If you have been attacked by a dog, please call our experienced Escondido dog bite attorneys immediately for a free consultation at (760) 741-7643.
According to a pet owners survey, there were approximately 89.7 million dogs owned in the United States in 2017 – an increase of over 20 million since the beginning of the survey period in 2000. These numbers imply that no matter where you live in the US, chances are that someone near you owns a dog. Large or small, dogs often accompany their owners to the park, on busy streets, and occasionally in stores.
When an owner fails to control his or her dog, and the dog bites you or your child, not only is it painful, but also it can lead to serious complications, fatal even.
If a dog bites you or someone that you love, contact an Escondido dog bite attorney right away to discuss your legal options.
Common Reasons Why Dogs Bite
Dogs are oftentimes referred to as man’s best friend; however, this isn’t always the case. Pet-friendly places, including coffee shops and hotels, allow owners to travel with their pets, yet by allowing this, they place pets among the general population and in unfamiliar surroundings, and this is where problems could arise. Dogs tend to bite someone when:
- They react to a stressful situation
- They feel scared, frightened, or something startles them
- They want to protect their owner
- They have an injury or are feeling ill
Countless studies suggest that dogs that are not used to social interaction, loud sounds, and crowds, find accompanying their owners in public overwhelming. Owners who have not properly trained their dogs to walk on a leash or who don’t have control over their dog in public pose a risk to those in the immediate area.
But there are certain situations when dogs may simply attack you without any obvious explanation for their behavior. A small, cute dog can bite you just as quickly as a large and more intimidating dog.
Here are some of the breeds that are most commonly associated with dog bites:
- Pit Bull
- German Shepherd
- Russell Terrier
While these breeds bite the most, their tendency to do so depends upon the environment in which they live and how their owners treat them. A chihuahua that is cared for and trained, for instance, may interact appropriately around strangers. Whereas abused and neglected animals tend to be more aggressive and will react more violently. It is important to act with caution around any dog. That means, you should never assume a cute dog wearing bows is not a threat. No one can fully predict animal behavior, which is why being aware at all times is your best defense.
Possible Complications From Dog Bites
About one in 775 people in the United States seek emergency care for dog bites each year. Of these numbers, boys between the ages of seven and nine are the most common victims. Children under the age of ten are especially vulnerable to bites in the head and neck. The reason? Their heads level near the dog’s mouth.
Of the more than 4.5 million known dog bites each year in the US, one out of every five bites becomes infected with bacteria. A dog bite can result in one of the following diseases:
- Rabies – One of the most serious diseases that an individual can sustain from a dog bite. While uncommon, you always face a risk of contracting rabies after being bitten by a dog. This virus affects the brain and can be deadly for humans.
- Pasteurella – More than half of all infected dog bites involve this type of bacteria. Pasteurella shows up as a red, painful infection at the wound site. The disease is especially dangerous for people with weakened immune systems.
- MRSA. This type of staph infection is resistant to some antibiotics and causes skin, lung, and urinary tract infections in some people. MRSA can spread to the lungs or bloodstream and can result in life-threatening infections. Dogs may carry MRSA without showing any outward symptoms.
- Tetanus. A toxin that develops from a certain type of bacteria, tetanus makes rigid paralysis and is a serious health risk for those with deep puncture wounds.
Apart from infections, dog bites can leave victims with physical and emotional scars. About 27,000 people in the US had reconstructive surgery in 2018 as a result of physical damage from a dog bite. Also, another research indicates that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is prevalent in young children who sustain dog bites. Many victims further suffer nerve damage or neurotmesis and muscle atrophy. Following an incident, they may demonstrate anxiety and fear when around dogs in the future.
A serious dog bite can land you or your loved ones in a medical facility for an indefinite amount of time. A lengthy hospital stay may result in missed time from work and adds to your overall medical expenses. No one should pay out-of-pocket due to the negligence of a dog owner. Depending upon the details of your case, you may receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The dog bites attorneys at Marino & Tye LLP can help you with that. Please call us immediately following a dog bite incident to discuss your legal options.
