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Reducing the Chances of Being Bitten by a Dog

By Kelly Balamuth on January 14, 2013

Dog ownership is both a privilege and a responsibility. Although dogs can be loving companions for children and adults, they may become dangerous when not properly trained and supervised. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 800,000 people obtain medical care for dog bites each year in the U.S. The saddest part of this fact is that approximately half of these dog-bite victims are children. Children ages 5-9 are most at risk. Injuries are often in the neck and head region.

California Dog-Bite Statute

Under California Civil Code 3342, knowledge of the viciousness of a dog is not required for the dog’s owner to be held liable for damages suffered by anyone bitten by the dog. This applies so long as the person attacked is lawfully on the private property of the dog’s owner or in a public area. Code 3342.5 further states that dog owners, once a bite has occurred, have a duty to take the necessary steps to eliminate further danger/bites from the animal.

Before You Get a Dog

Your son or daughter is begging for a dog, and you are sure he or she is ready for the responsibility. What should you consider first?

  • Which breed is appropriate for your family? Consider space. Consider the animal’s temperament around children. A local veterinarian will have suggestions.
  • Are your children at ease around dogs or fearful of them?
  • Are there toddlers in the home?
  • Has the animal been spayed or neutered? Spayed or neutered dogs are tyipically less aggressive.
  • Do you have time to train the dog properly and teach the dog submissive behaviors?

While there are certain steps you can take to make sure you, your children and others are safe around your dog, this may not be the case when it comes to other dog owners.

If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, at Balamuth Law, we have experience with dog bite attacks in the East Bay Area and can help you take the steps necessary for the best possible recovery. Call (888) 254-1234 to schedule a free consultation.

Related Articles:

Attorney Kelly Balamuth was profiled in the
September 2013 Issue of Plaintiff Magazine.

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