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Dog Bites

California’s “Strict Liability” Dog Bite Rule

By San Diego Injury Lawyer on December 6, 2012 - Comments off

SD Dog Attack LiabilityCalifornia is one of several U.S. states that has “strict liability” for dog bites. This rule can have a significant effect on how you and your skilled San Diego County dog bite injury attorney decide to approach your case after a dog bite occurs.
In “strict liability” dog bite states like California, an owner may be held liable for a dog bite even if the dog has never bitten before or the owner had no reason to believe the dog would act aggressively toward others.

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Posted in: Dog Bites


California Dog Bite Injuries: Know the Facts

By San Diego Injury Lawyer on August 28, 2012 - Comments off

SD Dog Attack InjuryDog bite injuries can cause serious physical harm and an overwhelming amount of pain and fear, especially for young children who may come away with a long-term fear of dogs or other animals. Understanding the statistics surrounding dog bite injuries is the first step in protecting yourself and those you love from harm.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 800,000 people in the U.S. need medical treatment for a dog bite each year. Just under half, or about 386,000, need emergency room or hospital treatment for their injuries.

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Posted in: Dog Bites


Infant Killed after Dog Attack in Lemon Grove

By San Diego Injury Lawyer on June 18, 2012 - Comments off

An eight-month-old boy died after being attacked by at least one pit bull in Lemon Grove around 5 p.m. on June 14. According to 10 News, the incident happened in the boy’s crib at the family’s home on 3000 block of West Street near North Avenue, where their three male pit bulls also resided.
Animal Control removed all three canines, ages three to five years old, from the scene. Police are still unsure about how many dogs attacked the boy and why. However, a neighbor mentioned that two of the pit bulls had killed two cats in the neighborhood. A thorough examination will determine whether the dogs are aggressive and if they will be euthanized.
It is devastating that the mother lost her only son to a tragedy that could and should have been prevented. Dog attacks on small children are especially vicious because children are helpless and unable to defend themselves.
According to statistics, there were 31 fatal dog attacks in the year 2011. Over the past year, several other pit bull attacks have been reported in the San Diego area, including the death of an elderly Paradise Hills woman.
Under California law, a dog owner can be held liable for personal injuries caused by his or her pet. California’s Civil Code Section 3342 states: “The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the 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.”
If you or a loved one has been injured in a dog attack because of a careless owner, it would be in your best interest to contact an experienced San Diego dog attack attorney, who will hold the negligent dog owner liable. For a free assessment of your case, call our San Diego personal injury office toll-free at (888) 233-5020.

Posted in: Dog Bites


Protect Yourself and Your Family from San Diego Dog Bite Injuries

By San Diego Injury Lawyer on April 9, 2012 - Comments off

San Diego Dog Attack PreventionMost people associate “dog bite injuries” with strange dogs or with dog breeds raised to guard buildings and people, such as Rottweilers or pit bulls. However, any dog may bite any human being, and even the bite of a small dog can cause serious injuries.
Help protect yourself and your family from dog bites by following these tips for socializing with dogs.

  • When meeting a strange dog, stand still and allow the dog to see and sniff you before attempting to touch or pet it. If the dog growls or backs away, do not try to follow or touch it. Always ask a dog’s owner, if possible, before offering your hand to a dog to sniff or trying to pet it.
  • If you are approached by a strange dog, do not run away. Stand still and avoid making direct eye contact with the dog, as the dog may interpret this as aggression. If you are knocked to the ground, curl up in a ball and protect your face, head, and neck as much as possible.
  • Before adopting a dog, talk to a veterinarian or licensed breeder about which breeds would be best for your family. Spend time with the new dog before bringing it into your home. If any member of the family is afraid of dogs, do not adopt one; wait until the family member has learned more about dogs and is no longer afraid of them.

Dog bites can cause serious fear, pain and suffering, and serious injuries. If you or someone you love has been bitten by a dog, please don’t hesitate to call an experienced San Diego dog bite injury attorney at the Jurewitz Law Group. We will help you understand your legal rights and protect your family’s needs. Call us today at (888) 233-5020 for a free and confidential consultation by phone.