Relevant Statistics About Dog Bites Resulting In Death
Not everyone survives or recovers from a dog bite. Consider the following statistics:
- Between 2015 and 2018, children 10 years old and older constituted 60 percent of the victims killed by dogs in the US. That’s 6 out 10. Children nine years old and younger comprised the other 40 percent.
- Over 13 years between 2005 and 2018, pit bulls killed more than 300 Americans, the equivalent of one victim every 16 days.
- Only 21 percent of deaths that occurred between 2005 and 2017 resulted in criminal charges. Of these cases, pit bulls caused 75 percent of the deaths.
Losing a loved one to a dog bite, either from infection or the severity of the attack, is catastrophic. For the loved ones left behind, life is forever changed. But you should not have to worry about funeral costs or your financial future following such a traumatic incident. The team of legal experts at Marino & Tye LLP can help deal with your case so that you can focus on your recovery.
How To Avoid A Dog Bite
There are some safety measures that you can take to try and avoid a dog bite. By taking a proactive approach to avoiding a dangerous encounter, you will have a better chance of walking away unharmed.
Consider the following helpful tips for avoiding dog bites:
- Report strays or injured dogs to your local animal control officer; do not try to approach them
- If attempting to befriend a dog, let it become familiar with your smell before touching it. Only scratch it under its chin and not on its head.
- When cornered by an aggressive dog, avoid eye contact, and remain perfectly still. The dog may eventually lose interest in you, and when it does, you should slowly back away.
- If a dog knocks you down to the ground, lay on your side in the fetal position, and cover your face with your hands. Be still until the dog leaves or someone helps you.
- Never scream or run from a dog – these actions can just frighten and stress them, which increases your chance of receiving a bite.
- Never assume a wagging tail is an invitation to come closer. Even the best dogs can snap at any moment, for any reason.
California Law Regarding Dog Bites
The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.
“Lawfully in a private property” means when the victim is on such property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him by the laws of this state or by the laws or postal regulations of the United States; or on such property upon the invitation, express or implied, of the owner.
Recovering from a dog bite may require some or all of the following:
- Extensive physical therapy
- Reconstructive surgery
- Counseling for anxiety and PTSD
- Expensive medications
- Occupational therapy
- Health care equipment and personal care assistance
Medical expenses can only increase over time, and careful planning is essential for having quality care that covers all of your needs. A serious dog bite may forever alter your quality of life, and because of that, you should hold the party responsible for your injuries accountable. Marino & Tye LLP can provide you the best attorney that can represent your case.
When Dangerous Dogs Bite
Dogs make great companions, and it is not surprising why many owners consider their dogs as family members. As more public establishments allow pet owners to bring their dogs with them, the threat to others is increasingly apparent. Due to an animal’s unpredictability, a carefree afternoon at an outdoor cafe with a friend can quickly result in an emergency situation.
Protect your physical, financial, and emotional future by reaching out to Marino & Tye LLP as soon as possible following a dog bite incident. The statute of limitations for filing your case begins when you sustain your injury. Reviewing your case and gathering important information could take a longer time. Our legal team will waste no time in getting started on your behalf. If we cannot reach a settlement in your case, we standby prepared for a courtroom battle.
Many of us have a soft spot for animals, especially the man’s best friend. However, when a dog seriously attacks and bites you, the medical and emotional implications are very real. Negligence on behalf of the pet owner is not acceptable. Let the experienced legal team at Marino & Tye LLP represent your best interests; reach out to us today.
Marino & Tye LLP: Your Trusted Escondido Dog Bite Attorneys
California dog bite law is complex. Understanding the law as it applies to negligence and liability is a job that is best handled by the experienced legal team at Marino & Tye LLP. We take an in-depth look at the specific details surrounding the incident, and we then decide upon the best course of action given the unique circumstances of the case.
At Marino & Tye LLP, we take great pride in our commitment to customer service. We treat all of our clients with respect and strive to provide the best legal representation possible.
No matter where you live, a dog bite is a serious matter that demands justice.
Call us today at 1-760-741-7643, or contact us online, to schedule your free case evaluation.
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