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Orange County Dog Bite Cases


According to a recent Press Enterprise news article dated March 14, 2012, Animal Control officers seized a Pit Bull dog in Cathedral City, California and euthanized it for rabies after it attacked a 3-year-old girl and bit her on the face. There was similar dog bite news from Riverside County, California dated February 1, 2012 that a 120-pound bull Mastiff dog escaped from its yard and attacked a 6-year-old boy and his mother as they walked past the dog's home in a Moreno Valley residential neighbourhood.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 50% of dog bites are committed by Pit Bulls, German Shephard, Mastiff, Akita or Chow, Doberman Pinchers and Bulldogs. Serious victims of animal attacks often require reconstructive surgery. In the United States, more than 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year and approximately 20% of the dog bite victims are admitted to US emergency departments and approximately 25% are seen in other doctor's offices each year.

Physical injuries resulting from dog bites may include abrasions, lacerations, fractured bones, sprain, permanent scars, punctures, tissue loss and avulsion besides serious infections like rabies, cellulites etc. In the most serious attacks, victims can be killed.

Under California dog bite law, a dog that bites is the absolute responsibility of its owner. § 3342 and § 3342.5 of the California Civil Code creates strict liability by imposing a duty of care on every dog owner to prevent his or her dog from biting anyone in a pubic place or lawfully in a private place so as to prevent dogs from becoming a hazard to the community. The law entails exceptions, for example, it does not apply if the person bitten was a trespasser on the dog's owner's property.

A dog attack victim can recover compensation from a person who violated a leash law or a law prohibiting dogs from "running at large," or a person who kept a dog with the knowledge that the dog had a history of injuring people, or a person whose negligence caused the attack. Damages usually are paid by the homeowner's insurance; renter's insurance; landlord's insurance; dog owner insurance; or, insurance covering employers and breeders, if they are responsible.

Damages in a dog bite lawsuit can include costs for hospitalization, plastic surgery, medical emergency room costs, psychological & emotional trauma treatment, pain & suffering, lost wages and loss of present and future earning capacity besides other claims

Attorney Scott D. Hughes is a fierce defender for his clients. The Law Offices of Scott D. Hughes have handled several dog bite and injury cases and have a sound reputation in the legal industry with the leading insurance companies. If you are a victim of an unfortunate incident of dog attack, or your dog has attacked an innocent person, please contact the Law Offices of Scott D. Hughes for your free consultation.

Scott Hughes is a personal injury attorney in Orange County, California.

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