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Dog Bite Attack | Northern California Personal Injury Blog

When Man’s Best Friend Is Not So Friendly

By Kelly Balamuth on August 14, 2017

People love dogs. And why shouldn’t they? Dogs are known for their loyalty and protection, and are also furry and adorable. Unfortunately though, dogs can harm people, sometimes maliciously, sometimes unintentionally. Read the rest »

Posted in: Dog Bite Attack

What to Do After an Oakland Dog Attack

By Kelly Balamuth on September 26, 2015

Dog attacks are not only physically painful, but also emotionally traumatizing and financially draining. Regardless of the victim’s age, a dog attack can result in major injuries and permanent disfigurement and scarring. If you have been injured in a dog attack in Oakland, it’s important that you have a thorough understanding of your legal rights and options. Read the rest »

Posted in: Dog Bite Attack

Modesto Man Mauled by Pack of Pit Bulls Dies

By Kelly Balamuth on December 4, 2014

In California, a dog owner is liable if the animal bites a person.  This is true regardless of whether the dog has a history of biting.

On October 14, 2014, a man and woman were attacked by four pit bulls in the backyard of a Modesto home, according to CBS Local news.  The man was visiting his mother at her home when the dogs attacked.  He later died of his injuries.  The woman was hospitalized and in a critical condition, with bites on her arms, shoulder, head, and a broken leg. Read the rest »

Posted in: Dog Bite Attack

Breeds Most Often Implicated in Dog Bite Injuries

By Kelly Balamuth on February 11, 2013

Northern California Dog Bite StatsChoosing a dog for your family is not a decision to be made in haste. Your local veterinarian will ask the appropriate questions regarding your unique family situation and, based upon your responses, will be able to recommend an appropriate breed of dog for your situation. Whether or not there are children in the home will be a primary factor in choosing an appropriate breed of dog. The Bay Area dog bite attorneys at Balamuth Law want you to be informed as you make your selection. Your concern and ours is the safety of your children around your pet.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), certain breeds of dogs were involved in more dog-bite attacks than others. This information should be taken into serious consideration before acquiring a dog. Dog bite cases resulting in deaths or in extremely serious injuries most often involve pit bull type dogs. Overall, breeds most often represented in biting attacks include the following:

  • Pit Bull
  • German Shepherd
  • Mixed breed
  • Rottweiler
  • Chow Chow
  • Jack Russell Terrier
  • Others (Springer Spaniel, Collie, Saint Bernard, Lab)

Dog attacks in certain parts of Canada mainly involved sled dogs and Siberian Huskies due to the dominance of these breeds in those areas. Researchers found in areas like Denver, Colorado, where pit bull type dogs are prohibited, serious bites occurred most often by German Shepherds and Chow Chows.

Based upon owner surveys the AVMA has found small to medium-size breeds to be more aggressive towards people. Small dogs may be more aggressive, but due to their size they are not as likely to cause serious injury or death.

The Northern California lawyers at Balamuth Law know that victims of dog attacks can suffer serious, sometimes life-threatening injuries. If you have been the victim of a dog bite caused by the negligence of an irresponsible dog owner, call (888) 254-1234 or fill out our online contact form to discover your legal options/rights.

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.

Dog Bite Liability: What are the California Laws Regarding Dog Bites?

By Kelly Balamuth on December 10, 2012

Bay Area Dog Bite CompensationA dog bite, or dog attack, can unfortunately leave a person with severe injuries, including permanent scarring, loss of extremities, or catastrophic injuries, such as nerve damage. As such, the dog bite attorneys in Solano County of Balamuth Law know that as a victim you may be wondering what your rights are and what laws may apply to your case. In the state of California, dog bite laws are defined under Civil Code Section 3342, which is a law that helps legally protect the public in the event a person is the victim of a dog bite or attack.

The law states that if a dog attacks another person, it is the responsibility of the dog owner. Essentially, this means if an accident does occur, the canine owner will generally be held responsible as it is up to the owner to take full responsibility for his or her pet and prevent the dog from biting anyone. The law indicates that the owner is liable “regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.”

As the California dog bite statute explicitly places the burden of dog bite upon those who choose to own pups, the liability is automatic, which can also benefit the public by reducing the conflict that may follow a dog attack. This is beneficial because in a majority of dog bite cases, the victim is a neighbor, family member, or friend of the dog owner and this “automatic” liability can allow both parties to maintain their personal relationship.

Being involved in a dog attack is likely the last thing a person expects, but if it does happen to you it is very important to understand your legal rights in the situation, which include obtaining compensation from the liable party. As a dog bite injury can leave you with costly medical bills as well as other expenses, please contact a member of the Balamuth Law legal team for help receiving the money you need to heal and pay for your accident-related losses.

Call (888) 254-1234 to schedule a complimentary consultation regarding your case.

Tragic Dog Attack in San Diego County Leaves Infant Dead

By Kelly Balamuth on July 3, 2012

An eight-month-old infant recently lost his life after being attacked by a pit bull, according to a UTSanDiego.com news report. The 27-year-old mother of the infant moved into the West Street apartment in Lemon Grove with a friend who had three male pit bulls, and she states she had no qualms about letting the dogs interact with her son as they “loved him from the beginning.” The infant was playing in the living room one evening and then proceeded to crawl into the bedroom where his mother and roommate were, when one of the pit bulls bit the child on the head and then quickly let go.

