Two pit bulls escaped from their yard in a home in Santa Cruz County, attacked neighbors and injured a firefighter who was trying to help.
According to a KSBW news report, the dog attack occurred in the 8000 block of Glen Arbor Road in Ben Lomond.
Neighbors said they responded to a child’s scream and found
the girl had been bitten on the knee and elbow by two attacking pit bulls. A neighbor who tried to get the dogs off the street was also attacked.
One neighbor called 911. When a firefighter arrived to help the victims, one of the pit bulls lunged at him and bit him. As a last resort he had to strike the animal with a “firefighting implement” and the animal was killed instantly.
The second dog was taken to a local animal control center and euthanized.
The pit bulls had apparently escaped from their yard and had behaved aggressively in the past. The dog owner is currently facing a $1,000 fine. It is not clear if he or she will face any criminal charges.
Dog Bite Law
Under California law, dog owners have a responsibility to keep their pets secured. This is especially true if the dogs have a history of attacking other dogs or people. Dogs labeled as dangerous must be confined to the owner’s yard or must be muzzled when out in public, depending on local animal control ordinances.
In this case, the dogs not only terrorized neighbors, but also bit a child and the firefighter who came to the neighbors’ aid. In such cases, dog owners can be held financially responsible for the injuries and damages 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.”
Compensation for Injured Victims
In such cases, injured dog bite victims can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation, cost of psychological therapy, cosmetic surgery, permanent scarring or disfigurement and pain and suffering.
Injured victims would also be well advised to contact an experienced California personal injury attorney who has successfully handled dog bite cases. The best personal injury law firms will always offer a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation to injured victims and their families.