Lupe Rodriguez, 36, and her 7-year-old son, Robert, were injured in a dog attack in Victorville on November 13, 2013. According to a news report in the Victorville Daily Press, the dog bite incident occurred when Rodriguez and her three sons were heading back home after a trip to McDonald's. Robert was walking with his Happy Meal in hand when a loose pit bull that was roaming the neighborhood bit his leg. When Rodriguez ran over to help her son, the dog turned on her and bit her left arm. Her two other sons and neighbors came to her rescue.
But no amount of pulling, kicking or punching could get the pit bull off of its victims. The dog released Rodriguez only after someone stabbed it with a knife. The dog died from its injuries. Both mother and son got 57 stitches between them as a result of the injuries. Rodriguez said she is upset that Animal Control officials did not respond earlier to the loose dog roaming the neighborhood - until it became an emergency. Animal Control officials say they are investigating the incident.
Pit Bull Attack Statistics
According to the dog bite victims advocacy group, Dogsbite.org, during the most recent eight-year period (between 2005 and 2012), pit bulls killed an average of 19 people a year. If the current rate of fatalities inflicted by pit bulls continues, 33 Americans will lose their lives in pit bull attacks by the end of 2013.
Injuries and Liability
Pit bulls have powerful jaws that can inflict catastrophic injuries - not just on children, but also on adults. We saw evidence of that fact in this case where a group of people punching and kicking could not get one pit bull off of Rodriguez. It took several stabs with a knife to subdue the dog. Witnesses said the pit bull continued to attack until it succumbed to its injuries. Had the mother and son not had the help of the others that day, they may have suffered far more serious - if not fatal - injuries in this attack.
Under California's "strict liability statute," dog owners are financially responsible for the actions of their pets. Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, permanent injuries, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Victims would also be well advised to contact an experienced San Bernardino personal injury lawyer who will ensure that their legal rights and best interests are protected and that they are fairly compensated for their losses.