Whenever an individual encounters an animal, there is always the chance for unpredictable behavior and subsequent injury, even when the animal is tame and has a history of being friendly. Dogs have been a man’s best friend for years but it is important to remember that dogs are still animals and in fact, most dog bites involve an animal known to the injured party. If your child has been injured from a dog attack, make sure to speak with a Sacramento dog bite injury attorney.
Two things must be established to create a case of liability should an individual incur injury due to a dog bite:
The exception to the above rules is if the dog involved is a police animal in the line of duty. Whenever local police or other government entities are involved in personal injury cases, the complications can get tricky so speak with a Sacramento dog bite injury attorney for your case.
Children are especially at risk for being victims of a dog bite. Because of their age, they don’t understand all the risk to their behaviors and tend to engage in unfamiliar circumstances to satisfy their curiosity. Unfortunately, this curiosity can result in very serious consequences. Below are some staggering statistics on dog bites in children populations:
Young children haven’t learned to be cautious, especially if they have interacted with that particular dog or another dog in a positive way in the past. Some possible behavior or events that may trigger a dog bite include the following:
Usually when an individual files a claim against an individual for injury, the plaintiff must establish that their behavior was reasonable and responsible. In the state of California, it is not necessary to prove that a child under 5, who has been bitten by a dog, acted with due care. This is because young children are not capable of understanding when they must act with special care so as not to get hurt, as parents well know. Even if a dog has a good reputation and no previous aggressive behavior, pet owners have certain responsibilities for their pets and may be held liable should a dog bite occur, even if they took due diligence in preventing a bite. It is important to emphasize that these rules and liability laws relate specifically to dog bites. Other injuries caused by a pet such as scratches may result in cases of negligence, but separate from dog bites. Speaking with a Sacramento dog bite injury attorney is the best first course of action to take pertaining to your specific case.
In even more severe cases, such as when a dog is legally considered “vicious” or “dangerous,” criminal charges may be brought against the owner.
“Dangerous” dogs are classified by one or more of the following:
A dog is considered “vicious” if it has any of the following properties:
If an owner of a “dangerous” or “vicious” dog allows the animal to roam or in any other way fails to use reasonable care to protect others and prevent injury, this individual may be charged with a felony if the dog kills a person who has acted with all reasonable precaution. Short of death, a dog owner may still be charged with a felony or misdemeanor. As children under 5 are exempt from exhibiting reasonable care or caution, this does not need to be proved in these cases.
A dog biting a child can be a devastating thing for any parent to experience. If your child has been injured from a dog attack, speak with our Sacramento dog bite injury attorney for a free consultation.