Authorities who responded to the 9-1-1 call arrived at the apartment and found the injured infant cradled in his mother’s arms. Tragically, the young boy died later at the hospital as a result of the injuries. Detectives with the sheriff’s department are investigating the incident, and no arrests have been made in the case. The investigation will eventually be turned over to the District Attorney’s Office, which will review the case and determine whether or not any charges should be filed.

The grieving mother of the infant expressed disbelief that the dog, who watched over the infant like a “protective parent,” ultimately ended the child’s life. The pit bulls were impounded at the Chula Vista Animal Care Facility, and the dog that attacked the infant was euthanized shortly after the incident.

The Northern California dog bite attorneys of Balamuth Law understand how dangerous a dog attack can be and the serious, life-threatening injuries a victim may suffer as a result. Dog owners have the responsibility to properly train and socialize their pet, and also to ensure the canine cannot harm others; if they do not, an innocent individual may pay the price.

If you have been the victim of a dog attack caused by the negligence of another party, please contact our experienced legal team to see how we can help you obtain compensation for your injuries. Schedule a free consultation by calling (888) 254-1234.

Understanding Rabies Risk from California Dog Bites

By Kelly Balamuth on December 29, 2011

When a dog bites you or someone you love, it’s a frightening experience. Over 1.4 million people are bitten by dogs in the U.S. each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While dog bites rarely kill people, most people who are bitten do need medical attention. When a person is bitten, that person, his or her family, and medical staff all have one question on their minds: “Is it rabies?”

Oakland Dog Bite InjuryRabies cases from pet bites are rare, according to the California Department of Public Health, but they’re not unheard of. California law requires pet dogs to be vaccinated for rabies beginning at the age of four months, and a rabies vaccine is part of regular health care regimens for cats as well. Rabies is most likely to be transmitted by bats and skunks.

If you or someone you care for is bitten by a dog, cat, or wild animal, seek medical attention immediately. If possible without suffering further injuries, catch the animal that bit you and keep it safely in a cage so that it can be tested for rabies. Do not put yourself or another person in danger to catch the animal, however.

Even when rabies isn’t a concern, dog bites can cause serious injuries. Often, multiple treatments are required, and permanent scarring can result. If you or someone you love is injured by a dog or other pet, the experienced Northern California dog bite attorneys at Balamuth Harrington can help. To learn more about your legal rights and options after a bite, call us today at (888) 254-1234.

Postal Service Reports Over 5,000 Workers Attacked by Dogs in 2010

By Kelly Balamuth on September 23, 2011

Dogs and postal workers have a well-documented relationship. Dog bites are serious dangers for postal workers. Every pet owner has a responsibility to keep pets safely contained during any situation which injury may occur.

In 2010, according to The U.S. Postal Service, 5,669 postal workers were assaulted by dogs in more than 1,400 metropolitan regions across the country. State Farm Insurance claims it received over $90 million in 3500 dog bite claims last year. Several California cities appear on the list of top ten cities for incidents with a reported 369 attacks and more than $11 million paid in settlements. Medical bills due to dog bites allegedly cost The Postal Service almost $1.2 million in 2010, according to related statistics.

To raise awareness and lower the instances of violent interactions between dogs and postal workers, as well as other service professionals and pedestrians, here are some tips from the American Veterinary Medical Association.

  • Never approach a strange dog, especially one that’s tied up or restricted.
  • Always ask the owner’s permission before attempting to pet a dog, and then let the animal smell you at its leisure before proceeding.
  • Never run by a dog. The animal’s instinct is to chase.
  • If you find yourself in an intimidating situation with a dog, avoid eye contact and do not scream or make a commotion. Remain as still as possible until the dog turns away, then retreat slowly and quietly until the canine is out of vision.
  • In the event of a dog attack, put something between yourself and the dog. Anything you have on your person may help, such as a bag or bicycle.

If you’ve suffered an injury from a dog attack in Northern California, contact the Alameda County dog bite lawyers with Balamuth Harrington at 1-888-254-1234 for a complimentary consultation.

Dog Bite Prevention Tips from the CDC

By Kelly Balamuth on May 9, 2011

Almost 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). About twenty percent of these people, or 885,000, require medical attention after a dog bite, and over 30,000 people need reconstructive surgery to repair the effects of a bite. In response to the high number of dog bites each year, the CDC offers the following tips on protecting yourself and your family members from dog bite injuries.

First, if you are planning to add a dog to your family, talk to a veterinarian or other professional to learn which breeds are best for your household. Some dogs are more aggressive than others or do not do well with children. Get the history of a particular dog before you adopt it. A dog that is known to be aggressive should not be brought into a home with children, and a dog that is known to bite people is more likely to bite again.

Next, teach children techniques for dealing with strange dogs, especially if they show signs of aggression. Teach kids never to approach or pet another person’s dog before asking the owner’s permission. If an unfamiliar dog approaches the child, he or she should hold still instead of running away or screaming and avoid making eye contact with the dog. Finally, teach children to tell an adult immediately if they are bitten by a dog.

Many dog owners take care to train their dogs to reduce the dog’s chances of biting. However, if you or a loved one suffers a dog bite injury from an attack, the dog’s owner may be liable. To learn more about your legal rights and options after a dog bite, call the experienced Northern California dog bite attorneys at Balamuth Harrington at 888-254-1234 for a free consultation.

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

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