A 63-year-old man suffered severe injuries in a dog bite incident in Hemet after dog escaped from its owner’s yard and attacked him. According to a news article in The Press-Enterprise, the incident occurred the afternoon of September 19, 2012. The man was walking along Kirby Street near Esplanade Avenue when he crossed in front of a home where the gate had been left open. Three dogs ran out of the yard. One of then, a boxer mix, attacked the man biting him on the hand and calf. The man stopped a police officer who was passing by who got the dogs back in the yard and called animal control officers. The dogs were taken to the city’s shelter. The injured victim was transported to an area hospital for treatment of serious bite wounds.
My thoughts and prayers are with the injured victim of this dog attack. I wish him the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
Dog Bite Statistics
About 4.7 million people each year are bitten by dogs, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Of those who are bitten, at least 800,000 people seek medical attention for their injuries. Between 12 and 20 people die from dog attacks annually, according to the CDC. Dog attacks can result not only in physical injuries, but also serious emotional trauma. A number of dog bite victims suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Dog Bite Law
Under California’s “strict liability statute,” dog owners are responsible for injuries caused by their pets. 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 this particular case, it is unclear as to whether the dog that bit the victim had a history of similar attacks. I trust officials are also looking into why the dog owner left the gate open. Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation from negligent dog owners for damages including medical expenses, loss of wages, cost of hospitalization, cosmetic surgery, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. Victims would be well advised to seek the counsel of an experienced Riverside personal injury attorney who has successfully handled dog bite cases.