According to the Center for Decease Control (“CDC”) more than 4.7 million dog bites happen every year in the United Stated. While most of them do not require medical attention, however roughly 800,000 will seek medical treatment. About 400,000 of those who will seek medical attention are children.
While we do not regularly hear about dog bites. However, the ones that we do hear about are extreme, often horrific and involve children. The problem with young children is that have not learned to be weary of dogs because they do not know about their ability to attack, bite and even kill. Children do not understand the concept boundaries and do not pick up body language. To kids, dog is another toy they can squeeze, jump on and hub.
It is hard to get into the mind of an animal and put a finger on what exactly made the animal attack. But we have to remember that though they are domesticated the dog are animals. Often a child will grab and pull the dog’s fur, ear or tail causing the dog to bite. You must understand that dog cannot speak and biting is their way of letting you know – I don’t like it.
However, some attacks are unprovoked. Dogs attack children for the same reason they chase cats and squires. Children like to run causing the dog’s predatory instinct to take over the begin to chase and bite. Children are also small and an easy target. Children between ages 5 to 9 years old are most likely be bitten by a dog requiring medical treatment.
Next, the California Civil Code section 3342 is known as the California’s Dog Bite Statute. It is states in pertinent part that:
“(a) 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.”
However, just because the states that the owner of the dog is responsible for the injures his/her dog causes it does not mean that that owner will automatically pay you. Most of us don’t have thousands of dollars lying around just in case we cause someone to be injured. Similarly, dog owner’s do not put money into their savings bank account to pay people they might injure.
Even suing and obtaining a judgement again the dog owner might not put money in your pocket. Judgements for negligence may take years to collect or at worse be discharged in bankruptcy court if the dog owner files for bankruptcy.
So, to recover against a dog owner he or she must have insurance to cover the dog. Best available insurance is a home owner’s policy or renter’s insurance policy.
A Fairfield dog bite attorney can help you determine avenues which are best for you to recover payments for your medical bills resulting from a dog bite, possible corrective plastic surgery (if needed) and for pain and suffering. An attorney may hire a private investigator to go and speak with the home owner. Attorneys also have resources to determine if the dog owner is a home owner and whether the dog owner has insurance to cover the incident. Attorney will work with animal control to get the best result possible for you and your family.