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Elderly Man Injured in Riverside Dog Attack

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A man in his 70s suffered serious injuries in a dog bite incident after a pit bull attacked him as he got off a bus in Hemet. According to The Press Enterprise, the dog attack occurred the morning of June 14, 2012 when the man was walking toward the Hemet Valley Mall. Officials say a pack of pit bulls came running out of a yard in his direction. The man was knocked to the ground and one of the dogs bit him repeatedly while the others ran around the area. A passer-by identified as Jeri Berglund, managed to put the man in her car and drove him to a hospital. The man was severely injured and in a state of shock, but is expected to recover.

Officers from the Ramona Humane Society visited the dog owner’s house at the intersection of Western and Latham avenues. They found seven pit bulls, which is a violation of the municipal code that only allows up to three dogs per home. The dog that bit the man was quarantined. A decision will be made later about whether the dog should be euthanized. Officials also said that the owners had recently gotten the attacking pit bull and were “very eager” to give it up. Authorities are considering citing the dog owners in connection with this attack.

Brutal Dog Attack

My heart goes out to this dog attack victim. I wish him the very best for a speedy physical and emotional recovery. I commend the good Samaritan, Berglund, who had the courage and the presence of mind to stop, pick up the victim and transport him to a hospital right away. She is truly a hero! The elderly man’s injuries could have been far worse had he not received her help.

Violation of the Municipal Code

Based on this news report, the dog owner was in violation of the Hemet Municipal Code by having too many dogs in the premises. It appears that the owner must have known that the pit bull that attacked the victim was troublesome or dangerous because officials say the owner was too eager to give up the dog. It is also apparent that the dogs were not properly restrained or kept in an enclosure in their owner’s yard.

Compensation for Dog Bite Victims

California law is very clear when it comes to dog owner liability. Dog owners can be held civilly liable for injuries their pets cause. 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.”

In such cases injured victims would be well advised to contact an experienced Riverside personal injury lawyer, who will stay on top of the official investigation and ensure that the negligent dog owners are held liable. Victims can seek compensation to cover damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, surgeries, rehabilitation, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.

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