Millions of dog bites take place each year in the United States. Most of these incidents happen close to home and involve family pets and other familiar dogs. Every dog has the potential to bite, and serious bites often involve large, poorly trained or uncontrolled animals. Even a single warning bite can cause a serious injury, infection, and death.
At Estey & Bomberger, LLP we recognize that dogs play an important role in the lives of their owners. Many people consider their dogs as family. While the overall likelihood of a bite is rare, each bite can profoundly impact the life of a victim. Those who suffer dog bite injuries understand the physical and emotional pain of recovery. Some will never regain a sense of security around dogs of any size.
We represent dog bite victims in cases involving negligent owners. Every pet owner bears a responsibility to train and retain control of a dog, particularly outside of the home. We handle cases involving breeds with bad reputations as well as those often considered “family-friendly.”
U.S. Dog Bite Statistics
The numbers surrounding dog bites can be misleading. We’ve compiled some numbers that provide a general picture of the impact of dog bites in the U.S.:
- The estimated number of pet dogs in the United States in 2017 is 89.7 million.
- Over 4 million dog bites happen annually in the U.S (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Around 20% of dog bites cause infections.
- Among reported bites, children represent the age demographic with the highest risk for a bite.
- Dog-caused injuries including bites led to over a third of all 2016 homeowners insurance liability claim settlements.
- The number of claims increased 18% from 2015 to 2016.
- In 2016, 31 people died from dog bites and related complications.
When we take on a dog bite case, our attorneys look at a range of factors including the owner’s background and the individual circumstances to determine negligence and maximize a request for compensation. Dog owners must follow all state and local laws when restraining and caring for their animals. Our attorneys use facts, laws, and legal precedents to secure successful outcomes for our clients.
For more information, view our article about the World’s Most Dangerous Dog Breeds.
California Dog Bite Laws
In California, the courts will hold dog owners strictly liable for any dog bite. Certain exceptions to the rule do exist. An owner will not face liability for:
- Bites that occur during an act of trespassing
- Provoked bites
- Bites that involve government trained dogs acting within its scope of work or defending itself
- Bites that occur during the course of a paid service with the animal (i.e., training)
A dog owner cannot claim ignorance about a dog’s demeanor as a defense in liability cases. Whether a dog has a history of aggression or not, all owners must use reasonable care to prevent a bite. Count on our attorneys to investigate and clarify all the facts of the case to prove liability and obtain justice for incident victims.
Pursuing an Animal Bite Claim
If you or a loved one suffered a dog bite, seek medical attention right away. Many dog bite victims try to clean and bandage wounds at home to avoid creating a medical record of the bite. However, dogs’ mouths carry nasty pathogens. You may need an antibiotic to ward of infection and prevent more serious complications.
At Estey & Bomberger, LLP, we understand dog bite claims can involve complex relationships with friends or relatives. We’re not here to drive a wedge between people but rather to ensure fair compensation for the medical bills, missed time from work, and suffering experienced by a dog bite victim. Often, we work with insurance adjustors to arrive at a fair settlement while preserving delicate relationships. Other times, we may pursue a trial to hold a particularly negligent dog owner accountable and prevent a truly dangerous dog from causing future harm. Depend on us to put your best interests first in any dog bite claim.
If you suffered a dog bite injury, contact our team at Estey & Bomberger, LLP at their San Bernardino office for a free consultation today! (909) 882-2016