If you are bitten by an animal (which is most likely to be a dog), the animal’s owner could be held liable. In California, this is true even if the dog’s owner doesn’t know the dog is violent and the dog has never bitten anyone. In some other states, dog owners are allowed “one free bite” because if their dog has never bitten anyone, they can’t be responsible for knowing it’s likely to harm someone. That is not the law here, however, and if you have been bitten you should call an Oakland attorney as soon as possible.
If a dog or other pet bites someone, other parties besides the owner can also be held legally responsible. Another party who is in control of a dog (such as a dog walker or dog trainer) could be held liable if the dog bites someone. Property owners can also be responsible for animal attacks that occur on the property, depending on the circumstances involved.
Unfortunately, dog bites are common – it’s been estimated that almost five million dog bites occur in the U.S. each year, and about 800,000 of those require medical treatment. Children are particularly vulnerable to dog bites – half of all dog bites involve children under the age of 12, and 82 percent of dog bites treated in the emergency room involved children under the age of 15.
If your children are ever going to be around dogs, there are some steps you can take to keep your children safe. First, teach your children about how to act around dogs, when to leave them alone, and how to meet a dog. You should also carefully supervise your children around dogs. About 88 percent of fatal dog attacks among two year olds occurred when the child was unsupervised.
In addition to keeping your children safe around dogs, you also want to keep your dog from biting others. In order to prevent your dog from becoming a biter, you should spay or neuter your dog. Your dog should be trained and supervised, and restrained when outside your home, but not on a chain. Chained dogs can become aggressive and are almost three times as likely to bite as unchained dogs.
If you are injured by a dog bite or attack or another type of animal bite, you should seek medical treatment immediately. Animal bites pose a high risk for infection, and should be treated as quickly as possible. After seeking medical attention, you should report the dog bite attack to the authorities, giving them as much information as possible about what happened. You may also wish to take pictures of your injuries, the scene where the attack occurred, and anything else that could be relevant to your case.
If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog or another pet or wild animal in the Oakland – San Francisco Bay area, including Hayward, Fremont, Fairfield, Tracy, Concord, or San Jose, call Micha Star Liberty, animal bite attorney, at 415-896-1000 or 510-645-1000. She will work hard on your claim to obtain you the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Call as soon as possible.