An 11-year-old boy has been hospitalized with injuries after a dog attack in Costa Mesa.
According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the dog bite incident occurred in the 1000 block of Nancy Lane the evening of August 2, 2015.
Police say the boy was walking down the street when he passed by his neighbor’s house whose front door was left open.
Officials say a pit bull that was being fostered by the boy’s neighbors came outside.
The boy, who saw the dog and became scared, started to run away. The dog chased the boy and bit him on his right leg.
Some of the lacerations were four to six inches in length. The boy was taken to an area hospital for treatment.
The pit bull has been impounded and quarantined while animal control officers conduct an investigation into the dog’s history and vaccination status.
Dog Attacks & Children
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that about 4.5 million people are attacked and injured by dogs each year.
Nearly one in five of those who are bitten, about 885,000, require medical attention for dog bite-related injuries. About half of those victims are children.
Also, in 2012, the CDC reported that more than 27,000 people underwent reconstructive surgery to repair scars from dog attacks.
Laws & Liability Issues
In this particular case, the neighbor who was fostering the pit bull had a responsibility to keep the dog restrained. In this case, the dog apparently escaped through an open front door. This amounts to negligence on the part of the neighbor.
California has a strict liability statute when it comes to dog attacks, which means that the person who owns or is looking after a dog can be held liable for the injuries, damages and losses caused.
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 your child has been injured in a dog attack, please understand that he or she has legal rights.
The child’s parents can file a personal injury claim against the dog owner seeking compensation for damages such as medical expenses, hospitalization costs, cosmetic surgery expenses, cost of psychological counseling, scarring or disfigurement, pain and suffering and mental anguish.
An experienced Costa Mesa personal injury lawyer can help injured victims and families in such cases better understand their legal rights and options.