According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs every year. Almost 20 percent of those who are bitten require medical treatment. Children are especially at risk the rate of injuries related to dog bites is highest for children between the ages of 5 and 9, and children are more likely to need medical attention for dog bites than adults.
However, steps can be taken to prevent dog bites. There are many steps responsible pet owners should take to prevent injuries to family members and others, such as carefully choosing the dog, spaying or neutering the dog, keeping the dog secured on their property, properly training and socializing their dog, and seeking the advice of a veterinarian if a dog develops aggressive tendencies.
Unfortunately, many dog owners fail to take steps to prevent their dogs from biting. Owners of all dogs, regardless of breed, can and should be held responsible when dog bites occur. In California, an owner of a dog is held strictly liable for the damages suffered by a person bitten by the dog, whether it occurs on public or private property, including the owners property if the person bitten was lawfully on the property. It is not necessary to prove that the dog owner was aware of the dogs viciousness or that the dog had ever bitten before. Typically, homeowners insurance or renters insurance will pay for claims resulting from a dog bite. Liability of a landlord will depend on the landlords knowledge of the dog and its dangerous propensities.
If you have been bitten or attacked by a dog, you need to protect your rights right away. First, seek medical attention and follow through on all later medical treatments. Get the name and address of the dogs owner, as well as information about the dog. Write down the names of witnesses and if possible, take a statement from them as soon as possible after the bite. Take pictures of the injuries.
Its important to contact an attorney who is experienced at handling dog bite claims if you are ever bitten. Insurance companies spend millions on dog bite injuries per year and are very experienced at convincing dog bite victims to accept settlements that are not adequate. If you have been bitten by a dog in southern California, call Donald Sjaarda, Orange County dog bite attorney today at 714-963-8216.
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Don Sjaarda, Personal Injury Attorney, is proud to serve the Orange County communities of Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Irvine, Costa Mesa, Orange, Tustin, Garden Grove, Westminster, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, Los Angeles, San Clemente, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, Lake Forest, Brea, Cypress, Los Alamitos, Yorba Linda, Placentia, Fullerton, Anaheim, Buena Park, Stanton, Midway City as well as Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.