There’s an old joke that “Dog Bites Man” isn’t news but that “Man Bites Dog” is. But we think that’s really getting it wrong: Dog bites have been on the rise in California for more than a decade, and that problem hasn’t gotten the news coverage it deserves. We only hear about dog bites in the most extreme cases, such as the December incident when a former police dog attacked and seriously injured two people in a town north of Los Angeles. One of the victims later died from his injuries.
Dog Bite Capital?
A report by the California Department of Public Health in 2014 found that dog bites had gone up sharply in the previous ten years, especially the most recent five years. Related follow-up data in 2015 showed that emergency room visits for dog bites had increased by more than 10 percent since 2010.
In fact, based on insurance claim data, California was the state with the highest dollar amount of claims paid out to settle dog bite injuries in 2013. Dog bites, which are usually settled against homeowner insurance policies, accounted for about one-third of all homeowner insurance payouts that year. By 2014, the average amount to settle a dog bite in California had reached more than $33,000.
Serious Injury Potential
Some people may try to shrug off bites by dogs and other animals as not very serious, and in some cases that may be true. But dog bites have the potential to cause extremely serious injury, even death. In a typical year, more than 4.5 million people are attacked and bitten by a dog; close to one in five of those bites becomes infected. Most bites don’t have fatal consequences, but these injuries can leave the victims with problems that last for years.
No Perfect Breed, No Typical Attack
While some breeds are portrayed as more dangerous than others, any dog can cause harm. Some small breeds actually bite more often, but the large breeds—because of their size and strength—cause the most serious injuries. Attacks happen in all sorts of circumstances, both on and off the dog owner’s property, with dogs that are properly restrained and with those that aren’t. Some attacks are unprovoked, some are triggered by something a person does. Victims come in all ages and genders, but small children are the most at risk.
Because of this unpredictability, dog owners should always be diligent about keeping their dogs on their property and keeping them properly restrained. Everyone should be careful around dogs, especially unfamiliar animals, and keep out of reach even of restrained dogs. When an animal is seen running loose, it should be reported to the proper authorities to reduce the chance of an incident happening.
Orange County Dog Bite Lawyer
If you’ve been bitten or otherwise injured by a dog, it’s important to get experienced help in your corner as you seek to recover damages for your injury. Those injuries and their lingering effects can be severe: a man bitten by a San Diego police dog in 2015, for example, was left with a permanent disability in one leg. It’s vital that your legal team has the ability to get your injuries properly evaluated so that your settlement adequately covers all care, rehabilitation, and other ongoing expenses.
Dickson Kohan & Bablove, LLP has handled this type of case before and is ready to put our dog bite injury experience to work for you. Give us a call at 1-844-404-2400 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation. The LiveChat feature on our website is also available to quickly answer many of your questions.