Posted in: Dog Bites


Protecting Yourself from Dog Attacks in San Diego

By San Diego Injury Lawyer on January 18, 2012 - Comments off

While dogs provide wonderful companionship to families and individuals everyday around the world, man’s best friend can also pose a danger of bites that can leave long-lasting harm to a victim. Although these attacks are often sudden and unexpected, steps can be taken to protect yourself and your loved ones from a dog bite incident in San Diego, so follow these tips.
Preventing a Dog Bite
In order to prevent an attack when encountering a dog, follow these steps:

  • Do not interact with an unknown dog, and only interact with an animal when its owner gives permission.
  • Do not interact with canines that are eating, drinking, restrained, sleeping, resting, injured, very old, or with their puppies. They will naturally be more defensive and more likely to attack.
  • If in danger of an attack, prevent interaction with the animal and remain calm. Do not run away, as this will cause the dog to chase and attack you. Instead, stand still at a 90 degree angle to the dog, avoid eye contact, and slowly back away after it loses interest.

During a Dog Attack
If you are attacked by a dog, it is important to follow these tips in order to minimize injury and the duration of the attack:

  • Give the animal any loose items you have, such as jackets and bags, to distract them and keep them from biting you.
  • Put anything you can between you and the dog (tables, chairs, etc.) to stop it from getting close and biting.
  • Loudly and authoritatively yell commands such as “No” and “Stop,” which the dog may be trained to obey.
  • If you are knocked down, curl up on the ground with your legs tucked underneath you, head facing the ground, and hands behind your head and neck. This will minimize the damage that a dog can do while attacking.

While many dog attacks can be prevented every year, there are still many others that are unavoidable. When such attacks are the result of another’s negligence or reckless behavior, injured victims can seek compensation from the responsible party. If you or a loved one has been injured in such an incident, the San Diego dog bite injury attorneys at the Jurewitz Law Group can apply their years of experience to helping you find compensation for your injuries. For more information on how we can aid you in your case, call (888) 233-5020.

Posted in: Dog Bites


Newhall Toddler Seriously Injured In Dog Attack

By San Diego Injury Lawyer on June 17, 2010 - Comments off

A 5 year-old toddler, Jose Sadino, was seriously injured in a dog attack at a Newhall apartment complex on June 11, 2010. According to the news stories, a vicious pit bull jumped out of a window and started attacking Jose who was playing with other children outside the apartment complex. Sadino’s mother, along with a few neighbors, intervened and made the dog go away. Los Angeles Sheriff’s officers took the pit bull into custody to determine if it had a prior bite history and whether the owner will face any criminal charges.
Jose Sadino sustained serious injuries, but thankfully none of them are expected to be life threatening. The owner of the pit bull may be held liable for the injuries caused and may have to compensate for the expenses involved. Clearly, the owner should have made sure that the pit bull was securely tied and that it was restrained. Dog owners have an absolute duty to make sure that their animals do not injure or kill others. Further, in a civil justice context, dog owners can be held strictly liable for any damage or injury caused by their dog.
We sympathize with Jose Sadino’s family and wish him a complete recovery soon. We hope that his wounds heal and that his scars, if any, can be treated and minimized. Jose Sadino’s parents can seek compensation for their medical expenses and suffering from the pet owner if this accident occurred due to his/her negligence. People who are injured in a dog attack need to know that they have certain legal rights that could help them come out of the accident, financially.

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Orange County Girl Injured In Vicious Dog Bite Incident

By San Diego Injury Lawyer on May 25, 2010 - Comments off

A dog bite attack in Lake Forest on May 19, 2010, left a six-year old girl seriously injured. The dog, which was described as a pit bull mix or a boxer, attacked the girl when she was playing in the driveway of her home. According to police, the dog pushed the child to ground and began biting her fiercely.
The mother of the girl was coming out of her house with her infant child and her 14-year old son at the time of the attack. Despite her efforts and the help of a neighbor, the dog would not let go until her older brother jumped on the dog and punched it until it let go. The mother took all her children inside only to emerge with a handgun and began chasing the attacking animal. She chased the dog and shot it while it was on the porch. The dog survived the gunshot, but thegirl sustained serious personal injuries including several bites on her leg, body, and face. The Police are currently looking for the dog owner to investigate why the dog was acting violently and why he was off leash and unsupervised at the time of the accident.
We hope that the young girl comes out of the shock and pain that this vicious attack and is not left with severe physical and emotional scars. Dog bite attacks can be extremely traumatic to anyone—people are hardwired to generally like dogs and it is scary when they turn and injure a person. However, as traumatic as it is for an adult, it is infinitely more traumatic for a child. Dog owners need to know that under California’s Dog Bite Statute, they are strictly liable for any damage or injuries that their dog causes to another person provided that the injury victim is lawfully on the property at the time of the attack.

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Pit Bulls Maul Baby, San Diego Mother Prosecuted for Neglect

By San Diego Injury Lawyer on April 26, 2010 - Comments off

Carrie McKinney, a 22-year old San Diego mother lost custody of her 7-month old baby boy and possibly will face criminal charges for neglect. Carrie left her baby boy strapped in a carrier on the floor at her friend’s place in Riverside County with two dogs. The dogs, a 5-year old pit bull and an 8-month old pit bull mix both females, bit the boy in the groin area and ripped apart the baby’s testicles. The baby has been admitted at Loma Linda University Medical Center for medical and surgical care and is with Child Protective Services. The owner of the pit bulls has agreed to euthanize the dogs.
Our office wishes the baby a quick recovery and a healthy life ahead. It is never advisable to leave babies unattended and the risk increases dramatically when there are dogs, especially dangerous dogs like pit bulls, or other animals around. Parents must be very careful when leaving their babies unattended, which can lead to serious and fatal injuries to their loved ones.

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Escondido Dog Bite Attack Leaves Man Seriously Injured

By San Diego Injury Lawyer on February 22, 2010 - Comments off

A 56-year old man was badly bitten in a San Diego County dog bite attack on February 16, 2010, by a pair of aggressive dogs, one of which has a history of biting. This dog bite accident took place in a West Escondido gated community.
The victim, Tom Atkinson, said he was finishing a jog on Rock View Glen in the Emerald Heights development when he noticed two loose pit-bull mix dogs growling at a neighbor and his leashed dog. He joined the neighbor and fought off the dogs. However, as Atkinson continued up the street, the dogs turned around and charged. He was bitten several times by the pair of animals, leaving him with one bad bite to the forearm that required stitches to close the wound and another deep bite to the thigh.
One of the dogs was impounded by a San Diego County Animal Control Officer but was later released to the owner, who promised to keep it on a 10-day quarantine. The other dog also was allowed to stay with the owner but was not quarantined. There may be an administrative hearing to determine whether the dogs are potentially dangerous under the law.
Our office wishes for a speedy recovery for Tom Atkinson. We are indeed glad more serious harm was not done! Some of you may know from prior posts that I am not a fan of breed specific dog laws, particularly those that target Rottweilers or Pit Bulls. While these breeds are most commonly involved in dog bite attacks, it is my own belief that these attacks are the fault of poor owners who are attracted to owning these breeds due to their menacing appearance and strong physiques. Certainly if you own either of these breeds, you must be a strong and dominant owner—more so than if you own another, less physically imposing breed. Dogs are pack animals and will submit to a pack leader that it respects. Respect, for dogs, comes from an owner who has strong mental discipline and will discipline their pet when it gets out of line.
In this case, how could the owners of these dogs allow them to run free in this neighborhood? This is particularly true of the owner of the dog with the prior bite history. This is completely inexcusable. It is bad enough that Mr. Atkinson was attacked and severely wounded. However, what would have happened—as we normally see in these cases—if these dogs would have attacked a child? Typically, the result is massive traumatic injury and perhaps even death for the child who cannot defend itself against such strong animals. Dog owners must always be responsible, but even more so when they own potentially lethal breeds.
Ross Jurewitz is a San Diego personal injury lawyer and the managing attorney of the Jurewitz Law Group, a California law firm dedicated to representing people seriously injured and the families of people killed by the negligence of others. If you or someone you love has suffered a dog bite or dog attack in San Diego County, please contact our office and order a copy of The Ten Biggest Mistakes That Can Destroy Your California Accident Case. It is free to all California residents and is full of helpful information to assist you and your family with your injury claim.


Dangerous Pit Bull Dog on the Loose in University City Neighborhood of San Diego

By San Diego Injury Lawyer on April 6, 2009 - Comments off

Last Friday evening San Diego police warned University City residents of a dangerous pit bull on the loose. The pit bull attacked another dog at the University Gardens neighborhood park on Governor Dr. at around 5:30 p.m. You can read more about this dangerous dog in this story.
A San Diego police officer that responded to the dog attack was also attacked by the pit bull. The San Diego officer shot the pit bull, but it then fled into the canyon nearby. A San Diego police helicopter helped officers search for the pit bull and warned University City residents of the dangerous dog on the loose. San Diego police did not find the dog that evening and Animal Control continued the search on Saturday.

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