Dog bites pose a danger to children and others- Rancho Cucamonga attorney David H. Ricks outlines how to protect yourself.

What causes 4.7 million injuries a year In the United States? Man’s best friend. Our dogs, cause injuries to individual’s an average of 4.7 million times a year.  Of those bites injuries, about 800,000 require medical care, while 386,000 of those injuries resulted in emergency medical care and 16 deaths occur annually.  The rate of dog bite-related injuries is highest for children ages 5 to 9 years, and the rate decreases as children grow older. Almost two thirds of injuries among children ages four years and younger are to the head or neck region. Injury rates in children are significantly higher for boys than for girls.  

These statistics are scary.  Some of these injuries result from a family’s own dog, while other injuries result from dogs of others or stray dogs.  If an injury occurs as a result of another person’s dog, the injured person may have the right to seek monetary recovery against the dog owner.  The rights or obligations associated with a dog bite are governed by Civil Code sec. 3342 which states in part:  “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.”  In other words, if a dog causes injury, the owner is liable, except for limited circumstances.

If you have a dog, make sure your insurance will cover injuries caused by your dog.  If you are injured by someone’s dog, seek medical care and then seek legal advice from a good injury attorney like at the Inland Empire Law Group.

    There are ways to reduce dog bites and injuries to children from dog bites.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends:   

1)  Teach and review children basic safety around dogs. 
2) Do not approach an unfamiliar dog. 
3) Do not run from a dog and scream.
4) Don’t move when approached by an unfamiliar dog.
5) If knocked over by a dog, roll into a ball and lie still.
6) Do not play with a dog unless supervised by an adult.
7)  Immediately report a stray dogs to an adult. 
8) Avoid direct eye contact with a dog.
9) Do not disturb a dog who is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies.
10) Do not pet a dog without allowing it to see and sniff you first.
11) If bitten, immediately report the bite to an adult.

Dogs bring great joy and are wonderful, but they need to be respected at all times.

If you or a loved one has suffered from a dog bite or dog attack and the dog was owned or cared for by another individual, you may have a claim for compensation.  Many people do not want to make such a claim because the dog was owned by a friend or neighbor, or because they are embarrassed that they allowed the dog bit or attack to happen in the first place.  You owe it to yourself to seek legal counsel for a dog bite injury because most claims are actually handled through a homeowner's insurance company and not from the individual friend or neighbor themselves.  To understand your legal rights and how a dog bite claim can be effectively, yet compassionately handled, you need to contact the Inland Empire Law Group.  Our attorneys understand dog bite cases and the dynamics of personal relationships.  Call us at 1-888-MY-IE-LAW or 909-481-0100 to set up an appointment or merely discuss your rights.  The visit is free and there is never any pressure.  Or, if you would like, submit your case information in the form from this website.  We will respond promptly.