down by a dog, roll into a ball and stay there until it is gone or help has come. When a stray dog is wandering the area, it is best that it is reported and animal control or a local shelter comes to get it instead of doing it alone.
It really falls on the shoulders of the owners to be careful. The dog may be expressing its true nature, it may feel threatened or it may think that its puppies are in danger. The responsibility goes to the owner to take action at a young age to start implementing characteristics in the dog and downplaying its violent tendencies. On top of training, the dog should be socialized at a young age by being around other dogs, other people and children. Children should be warned to be careful with the dog, since they do not always realize they are hurting it and it could attack. When a child or a baby is with a dog, they should never be left alone.
An owner should be held liable for the damage that their dog inflicts. This may include taking care of the initial hospital bill and any other expenses that come up. A victim may also be unable to work and their lost wages should be covered. It will be necessary to establish liability in order to have the owner be put in a position of paying compensation. An Instance where an owner can be liable is if they knew the dog had aggressive tendencies. This can be for a bite, scratching or pushing over a person. They may also be liable if they were unreasonable negligent in their actions, such as letting the dog outside without a leash.