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California Dog Bite Injuries on the Rise

In the United States, dogs are certainly man’s best friend. Americans own nearly 90 million dogs as pets, according to a 2017-2018 survey by the American Pet Products Association.

While most dogs are lovable members of the family, aggressive dogs and irresponsible owners can result in serious injuries. In fact, an estimated 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year. The rate of injury is highest for children, particularly those 5 to 9 years old. In 2016, 41 people died due to dog attacks.

According to a recent study, dog bite claims are on the rise. The Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) and State Farm analyzed homeowner’s insurance data and found that the number of dog bite claims nationwide increased to 18,123 in 2016 compared to 15,352 in 2015, which represented an 18 percent increase.

Equally concerning, California again led the country in dog bite claims. In 2016, there were 1,934 dog bite claims in California, an increase from 1,684 in 2015. California also had the highest average cost for claims at $76 million.

Liability for Dog Bite Injuries

California is a “strict liability” state when it comes to dog-bite injuries, which means that victims do not have to show that the dog owner was negligent. Under state law, dog owners are liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by their 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.

As San Diego injury lawyers, we have seen how devastating dog-bite injuries can be, particularly for small children. Dog attacks can cause severe injury, including punctures, lacerations, contusions, fractures, infections, disfigurement and amputations. Serious bites often require reconstructive surgery and may even leave permanent scarring.

When someone else’s negligence injures your child, you are entitled to pursue compensation on the child’s behalf, including expenses related to medical treatment, personal care, rehabilitation, and other services your child may need in the future.

If your child or someone you love has suffered serious injury in a California dog attack, don’t hesitate to contact a San Diego injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation.